Honoring Doug Sheffer

It took 4 different gatherings to fully celebrate Doug Sheffer’s life.

The 1st — in honor of the 1968 Staples grad killed last January in a Colorado helicopter crash — took place at the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork, where his generosity and energy had inspired generations of students.

The 2nd was at the hangar of his helicopter business, where fellow pilots and members of Colorado’s search and rescue teams paid tribute to Doug’s amazing flying ability. The 3rd drew over 100 members of the Aspen/Snowmass ski schools.

Doug Sheffer

Doug Sheffer

The 4th — also at the Waldorf School — was held earlier this month. His younger brother Jonathan spoke of Doug’s skiing, boat racing, sailing the Atlantic, hiking the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, windsurfing in Maui and flying on a trapeze, as well as his earlier days at Staples: wrestling, working on the Staples Players tech crew and playing the clarinet.

As an adult, Doug acted, directed, choreographed and ran the lighting booth during Waldorf plays.

John Kantor — owner and director of the Longshore Sailing School, which Doug ran as its 1st general manager — described his sailing to Bermuda, and racing in Antigua as waves crashed over the bow.

Doug was so nimble and light, John said, that “he was the first to be hauled up to the top of the mast in the bosun’s chair for race adjustments.”

Doug Sheffer, in front of his beloved helicopter.

Doug Sheffer, in front of his beloved helicopter.

He traveled to 6 continents, and both poles. And, his daughter Brooke said, he wanted to go with his family into space, with Richard Branson.

A 5th memorial service will be held for Doug Sheffer this summer, here in Westport.

(To read a much fuller description of Doug’s memorial services in Colorado, click on the Aspen Business Journal.)

2 responses to “Honoring Doug Sheffer

  1. Doug was a remarkable alumni of Staples High School. As with so many other remarkable alumni in whose memory annual Staples Tuition Grant awards are made, at 2014 STG awards night this Wednesday June 4th, the long standing named award funded by the Betty R. and Ralph Sheffer Foundation will be rededicated in memory of Doug. All are welcome at the ceremony beginning at 5:30 in the Staples Library.

  2. Ann Sheffer

    Thank you, Dan, for helping us remember Doug…and Rob, for mentioning the STG award in his memory…Doug was involved in so many activities growing up in Westport, and we’re determined to celebrate and memorialize his life, while trying to absorb this very sad loss…
    We’re planning a memorial in late August, in conjunction with the Longshore Sailing School naming their perpetual trophy in honor of Doug, who was one of the very first instructors there…and will be sure to let everyone know when the plans are set.
    There will be a bench near the Sailing School with a plaque that reads:

    In Memory of Doug Sheffer
    Staples Class of 1968
    Sailor, Skier Pilot,
    Thespian, Teacher, Adventurer