Douglas Searle

Obituary of Douglas Scott Searle

A sweet man with a heart of gold has been taken away from family and friends way too soon. Doug died suddenly after battling heart and kidney failure October 7, 2020. Missing him terribly are his wife Val (Bayley), children Ken, Alyse, Franklyn, sister Pat Coleman (Mike), niece Kimberly, sister-in-law Liz (Doug), nephew Jonathan (Lindsay), Saskatchewan cousins Carrie Lee, Bob (Sherilyn) and Heather and their families- Justin, Kelly, Chad, Jill, Brandi, Lee, MacKinley, Liam, Randi, Eric and Emiley. Wonderful memories were created with good friends Sandi, Kari, Linda, Roy, the Gull Line Gang, the Sandbanks crew and many others. He is predeceased by his brother Rob, parents Joyce and Jock and cousin RD. 

Doug was born in Saskatoon and a proud Saskatchewan Roughriders fan. He loved curling, big dogs, the Toronto Blue Jays, Formula One racing, and beer. He moved to St. Catharines for grade 6 and attended Oakridge Public and then Sir Winston Secondary High School. When he got accepted to Mohawk College, Doug made the move to Hamilton. After graduation in mechanical engineering technology, he worked at Canadian Bird until 1984. Val and Doug married in 1978 and moved to St. Catharines in 1985 where they raised their 3 children. He was a stay-at-home dad and a caregiver for his parents, but for 8 years enjoyed a career with Laidlaw driving school bus. He was a cancer survivor and a volunteer driver for the Cancer Society.  His legacy lives on through his organ donation. Thanks to the doctors and nurses at the Hamilton and St. Catharines General Hospitals for their hard work. Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society and Pets Alive Niagara in lieu of flowers would be appreciated.

Sleep well, Smooch.



During these hard times when we can’t be together, here are some ideas for you to honour Doug from a distance:

Enjoy the meatlover’s pizza from Maestro’s Pizzeria; Enjoy the pressbox salad from Cat’s Caboose; Watch an episode of Price is Right; Buy a Cash for Life lottery ticket; Toast his memory with your favourite drink at 7 pm, October 17.



Family and friends are welcomed to gather at the GEORGE DARTE FINERAL HOME 585 Carlton Street St. Catharines on Friday October 16 2020 from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and again from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM. A funeral service will be held by invite only.

For friends and family who are wanting to attend Doug's Funeral Service, here is the link for the live stream It will begin at 12:50PM, Saturday October 17th..


As per the Province of Ontario Covid-19 regulations - visitation attendance is limited to 30% building capacity. Funeral attendance is limited to 65 attendees. Attendance will be monitored to maintain capacity and physical distancing for the health and safety of our staff and guests. All guests attending the visitation or funeral MUST wear a  mask.


Eulogies that were read during Doug's Funeral Service:

Val's speech:

I met Doug briefly in Ottawa in 1974 at Carlton University. We started dating the following Thanksgiving, October 11, 1975 when we both went back to visit our mutual friend, Darlene. Doug was doing a work term in Noranda, Quebec, and drove 9 hours on several weekends through the depths of winter in his convertible Spitfire to visit me at my parents in Hamilton. Mum took to him immediately and would make hot sandwiches with the Sunday roast, wrapping them individually in tin foil to keep them warm on the long drive back. He still talked about that. But she didn’t realize his parents only lived 45 minutes away in St. Catharines and that he didn’t visit them.


He asked me to marry him the following February. We’d joke that I married him for his money and his car. He was a flat broke student and his Spitfire was so rusty the passenger seat wasn’t attached to the side wall. And when Doug made a sharp right turn, I could see the road beneath me. I made him rent a car for our honeymoon.


I took Doug on a journey that I don’t think was in his plans! He supported me when I travelled from Hamilton to Toronto for medical school. Tia and Doug would walk me to the Go bus stop every morning and supper would be ready when I got home. He supported our family on the home front while I pursued a career. Doug had never looked after a baby when Ken came into our lives and took him all over the Niagara peninsula in his pickup truck. (I won’t tell the story about Doug having to change Kenny’s diaper in a garage station when the truck broke down so that I don’t embarrass him!). He built our home and welcomed Frankie when Ken and Alyse were just starting school full time. And, over the years, he always welcomed their friends into our home. When filling out papers at the funeral home, we put that his occupation was Homemaker and his business was Comfort.


Doug loved walking his dogs, trips to Costco and Princess Auto, puttering on woodworking or plumbing projects for his kids, tinkering with his Spitfire, standing far too long in the kitchen making far too much food and drinking far too much red wine then falling asleep in his chair after a wonderful evening with family and friends. Over the last 6 months, he struggled do this which is why he chose to finally have the surgery. Privately, we knew that there were no guarantees that he would be better. And it’s hard to know that he had weeks of hope and setbacks before he left us. I am so thankful that we were able to visit him. I miss him terribly and look forward to continuing to share great memories with everyone he touched.


