Douglas Sheriff

Douglas F. Sheriff

Doug, born to James and Annie Sheriff on January 24, 1918 in Victoria, B.C., passed away on May 23, 2009 of natural causes largely related to his year of birth.

Raised in Ballard, Doug graduated from Ballard High in 1936. He then entered the bookbinding trade until WWII intervened. The culmination of his five year contribution was over 334 combat hours in the China-Burma-India theater with the 374th Bombardment Squadron, 308 Bomb Group, of the 14th Air Force. Innumerable supply trips over the Himalayas in a B-24 did not count as combat. Doug left the Army Air Force as a staff sergeant and holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross. He understood the need but did not glorify war.

Doug married Betty Taintor (BH 1938) in 1947. They occupied their home in North Beach for over 61 years. Four sons were born into that home and Doug provided for his family with bookbinding at the Seattle Public Library, then UW, until 1978. He spent the following 15 years as partner and operator of the Johnson-Sheriff Laundromat on 85th & Dibble Street. Doug found both pride and enjoyment in that business. Even recently, former customers would recognize him and stop for a chat and handshake. Golf, sports, family, travel, gardening, and being a good guy in love with his wife filled his retirement years. Even in Doug’s last days his caring for, and devotion to, Betty was particularly touching.

Doug and Betty’s son Michael preceded him in death in 1956. Betty survives him, as do his sons Steve (married to Chris), Ted, and Don (married to Gina), and several nephews and nieces. We already miss the infectious twinkle of bright blue eyes that rewarded each visit over many wonderful decades. Doug requested that there be no service, but remembrances may be made to the Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Foundation.

Published June 17, 2009 in the Ballard News Tribune