Cover photo for Douglas Charles Dodge's Obituary
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1944 Douglas 2024

Douglas Charles Dodge

November 18, 1944 — January 12, 2024

La Center

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Douglas Charles was born to Charles and Jane Dodge on November 18th, 1944  in Seattle, Washington. He had an older sister, Betty, younger sister, Alice and little brother, Ken. 

When he was 6 years old, Doug accepted Christ as his Savior and he grew steadily in his faith by means of Bible study, prayer and perseverance through all the difficult times of his life.

Doug’s youth was spent in the South Seattle area and during his school years, he focused on paper routes, sports, and participation in Youth for Christ.  He was very active in his church and remained so for the rest of his life. 

Music was a big part of Doug’s life. He sang with his siblings in church, with Betty at the Union Gospel Mission in Seattle, performed many solos at weddings, including his own. He also sang in and directed church choirs, even in Spanish. He studied opera for a stint, and he thought that was pretty funny.

On the last day of Doug’s freshman year of high school, his father passed away from heart complications. Doug was only 16 but realized later that he subconsciously took on the serious role of man of the house.

Doug and Bonni met at church at the age of 11 and, over the years, their friendship grew until they were married on December 20, 1963. They just celebrated 60 years together. 

In 1965, when the Vietnam war was ramping up, Doug entered the US Army. He was assigned to the Transportation Maintenance Division specializing in helicopters, and during his time of service, he reached the rank of Specialist 5th Class.

In Seattle, October of 1966, Doug boarded a transport ship for his first tour of duty to Vietnam. As a Huey helicopter crew chief, his job was to maintain and defend his ship, so that it would always be ready for duty of any kind. During his time in country, he earned a Medal of Honor with two clusters for his heroic service to his fellow soldiers. 

He returned home to a country in deep turmoil and Doug, like most returning soldiers, suffered the ramifications of it his whole life. 

After returning, he and Bonni finished his last ten months with the Army, at Fort Dix, New Jersey.  

With his time of service over, Doug and Bonni returned to their home in South Seattle where their first child, Diann Elizabeth, was born that November in 1968. Shortly after her birth, they purchased a dilapidated house that was an extreme fixer-upper while they lived in their 8 x 35 foot trailer on the property. 

At that time there were few jobs to be had in Seattle. Thus, it was decided that, in order to earn the money needed to complete the work on the house, Doug would return to work in Vietnam for a private contractor for one year. His only son, Brian Douglas, was born in August of 1971 while he was away. 

Doug returned in December: mission accomplished!

Between 1973, when sweet Trica Marie was born, and 1975, Doug, sometimes working three jobs concurrently, attended Highline College obtaining his aircraft maintenance license. 

In the mid-seventies, Doug felt God’s call to serve Him overseas with his family in a mission that would need his skills with aircraft. After acceptance and further training, the family moved to Central America and served with Mission Aviation Fellowship. They first attended language school in Costa Rica, and then were assigned to a small aircraft base in Honduras. He became part of a team that was responsible for the maintenance and repairs of single-engine Cessnas and helicopters. 

While in Honduras, during the week of Christmas 1980, the family adopted four-week-old precious Melissa Jane, the best Christmas present ever to find under our tree the day before Christmas Eve.

In the summer of 1981 Doug drove his family back home to Seattle. A month later he was hired by Evergreen Helicopters, of McMinnville, Oregon, which resulted in the family’s next move. Evergreen sent him to many places on assignment with the Sikorsky Skycrane: logging, installing electrical towers in Sweden and the pipeline in northern Alaska, installing the flagpoles on the Fremont Bridge, spraying forests and fighting fires. 

Doug then was hired in 1984 as a line maintenance technician by United Airlines. In 1988 he moved the family to La Center, Washington.

Throughout his work life, he earned several awards for his commitment and perseverance.  

He retired from United in September of 2012 and spent his remaining years with family, getting to know his grandchildren, which he enjoyed very much. He was able to read his Bible more, growing closer to the Lord. One of the things he loved was baking cookies for the family, especially molasses crinkles and Christmas spice cut out cookies. In the spring he tinkered on his tractor, readying it for long afternoons of mowing the grass fields of his property. In the evenings he could be found relaxing in his easy chair watching TV. Often it was a ball game, but John Wayne westerns were also a favorite, having watched many hours of them with his dad when his dad was very ill.

Doug was faithful; to his God, his wife, his children, his grandchildren, his church and to his work, therefore we will have his gravestone engraved with the words “He was faithful to the end”. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Douglas Charles Dodge, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, February 3, 2024

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