Resident of Charleston, Robert E. “Bob” Douglas passed away peacefully on November 17, 2023.
Charleston residents will remember Bob as a long-active practicing attorney, an avid supporter of local art organizations, and for his performances as an outstanding Drum Major for the West Virginia University Marching Band and Alumnae Band, and the award winning Beni Kedem Shrine Temple Gold Band.
Bob was born April 8, 1928, in Filbert, PA, son of the late Guy Carlton and Ruth Douglas. He was raised in Elbert, McDowell County, WV, a coal camp which was part of the Gary Mine System. He moved to Kanawha County to complete his public education at East Bank High School. There, his baton skill flourished and he was invited to be a guest Drum Major for the University of Michigan Marching Band at its homecoming game with Ohio State in Ann Arbor.
Upon his high school graduation, Bob enlisted in the United States Army and, following Basic Training, was assigned to the Tokyo, Japan, headquarters of General Douglas McArthur, where he rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant. Following his Far East duty, he enrolled at West Virginia University. While a WVU student, he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity and “Mountain,” the Ranking WVU Honorary, and served as Captain of the Mountaineer Week Team. Bob was a member of Alpha Kappa Psi, Music Honorary, and served as member and Drum Major of the WVU Marching Band during the four years of his undergraduate studies (1949-1952).
Upon graduation with the Bachelor of Science degree, Bob enrolled in the WVU Law School, where he received his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree. During his second year of Law School, he received a direct commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force and was later promoted to First Lieutenant. Following Law School graduation in 1956, Bob moved to Charleston, where he formed the law firm of Bartlett, Douglas and Sprouse. Bob served as a Practitioner within the West Virginia and Federal Court systems from 1956 to the present. He was a member of the West Virginia State Bar, serving on the Unlawful Practice Committee. Through his diverse practice, he served 12 years as Trustee in Bankruptcy, U.S. District Court, General Counsel, Secretary and Treasurer of Appalachian Tire Products, Inc., & Recapping Company, and A&I Supply Company. He served as West Virginia Counsel for Lac D’Amiante Du Quebec, Ltee, and as West Virginia Counsel for Georgia Pacific Corporation for 18 years. At the height of his career, Bob served as Trial Counsel on the Tawney v. Columbia Natural Resources, LLC, a class action suit resulting in an award of 404 million dollars to more than 10,000 gas well owners in West Virginia, the largest jury award at that time. Bob ended his 67-year career as a partner in the law firm Carey, Douglas, Kessler and Ruby, PLLC.
Bob was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Charleston. He held memberships and offices in both civic and professional organizations throughout his career. They included Member of the Malden, WV, Masonic Affiliations; Potentate of Beni Kedem Shrine Temple and the Governing Board of the Philadelphia and Lexington Shrine Hospitals; Commodore of the Charleston Boat Club and President of the Charleston Boat Club Corporation; Board Member of the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences of West Virginia; Paul Harris Member of the Rotary Club of Charleston, WV; Trustee of Davis Elkins College; Troop 5 Committee Member-Boy Scouts of America, and Member of the Edgewood Country Club.
Honors received by Bob included being named “Most Loyal West Virginian” by West Virginia University and receipt of the Boy Scout Buckskin Council of WV, KY, VA & OH, “Good Scouter Award.”
In addition to his parents and his first wife, Mary Ann Power Douglas, Bob was preceded in death by his daughter, Ann Power Douglas Keesler; his son, Robert E. Douglas Jr.; grandson, James Keesler Jr.; his brother, Guy Carlton Douglas Jr., and sister, Martha Douglas Milam (Frank).
Surviving Loved Ones include Nancy McNary Douglas, wife of 58 years; son-in-law, James Keesler; grandson, Douglas McConnell Keesler; sister-in-law, Dorothy Douglas; nephew, Dr. Douglas Milam (Dr. Carol Milam), their son Rush and daughter Laurel Golden (Nick), their son James; cousin, Richard Lee Douglas (Vicki); their son, David, and daughter, Dr. Julia Triggs; cousin, Linda Douglas, her daughter Jennifer Douglas; niece Suzanne Margolis and her daughters Miriam, Sarah, Emily and Rachel; nephew David Douglas (Susie), their son, Brice, and daughter, Breanna; nephew, Guy C. Douglas III (Cindy), their son, Matthew, and daughter, Taylor; nephew, Duncan Douglas (Katie), their daughter, Mackenzie, and son, DJ; sister-in-law, Linda McNary Mullins (Harry Seidentopf); nephew, Todd Mullins (Lynn), their sons, Michael and Sean, daughters, Kathryn and Meaghan (Evan); nephew, Chris Mullins (Susie), and their son, Kevin (Erin), and daughters, Caroline (Brandon), their daughter, Leah, and son, Reid, and Elizabeth (Zachary), their sons, Jacob and Matthew; brother-in-law, John A. McNary (Sarah); niece, Kirstin McNary Berman (Mark); nephew, Cameron McNary (Maureen), daughters, Maeve and Fianna Rose, nephew, Christopher Power (Elizabeth); nephew, Curtis Power III (Faith), their daughters, Maggie and May Claire; niece, Susan Power; nephew, Thomas Dickey; niece, Ann Dickey Kelly (Carson); niece, Ellen Dickey Quevedo (Freddie); cousin, Carol Ann Van Evera Duran (Donald).
Funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, November 22, 2023, at First Presbyterian Church, 16 Leon Sullivan Way, Charleston, WV, with Rev. Dr. William Myers officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens in South Charleston, WV.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, November 21, 2023, at Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home, 1118 Virginia Street East, Charleston, WV. Visitation will also be held at the church on Wednesday, one hour prior to the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Clay Center at theclaycenter.org, the Kanawha County Public Library at kcpls.org or First Presbyterian Church of Charleston, WV, at firstpresby.com.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.barlowbonsall.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home.