Petaluma loses one of its sports family

Look up family man in a dictionary and you will find Wayne Douglas listed as a synonym.

Wayne E. Douglas died unexpectedly on Jan. 5. He was 51 years old. He leaves a loving wife, four cherished sons and a town full of friends.

Douglas was a lifelong Petaluman, born and raised in the city that he loved. He was educated in Petaluma schools and remained in the community to marry his wife of 23 years, Laura. Together they had four sons -#8212; Ryan, Dean, Logan and Shane -#8212; who inherited their father's athleticism and are the focus of their parents' lives.

Douglas was a standout athlete at Petaluma High School. Petaluma track coach Doug Johnson remembers Douglas the sprinter from the early '80s. "He was a great kid and a great leader," the coach recalled. "He was a tremendous competitor, and he passed that competitive spirit along to his kids." Oldest son, Ryan, was a league champion distance runner for Johnson, who was good enough on both track and in the classroom to earn admission to Yale.

Douglas worked for KVAL Machinery for more than 30 years as service manager for the company that manufactures computer-controlled custom equipment for commercial and residential specialty doors.

He liked working around his Petaluma home. "He loved doing projects," Laura said. "He enjoyed hard work."

He was also an avid camper. "Camping was his favorite past time," his wife said. "Casini Ranch was our favorite place. Before the boys got into sports, we would go every other weekend."

But, Douglas' real love and passion were his sons.

"They meant the world to him," Laura said. "Nothing was more important to him than his boys."

All four boys played Little League baseball for the Petaluma National Little League, and Douglas was right there with each of them, not just attending games, but serving on the board of directors and constantly working on the league fields.

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