• R.I.P. Douglas DeVries, 88, in June 2022 (1990s writer on Alaska)

    From Lenona@21:1/5 to All on Fri Jan 6 23:09:15 2023
    He was born in Lansing, Illinois and died there - but he moved a great deal in his life.

    Not to be confused with the Australian guitarist.

    (with photo)

    Most of it:

    ...It was during his time overseas that he began a lifelong love of travel and adventure. He was permitted four leaves from the Army and traveled to the Netherlands twice, Paris and the mountains of Austria.

    Upon his return to the states, Doug has decided he wanted to be a teacher, so he enrolled at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he received his B.A. in Education and History with minors in Philosophy and Politics Science in June 1960. He
    added Master Degrees in Elementary Education (University of Iowa, 1973) and History (University of Colorado, 1966) His interests included intramural sports, art, working as a porter for Yellowstone National Park in the summers of 1958 and 1959, and
    cheering for his hometown Chicago Cubs.

    His first stop in his career as an educator was a teaching job at Sheldon Christian School (Iowa) in the fall of 1960. That was extended to the job of principal in 1963. Doug remained in Sheldon Christian School in this teaching and administrative role
    for the school year ending 1977.

    During his tenure Doug was instrumental in many changes at Sheldon Christian School. These included the addition of the gymnasium to the school building, the expansion of athletic teams of which he was usually the coach and athletic director; the
    proponent of school plays and musicals, for which he did most of the set design; and the beginning of full school chapel services. He was also instrumental in organizing the Northwest Iowa Christian Schools Interscholastic competitions that included
    speech, spelling writing and music, and each spring Sheldon Christian hosted a track meet for area Christian Schools at Sheldon Public School facilities.

    On a personal level, Doug enjoyed interacting with his friends, students and extended family outside of the school setting. Based on his background, he organized weekly (or more) ice hockey games with high school kids at Smit’s Pit during the winters,
    played softball, golf, as well as down hill and x-county skied, taught a number of his students how to play chess, and of course his summertime travel.

    Doug left Sheldon for a job at Randolph Christian School in Randolph, Wisconsin, in 1977 and Sunrise Christian School in Anchorage, Alaska, in 1984.

    Doug quickly became enthralled with the people, places and wildlife of Alaska. He traveled extensively in the state and volunteered many summers at Denali Nation Park and spent many Christmas’s weeks with friends at the Arctic Circle Hot Springs
    swimming in up to 50-degree-below temperatures. He was also very happy when visitors from the lower 48 came to see him and he could be the tour guide.

    Doug also began his second career as an author and writer 1987 and became well known regionally in Alaska with his children’s books about Muscles the Moose and his Alaskan adventure novels aimed at teens. Doug also wrote many short stories for
    Christian-themed youth magazines. Doug was still actively writing into his eighties.

    His extensive travel took him places he never imagined he would see. He white-water rafted the Snake River Canyon, saw the Mona Lisa, attended five World Fairs, summered in New Zealand and generally covered most major cities in North America and places
    in between. He had many interesting stories of his adventures....

    (a few remembrances)

    (book covers)

    (reader reviews)

    (this includes a long quotation of his)


    "...I prefer to write in the morning when my mind is at its full power. To beginning writers I would say this: Find the time for you to do your best writing and try to work at that time every day. Have a good grasp of the mechanics of the English
    language, or the language you write in. Don't feel that you need to write a book; most of my success as a writer is from the sale of magazine stories and articles."


    Muscles, the Moose Calf, illustrated by Patricia Parker, Jade Ram Publishing (Anchorage, AK), 1989.

    Muscles Visits Anchorage, illustrated by Patricia Parker, Jade Ram Publishing (Anchorage, AK), 1990.
    Muscles, Bull Moose from Alaska, Jade Ram Publishing (Anchorage, AK), 1995. Gold Rush Runaway: A Historical Novel of Alaska Exploration and Adventure (young adult), Jade Ram Publishing (Anchorage, AK), 1997.
    Fevering for Gold: A Historical Novel about the 1900 Rush to Nome, Alaska (young adult), Jade Ram Publishing (Anchorage, AK), 1999.

    The Missing Fishing Lure: A Jason Pride Mystery, Publish America (Baltimore, MD), 2001.
    Enticed by Gold: A Historical Novel Based on the Founding of Fairbanks, Alaska, Publication Consultants (Anchorage, AK), 2003.
    Nathan's Hope: A Bethlehem Shepherd's Story, Pleasant Word (Enumclaw, WA), 2004.
    Matt Bugs Me! Eighteen Matt and Reggie Adventure Stories, Pleasant Word (Enumclaw, WA), 2005.

    Head Butting, 2011

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