Obituary: Woody Norman Douglas

Beloved great-grandfather, entrepreneur, volunteer, philanthropist

“Woody Norman Douglas left an unforgettable legacy of love, service, and generosity,” his family shared. “Born on January 9, 1937, in Los Angeles to Ira Earnest Douglas and Lillian M.E. Munson, Woody’s life was a testament to the power of family, community, and resilience.

“From his early days at Benjamin Franklin High School in Highland Park, Woody exhibited a remarkable blend of talents and passions. He was a trombonist in the marching band, a formidable football player, and an accomplished pole vaulter and track star, earning a scholarship to Occidental University.”

On February 19, 1955, Woody married his childhood sweetheart, Diana Dean Bailes, and together they raised four children: Steven, Sindy, Glenn, and Debbie. During that time Woody became a pitcher in a fast-pitch softball league, a competitive bowler, and a deep-sea fisherman. Racing motorcycles was his passion. He raced side by side with his friends Gordon Sparkes, Jerry Flanders, Vic Donnell, and movie star Steve McQueen.

“Woody loved to dance and have fun as he filled the Douglas home with warmth and laughter until Diana’s passing on June 17, 1975,” his family said. “Woody then embarked on a new chapter in Claremont, California, where he sought solace and renewal.”

In Claremont, his life took on new dimensions. In 1981, he found love again with Roxanne Rawlings, blending their families to include nine children: Steve, Sindy, Glenn, Debbie, Danielle, Alison, Amanda, Devon, and Andrew.

“Together, Woody and ‘Roxie’ founded the Woody Douglas Gunite Company in 1986, a venture that flourished under their commitment to excellence. Woody loved his work, his employees, his customers, and suppliers,” his family added. “But Woody’s impact extended far beyond the business realm.”

He was a devoted member of Claremont Presbyterian Church, serving as a deacon, Sunday school teacher, and actively participating in various mission trips and committees. As president of the Claremont Kiwanis Club, in 2002 he initiated the ReadMe program, sparking a love for reading among underprivileged children and a program that has since donated more than 50,000 books to Claremont schoolchildren.

“Woody’s philanthropic spirit knew no bounds,” his family continued. “He generously donated his time, resources, and expertise to numerous local causes, from sponsoring sports teams to supporting educational initiatives. His dedication to his community was steadfast, and his impact was felt in every corner of Claremont.

“With 22 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren, Woody’s legacy lives on through the generations he inspired. His infectious smile, his captivating stories, and his unwavering compassion will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.”

Woody Norman Douglas died on March 26, “leaving behind a profound void in the hearts of his family, friends, and community,” his family said.

He was preceded in death by his beloved first wife, Diana; his cherished last wife, Roxanne; his son Andrew; son-in-law Jim Siciliani; and grandson Nicholas Dean.

He is survived by his children: Steven (Callye), Sindy (Dale), Glenn (Tammi), Debbie (Ron), Danielle, Alison (Matt), Amanda (Daniel), and Devon. “Their love and memories of Woody will continue to inspire and guide them in the years to come,” his family said.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, April 20 at Claremont Presbyterian Church, 1111 N. Mountain Ave., with a viewing at 2 p.m., followed by a service at 3 p.m. and a reception to follow in fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Claremont Kiwanis ReadMe program at would be appreciated, honoring his dedication to literacy and community enrichment.


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