Voluntarily retires from 77 years of safe driving
Name: Donald Douglass
Current residence: The Residence of Chardon
Driving retirement date: November 28, 2011
Driving career: 77 years
Driving record: Only accident was in 1965, when he backed into a car parked on a crowded, narrow city street in Pennsylvania.
Donald served as an x-ray technician in the U. S. Army from 1941-1945.
One afternoon in 1942, Alberta was sitting on her back porch with her mother, when a “cute little soldier boy” came out of a neighboring apartment and caught Alberta’s eye. She told her mother she’d like to meet him. Taking her comment to heart, Alberta’s mother took a box of candy to Donald and introduced him to Alberta. They were married the next year in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Donald became an ordained Methodist minister in 1949. He has since served as the primary minister at three Methodist churches, he also had the honor of performing the marriage ceremonies of each of his sons.
Mr. and Mrs. Donald Douglass
Alberta Douglass (wife of 67 years):
Mr. Douglass explains that he and his wife Alberta moved into their current assisted living facility (together) in August. Donald explains that because of recent medical concerns, along with the imminent arrival of another harsh Chardon winter, he and Alberta decided that now might be a good time for him to retire from a long and successful driving career. Having made that decision, Mr. and Mrs. Douglass promptly parted ways with their car and have made a complete retirement from driving.
Mr. and Mrs. Douglass became active in Friendship Force International. Their active membership in the program has taken them to England, Italy, Germany and the Holy Land. While on a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, they had the opportunity to meet and visit with President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn Carter. As well, Donald and Alberta have entertained guests in their home from Korea, England, and Columbia, South America.
Mr. and Mrs. Douglass found the program so valuable, they went on to form the NE Ohio chapter of Friendship Force International. They started with five interested people, and have since grown the chapter to well over one hundred members.
Mr. Donald Douglass receives the
Keeping Us Safe "Certificate of Honor" Award
On November 29, 2011, I had the opportunity to sit down with both Mr. and Mrs. Douglass and together we shared a warm meal and a wonderful evening of conversation. Donald and Alberta are both extraordinary people who, at a very early age, decided to commit their lives to serving others. Their lifelong dedication to helping people from across the world has been an inspiration to so many.
It was a pleasure to present Mr. Donald Douglass with Keeping Us Safe’s “Certificate of Honor” for his decision to voluntarily retire from driving, but more than that, it was an honor for me to have met Donald and Alberta personally; they have been an inspiration to so many, and now serve as an inspiration to me as well.
Alberta “Al” Douglass, and husband Donald will celebrate 68 years of marriage on Valentine’s Day, 2012. Donald and Alberta have two sons, Keith (resides in Ohio), and Donald (resides in North Carolina). They also have five grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren, all of whom Alberta describes as the "loves of their lives".
Alberta is also quick to make it known that she is a huge Boston Red Sox fan! Although no longer driving herself, Alberta’s only accident was in 1960, when she bumped into a parked car in a parking lot.
Donald and Alberta developed a strong desire to work with youth, so Donald entered the field of academics. Mr. Douglass taught Psychology at Misenheimer College in North Carolina, served as Academic Dean of Wesley College in Dover, Delaware, Academic Dean at York College in York, Pennsylvania, and lastly he served as Academic Dean at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Kentucky. Donald retired from the academic world in 1984.
In the early 1980’s, Mrs. Douglass went to a local AARP meeting, and soon found herself president of that particular chapter. Mr. Douglass also became involved in AARP and after several promotions, found himself as the State Director of the Ohio branch of AARP.
Continuing with the theme of serving youth, Mr. Douglass became extremely active with the Boy Scouts of America and in 1984 he received the “Silver Beaver Award” for 30 years of "distinguished service to youth".
“When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.”
- Greg Anderson
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