Douglas Gavin Huston was born on his grandparents’ ranch at Beaver Valley, B.C. on August 10, 1927, the second son of Douglas Wayne Huston and Violet Margaret Louisa Hamilton.
He shared his life with nine brothers and sisters.
Doug’s mom passed away when he was not yet seven years old.
He grew up with his dad and family at Big Lake, where Douglas Sr. ran a butchering business and Soda Creek where the family owned the Soda Creek Store.
It was during this time that his dad married Ruth Elizabeth Rothwell.
Many stories have been told of their adventures, often including the trio of Doug, Pat, and Mike.
Doug told of a six-shooter behind the bar at his grandfather Gavie Hamilton’s ranch.
The three boys found it when no one was around, taking it out of its case, and waving it around.
Suddenly from the doorway their grandpa quietly told them to put it back and come with him.
They thought they were going to the woodshed, but instead he put them each in a potato sack and hung them on pegs high on the wall, and walked away.
In school, the boys would have known the woodshed well.
Doug told of his dad and a helper cutting ice from Big Lake to store in the ice house.
One of them fished Doug out when he suddenly ended up going through a hole. His brother, Mike, has admitted that he might have been pushed. That ended their play that day.
At the Soda Creek school reunion in 1982, Grace (Coulthard) Nore had remembered that school was great until the three musketeers, as she called them, came along.
Doug, Pat, and Mike seemed to know all the tricks and quickly educated the others in their own way.
Doug was known for his Model A that had no brakes. At the old Soda Creek ferry he would run into a post to come to a stop before he hit the river.
Doug often spent time with his younger sisters, too. One winter, with a new toboggan, Doug decided that Marcie was old enough to ride it down the hill at soda Creek. Unfortunately, she had not mastered turning and only a tree saved her from the Fraser River.
Another sister, Janet, credits Doug with saving her after fumes from the car were overcoming her. He picked her up and ran home with her, the fresh air reviving her.
Doug married Eleanor Sarah Schuk on July 20, 1957 in Quesnel, B.C.
They settled in Williams Lake and built the house on Glendale Drive that remains the family home today.
They have three daughters, Linda Hill, Brenda Huston, and Marcia Reid, and one son, Mark Huston.
He is also known as grandpa, gramps, and papa to his seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Doug has always shown pride in his family and his family has always looked up to him. He would spend hours with the backyard skating rink, and later attending practices and games for minor hockey.
More recently he attended all the Brew Jays ball games to watch his daughters and grandsons.
Doug loved spending time with family and friends, making everyone feel welcome.
He always had time to tell and listen to stories, which often came from his many experiences in the Cariboo.
Having coffee with Eleanor or the “coffee gang” was a favourite pastime.
He was also an avid reader, with a huge selection of books on Cariboo and B.C. history. We discovered dad was a good cook, making homemade bread, not just with a bread maker, apple pies from his apple tree, borscht, baked beans, and the best pancakes ever.
Doug and Eleanor enjoyed travelling the back roads around the Cariboo, appreciating the land in all its beauty.
Doug also went hunting from time to time, once hitting a green moose of the 1952 variety, while out with Dave Sherwood.
Doug was a superb carpenter, working on countless projects, often helping build things for others.
He made sure to do the job right, from start to finish. He spent his life working in the lumber industry at various mills in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.
Doug spent many of these years as millwright, sawyer, and carpenter with all the characters and P&T showing them how to do a hard day’s work.
Doug Huston’s family background includes plenty of local Cariboo and B.C. history.
The pioneer Huston family in B.C. dates to his grandfather, or papa, Marcus Wayne Huston, stage driver for the BX, who moved from Oregon in 1896.
The Hustons travelled the Oregon Trail in the 1850s, also being a pioneer family in that state.
Doug’s granny, Ann Katherine Frances (McInnes) Huston, was a longstanding resident of the Cariboo. Doug took part in a highlight of her later years when he drove her to Williams Lake to be presented to Princess Margaret, on a Royal visit in 1958.
She was daughter to Alexander Douglas McInnes and Annie Elizabeth Roddy, whose local history began with an interest in the Cameron Claim at Barkerville, and later with McInnes House on the Cariboo Highway.
Doug is also descended from Gavin Hamilton Jr. and Christine (Toppy) Eagle, who owned the Beaver Valley Ranch for many years. She was the daughter of Charles Eagle and Anna Tatqua, growing up on the historic Onward Ranch.
Going up the Hamilton tree through Gavin, Sr. and Margaret Ogden involves the Hudson’s Bay Company, Peter Skene Ogden, Dr. John Rae (the Arctic explorer), and the historic Macaulay family.
Doug is predeceased by his parents Douglas Huston and Violet (Hamilton) Huston, his step-mother, Ruth (Rothwell) Huston, as well as his sister, Margaret Anne (Tissy) Kelly, brothers Richard Wayne (Dick) Huston, Patrick Claude (Pat) Huston, and Robert Colin (Robin) Rothwell.
He leaves to mourn, many, including his wife, Eleanor, his daughters, Linda, Brenda, and Marcia, his son, Mark, grandchildren, Justin and Derek Hill, Larry Huston, Tim and Brad Reid, Madelyn and Emma Huston; great grandchildren, Hailey Lachapple and Nicholas Fournier Hill; brothers, Michael, Raymond (Mike) Huston, Robert Samuel (Bob) Ellis; sisters Janet Snow, Marcia Dawn Brown, and Sarah (Sally) Huston, and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Doug Huston will always be remembered for his smile, sense of humour, including a knack for teasing, and for his kind heart.
His dedication to his family and kindness of spirit really shone through this past year, being a remarkably strong force in Eleanor’s recovery during her illness.
Unfortunately, despite a courageous struggle, his own illness was not to be overcome. Doug passed away on the night of November 18, 2004.