Sleep well, Smooch.


 Alyse's, Speech:

I don’t think there will be a point where the perfect words come to me to describe the loss I feel or your goofy, fun loving spirit or the impact you had on developing the person I am growing into. As a small child I emulated you dad, as a teenager we mixed like oil and water and as an adult you became one of my best friends. I will sincerely miss our talks and coming over to watch price is right after work and just discussing life and venting to you. I feel like there was still so much you had to teach me but life doesn’t wait for us to be ready. I am grateful I had you as a father and you will eternally be my hero and an example of the person I hope to be. We were supposed to have an action movie marathon when you got home and indulge in pizza and a couple beers-as we won’t be able to do that together now I will definitely watch some Arnold movies and no doubt you will be there in spirit for all the one liners and outlandish explosions. I love you old man. 

Your daughter, Alyse petunia


Franklyn's Speech:

There’s never a good time to lose your father, especially our fun-loving father. My dad had the best sense of humour, which made an impression on people. Whether it was spilling beer on my cousin and I at the Blue Jay’s Game or giving me a princess auto gift certificate for Christmas with the intentions of using it on himself, he always made things fun. My siblings and I still have so much of my life to live, so many big decisions still to make, and my father won’t be here to root us on. But his spirit and love lives on through the values and lessons he taught us. These three lessons I want to share are ones that I will carry with me as I move through life:


  1. The first lesson is your children will throw you curveballs, at first you can grumple, but then embrace. 

My brother, sister, and I tested my dad. We came up with new passions and ideas, some that probably weren’t what he wanted, but no matter what he supported us. Some of my favourite examples are:

  • When your child falls in love with cheerleading, you buy a cheer dad shirt
  • When your child becomes a vegetarian, you go out of your way to make different meals
  • When your children love sushi, you wash it down with beer and make a sandwich later
  • When your child keeps leaving you for Africa, you drive her and pick her up from the airport everytime
  • When your child buys a 70-year old home, you help renovate it
  • When your child starts selling bracelets to raise money for Ghana, you make bracelet holders, even one out of your old curling broom
  • When the car breaks down in a questionable parking lot, you save your daughters in the middle of the night


  1. The second lesson is your marriage is a partnership:

My parents' marriage was focused around love and commitment, but it wasn’t the traditional partnership that society is used too. My father made sacrifices to allow for my mother to follow her dreams as a doctor, something our society expects the wives to do for their husbands dreams. Not to say one way is right or wrong, but growing up in a household with my dad home and my mother empowered to be the breadwinner impacts you as a young girl. It has pushed me to pursue my crazy dreams and never settle for anything less, I know my worth. My parents did what was best for the success of their partnership, which in turn led to great success in their marriage and for our family. 

3. The final lesson and most important one is: Love isn’t always shown in words, but in consistent actions: My dad had the biggest heart, he struggled to express it in words, but you knew how much he cared because of the things he would do. My dad made a family dinner for us every night of the week no matter what. My siblings and I knew that whatever was going on in our lives, there was always dinner ready for us at home. My father picked me up for lunch every day from school until I was in highschool, he drove me to every medical appointment in Hamilton, every cheerleading competition, helped me with every move I made (and i've moved a lot), and was always my airport shuttle when I was off on another adventure somewhere in the world, no matter what time my flight took off. 

His actions expressed his giving heart, he was a volunteer driving for the cancer society for years and he would spend two days of his week driving patients to and from appointments in Hamilton and Toronto, quite frequently stuck in traffic for hours, but he loved getting to know the people and could relate to them as he was a Cancer survivor himself. His favorite part of it was being the first person the patient would tell the good news they received that they were cancer free. My dad was an amazing role model, growing up watching him dedicate his life to our family, his rescue dogs, his volunteering influenced me to pursue a career in serving others.


I may have only received a “thanks love” or a “see you babe” when leaving the hospital, but my dad didn’t need to say “i love you” because I knew, we all knew he loved us.


Dad, one day I will return to Ghana and although you won’t be here physically to help me buy all my pre-departure electronics or change my flight home so I can get home during a pandemic, I know when I am crying in a field because international money transfers are giving me troubles again, you will be there.


Don’t worry poo-poo head, we will take care of mum. I will fill her christmas stocking with all her favourite things and wrap them for you on Christmas Eve like always.


Dad, I pray that you are no longer hurting, that your heart & knees are strong, but if not, I pray you have endless supplies of dry mouth spray and brandy. I pray that you are driving around in Heaven in your spitfire or on the most epic RV journey with Granny, Grandpa, uncle rob and RD with all the dogs.


You are still the biggest poo-poo head 


Love your little girl





Afternoon Visitation

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Friday, October 16, 2020
George Darte Funeral Home
585 Carlton Street
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

Evening Visitation

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday, October 16, 2020
George Darte Funeral Home
585 Carlton Street
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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