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Douglas Beesley

Obituary of Douglas John Beesley

DOUGLAS JOHN BEESLEY, P.Eng. It is with great sadness that the family announce the passing of Douglas Beesley on May 8, 2020 in his 87th year at McGarrell Place, London, Ontario. Dearly beloved husband for 28 years of Jeannette Marie Graat and much loved father of Scott Beesley (Nancy), Ariss, Ontario, Valerie MacDonald (John), Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Sandra Osborn (Chris), Allen, Texas, U.S.A., Dana Beesley (Gail), Mississauga, Ontario. Dear Grand-dad to Spencer and Curtis Beesley, Kelly Hernandez- MacDonald (Abril Hernandez), Amy MacDonald (Bryce Masuk), Sara and Laura Catherine Osborn, Nathan and Daniel Beesley, and Great Grandfather of Arthur Masuk. Stepfather to Chris Arnsby, London, Ontario, and Nicole French (Steven), Penticton, British Columbia. Stepgrandfather to Cameron and Nicholas French. Brother of Mary Cunningham (Bob), Orillia; Predeceased by his brother Don (Margrit) and sister Peggy Taylor. Doug will be remembered by the extended Graat family, many cousins, nieces, nephews and missed by many close friends. Doug was born in Toronto, the son of Claude Beesley and Mary Dalliday. He attended John Wanless Public School, Lawrence Park Collegiate and graduated in 1957 with honors from the University of Toronto as a Civil Engineer. After graduation he worked for the Kitchener engineer on construction of municipal services and later in Niagara Falls for similar employment with the Township of Thorold. In early 1961 Doug joined the Provincial Ministry of Housing in Toronto. In his 27 years of employment with the Ministry - Ontario Housing Corporation he held a number of progressively senior positions. As the Corporation's General Manager he was the longest serving manager of the Corporation. During his 27-year career he made significant contributions in the development, construction and management of 100,000 assisted rental housing units throughout the Province of Ontario. Doug was a proud family man and took much joy in their pursuits and accomplishments. After his retirement in 1990, while on a tennis weekend with his friends at Cleveland House in Muskoka, he met Jeannette, the love of his life. They married soon after and so their life long love affair began. Doug was an avid reader and history buff (World War II, in particular) which began in grade school during the war. He would rush home from class every day to read the newspaper and check the advancement of the Allied Forces in Europe. Later, he and Jeannette toured the WWII landing sites and museums in France and visited the war cemeteries in the Netherlands on several occasions. Doug was a skilled handyman and no project could stump him -- Canadian Tire being his favourite supply store. He carried out many renovations to his home and was always eager to help his children, step-children and brother Don with various house projects. Doug and Jeannette's enjoyment of tennis and lawn bowling continued during his lifetime, both in London and Arizona. They cycled locally and in the Netherlands, France and Switzerland and went sea kayaking in the Bahamas and in Tasmania as well as canoeing in Killarney Provincial Park. Long distance hiking became a favourite pastime, taking them to the Camino in Portugal, the Thames Path and Coast to Coast walk in England, the Milford Track in New Zealand, Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, the Rolwaling Valley Trek in the Himalayas, Canada's West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island, and Ontario's Bruce Trail. Their favourite was the 800 km. Camino de Santiago de Compostello across Northern Spain, which they completed several times. Cruising was always a favourite mode of travel as they sailed to the six continents of the world exploring new countries, meeting local people and enjoying authentic food and wine. During their lifetime they formed many close friendships which have endured until today. For Doug, these years have truly been a wonderful journey of love, travel and adventure Cremation has taken place. Due to the Covid virus a celebration of Doug's life will take place at a later date. The family wishes to express their appreciation for all the kindness and compassionate care received by Doug from his caregivers at McGarrell Place. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Doug's memory to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. Condolences and sharing of memories can be made at


St. Peter's Cemetery
806 Victoria Street
London, Ontario, Canada
519 451-9120