Douglas Eugene McLain, 59, left the confines of his body and began soaring with the eagles February 23, 2016.
Born February 20, 1957, in Dimmitt, Texas, Doug was raised in the nearby town of Nazareth. He enjoyed spending time with his grandparents on the family farm, where he gained a love of nature and animals. He often recalled sitting on the fence rail with his granddaddy and watching tornadoes form on the horizon.
Doug made a lot of life-long friends while growing up — especially with the girls — and his quick wit and sense of adventure tended to get him in trouble with his elders.
Doug was good with his hands and loved to work on anything mechanical. He was a certified welder and an excellent finish carpenter. Doug liked to joke and referred to himself as "that other carpenter from Nazareth." He was also an accomplished artist, welding horseshoes into works of art and utility pieces. Late in life he took up painting.
Doug lived an interesting and full life. In addition to working the construction trades, he rode fence line in Montana and drove big rig trucks. For fun, he liked to ride bulls and competed in several rodeos. Doug was also a very good country western dance partner.
Doug moved to Cuchara, Colorado, in the late 1980s and quickly became enamored with the beauty of the Sangre de Cristo mountains of Southern Colorado. He helped build many of the grand homes that dot the hillsides today.
It was in the nearby town of La Veta that Doug met the love of his life, Julie Fairman. Their lives joined in 2000, and they spent many years living and working together on a Wahatoya Valley ranch that Doug managed for a local property owner. It was there, working with nature and animals of all shapes and sizes, that Doug was the happiest.
He and Julie also spent many happy years volunteering their time to the La Veta Oktoberfest. Friends fondly recall Doug parading down Main Street during the annual celebration with a beer stein hat atop his tall frame.
Circumstances, including Doug's failing health, prompted his and Julie's move to Topock, Arizona, in 2012. They relocated to the community of Laughlin, Nevada, in 2013, where he and Julie enjoyed taking their dogs, Blue and Sophie, for walks along the banks of the Colorado River. Doug spent his last days with Julie at their home in Laughlin, surrounded by love.
Doug is survived by his life partner Julie Fairman; son Jesse Douglas McLain (Amanda) and grandson Nathan of Victoria, Texas; mother Gladys Gipson and brother Dale "Bud" McLain (Tammy) of Amarillo; sister Denise Harris (Richard) of Ruidoso, New Mexico; brother-in-law Brad Fairman (Argelis) of Melbourne, Florida; and numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends scattered around the globe. Doug was preceded in death by his father Edgar Eugene "Gus" McLain, brother Raymond, and stepfather Wayne "Daddy Wayne" Gipson, who he loved very much.
A celebration of Doug's life is planned for October 2 in Cuchara, Colorado.
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