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Douglas Till

Douglas Charles Till

November 23rd, 1949 - July 25th, 2022

Douglas's Obituary

Douglas Charles Till was born November 23rd, 1949 to Leonard "Junior" Till and Mary (Nelson) Dillingham in South Haven. His "work hard, play hard" ethic started on the family homestead located on 16th Avenue. His first job was feeding the coal furnace and removing the ash and clinkers. It was on this job site that he was caught smoking a stolen unfiltered Pall Mall. That didn't mar his record and he was soon promoted to assisting his maternal grandfather with area deliveries on the beer truck. He prided himself on being able to carry a full keg on his shoulder at the age of 13.

Doug graduated from South Haven High School in 1968. He completed Army Boot Camp at Fort Knox, Kentucky, married Chari (Krogel) Williams and headed to AIT at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. An honorable discharge returned him to South Haven where he fathered three daughters; Rebecca, Susan and Kimberly.

While working as a janitor at Palisades Nuclear Plant in the early 70's he saw a job posting for an operator position and applied believing it to be an operator of heavy equipment. With just a high school diploma and a DD-214 he was able to gain placement in the Nuclear Reactor Operator program and proudly passed the NRC licensing exam in 1976 in Groton, CT.

He was instrumental in nuclear power plant startups in Brazil and Yugoslavia in the 1980's. Upon returning stateside he worked at many nuclear facilities over the years including; San Onofre, Turkey Point, Soddy Daisy, Peach Bottom, Davis Besse, Calvert Cliffs and DC Cook.

On August 14th, 1990 he married Deanna (Vilims) Compton and became stepfather to sons Neil, Hank and Dean Compton. During Doug and Dee's 32 years of marriage they resided in South Haven, Kalamazoo and most recently in Palm City, Florida.

In November of 2016, after having accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, Doug was blessed with a “certified used heart". He celebrated his 5th year as a heart transplant recipient in November of 2021.

His "play hard" stories are too numerous to mention but, some of his highlight reel include: having his front teeth kicked in by a Marine after making a pass at said Marine's girl, owning and piloting an ultralight airplane and surviving a crash in a tomato field, being jailed in Italy for speeding in his Alfa Romeo Montreal and being a movie extra in the film The Winds of War.

Douglas is preceded in death by his parents, brother Nicholas Till, and granddaughter Bronagh Barber. He is survived by wife Deanna, daughters, Rebecca (Troy) Fear, Susan Till and Kimberly Barber, sons Neil (Kim), Hank (Morgan) and Dean Compton and twelve grandchildren. Sister Cyndee (Dave) Robertson, brothers Jim (Charmaine) Till, Blane Dillingham and Rich Dillingham.

Doug's humor, wit, legendary storytelling, perfectly timed puns, patriotism, and overall "charm" will always be loved and remembered. To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die.

We ask that you join us for a celebration of Doug's life on Friday August 12th from 4p to 8p at 05483 County Road 687 (66th Street) South Haven, Michigan. Please come armed with your favorite Doug stories and be ready for laughter through tears. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Doug's memory can be made to the donor's choice.

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