Posted: May 3rd, 2016

1160_jdJMAkXS_Doucette, E - Obituary Photo


June 17, 1921 – May 1, 2016

It is with great sadness and quiet relief that we announce the peaceful passing of EARL MILTON DOUCETTE on May 1, 2016. Earl was born June 17, 1921 in New Aberdeen Glace Bay, Nova Scotia. Earl has joined his dear wife Sal, mother Ada, father William Charles, as well as his 10 brothers and sisters.

After a short stint of working in the coalmine, Earl joined the army and was a part of the 13th Field Company Royal Canadian Engineers. He fell madly in love with Italy, Holland, and all of their people. During an end of the war celebration, Earl was discovered as a singer and soon labeled as a “dramatic tenor”. Upon returning home, he attended the school of Julliard, New York where he studied music.

In 1947 Earl and his beautiful Sara (Sal) Walsh had a secret wedding. At this time, female teachers were not allowed to be married and remain teaching. A small ceremony comprised of their priest (who frowned upon that ridiculous rule), his cousin, and his niece, saw Earl and Sal blissfully married.

Earl performed in the Nova Scotia Opera Company, where he sang in operas such as Madam Butterfly, Marriage of Figaro, Lohengrin, and Countess Marissa.

In 1952 they had their first son Paul. A year later they were offered teaching jobs and the family moved to the Blood Reserve, Alberta where they lived for 12 years. Earl and Sara wrote operettas and set up concerts for their students to perform. In 1959 they had their second son John.

In 1966 the family moved to Lethbridge.

Earl is survived by his sons Paul (Jackie)Ladysmith, BC, John (Irene) and his dear granddaughters Angelica (Lyndsay) and Brooklyn, Lethbridge AB who spent countless hours visiting and listening to their grandpa’s stories. But every visit began with “That John – your Dad he can solve any problem, I don’t know what I would do without him”.

No matter where Earl went or who he talked to, he always had a joke or a song. The impression he left on so many different people around the world will live on through his cassette tape programs, cartoons, and stories.

At Earl’s request a private family service will be held at a later date.

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6 Condolences for “DOUCETTE Earl”

  1. Pat Boehm (nee Leister) says:

    I am sure Earl is entertaining everyone in heaven! He was a very special person – funny, kind and oh so talented!

  2. Thelma King Murphy says:

    My condolences go to his loving family. Mr. Doucette was my favorite teacher. He enlivened my third grade educational experience by doing magic and planning elaborate treasure hunts. Each team would go out into the fields carrying our team flags to follow detailed maps and we would find our “treasure.” He made spelling and geographic quizzes so much fun. He inspired me to become a teacher. I taught fifteen years in Alberta and twenty five years in Hawaii where I am now retired.

  3. Linda (Graveland) Sprinkle says:

    I was just thinking about Earl the other day and decided to search… so sorry to hear of his passing. At a time in my life when I needed a caring adult to pay a little attention Earl was there. He likely never knew that his caring made all the difference. He was a character and so much more.

  4. Jan Haverkate says:

    My condolences go to John’s loving family.
    It is with great sadness that I discovered today that John Doucette passed away.

    A brief and special history of John and beautiful girl.

    In the spring of 1945 John ended up as a soldier in the small village of Balkbrug in the Netherlands, which the Canadian soldiers had just liberated from the occupying Germans. He had to repair a blown up bridge. In Balkbrug John met a beautiful girl of 17 years young, her name was Diens Hendriks and together they celebrated the liberation of Balkbrug with lots of dancing and music. John was very much in love with her, but after several weeks John had to move on with the Canadian Army, because the war was not over yet.

    After the war, John wrote four letters to his beloved Diens Hendriks, but these letters were never given to Diens Hendriks by her father.

    John was given the possibility to come back to Europe as a veteran in 1995, John chose his favorite place and that was Balkbrug in the Netherlands.
    Nearby Balkbrug a big party was organised for the war veterans and the first thing John asked to a visitor was: “Do you happen to Ms. Diens Hendriks from Balkbrug? ”
    This lady said, “Yes, I know her very well, we are both volunteers for the Red Cross.”
    John was very surprised by this response and the lady offered to call Diens Hendriks. Diens drove to the party immediately and there they had a emotional reunion after 50 years. An important question for John was, “Why did you never respond my four letters?”
    And Diens Hendriks asked: “Which letters?” Such is life…..sometimes.
    It was a very special party for “the couple of the night John & Diens”, with lots of dancing and music.

    In 1998 Diens Hendriks passed away at the age of 70.

    Shortly after that I called John to tell him the sad news of the passing of Diens Hendriks. Ever since I called John several times a year and I sent him postcards when I was on vacation. It was a friendship from a distance. I enjoyed his inspiring stories and cheerful character. We never met. We should have done that perhaps. He was a teacher, I am a teacher. He loved music, I love music too. He loved Diens Hendriks, I loved Diens Hendriks too. We had several things in common.

    Yesterday I tried to call John.
    But, the phone number of John was “out of service” and after some searching on the Internet, I read that John was deceased in May 2016.

    By the way, this Diens Hendriks was my beloved mother.

    Warm regards,
    Jan Haverkate from the Netherlands

  5. Tracy Braat says:

    To the Doucette family,

    I was saddened to hear Earl passed. He was a lifelong family friend and he had a lovely talent and voice.
    He wrote a song for my daughter Taylor Brieanne.


    It breaks my heart in two, to say goodbye to you…

    Love and respect

    Tracy and Taylor

  6. Richard Hansen says:

    Is the Earl Doucette who, for a while, worked at General Homes by the airport in the early 80’s?

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