We have been overwhelmed by the good wishes and wonderful stories so many of you have shared with us. For us, Doug was a great brother and son, along with being a meticulous pilot, a pioneering engineer, and a giver of time and talent.

Most importantly, thank you for your friendship and generosity at this difficult time. Doug would have wanted all of us to celebrate and embrace the life he lived – he lived it well.

The Bourn Family

Saturday, February 27, 2010

An amazing, kind, generous, caring and tender man.

posted on behalf of Ana Hays

Doug and I met two years ago at Beer Friday at Devil’s Canyon Brewery when he spied me in my Salinas Rodeo T-shirt. After a brief chat, as I was on my way to get a beer, I excused myself. Not one to miss an opportunity, Doug thrust his Tesla business card in my hand and said, “Give me a call if you would like to go out.” I returned later, beer in hand, and spent several hours with him and his friends, who all tried to sell me on the thrills and finer points of jumping out of planes. With an innate fear of heights and not particularly fond of flying, I was a hard sell. A few weeks later, I emailed Doug stating that if he still remembered me, I’d love to go out with him, but that I was not accustomed to calling guys for a first date. He promptly called and since then we have dated on and off for the past two years.

For our first date, Doug flew me to the Livermore airport for lunch. It was the best of both worlds for us—I a golfer got to look out on to a fairway and he the passionate pilot who skillfully flew me there. On our second date we flew to Napa for dinner at his favorite restaurant—Jonesy’s Famous Steak House. Returning that night from Napa, Doug encouraged me to try my hand at flying over Mt. Diablo. I lasted a minute not comfortable with the feel of air under me as opposed to rubber tires on a road. Missing Burning Man that year, over Labor Day he flew me in high winds over the Sierra for a dreadfully bumpy ride so we could eat our way through the Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off. And last September… I almost jumped with him from a plane! But waking with a panic attack I took a rain-check.

Traveling with wheels on the road, Doug liked to drive us to our destinations on his motorcycle, which was equally as scary to me. Without a “sissy-bar” on back, I had to hang on to him for what I considered dear life with a slightly too large helmet he gave me to wear tightly strapped to my neck so it wouldn’t slip, as it often did, up over my eyes blocking my view of the landscape and road below us careening by. What I love about Doug is that he was always pushing me out of my comfort zone.

Doug and I shared a love of movies, and the last time I saw him on Valentines Day, we ate at Pedro’s and went to see The Edge of Darkness at the Mercado with Mel Gibson. Doug thought the movie odd, maybe I deduced later, because it dealt with two deaths. I on the other hand loved it, because in the end Mel’s deceased daughter’s spirit comes to guide him as he dies. Because of my beliefs about the afterlife and other experiences with death, I know that Doug’s brother was there for him on that fateful day.

A running joke with Doug and I was his peculiar habit of not phoning when he said he would. The night after our last date, Doug surprised me with a call. Unfortunately my ringer was accidentally turned off. Later listening to his voice mail, I laughed with him when he chuckled and said, “I’ll call you later in the week! My famous last words!”

In the moments I am struck with disbelief and grief, I remind myself that Doug was an amazing man—a friend and mentor to many—and that he left this world doing what he loved most—flying a plane! If we could all be so lucky! Doug was the most kind, generous, caring and tender man I have yet to meet. And I am so grateful for his wonderful adventurous spirit that graced my world and for the times he flew in and out of my life.

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