Cover photo for Douglas "Dug" Waterman's Obituary
Douglas "Dug" Waterman Profile Photo
1939 Douglas 2021

Douglas "Dug" Waterman

April 26, 1939 — July 14, 2021

Douglas “Dug” Waterman passed away on July 14, 2021, at the age of 82, with his wife of 54 years and two children by his side. Dug was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico after his parents, Lawrence and Jessie Waterman, made an all-night dash for the hospital from rural Reserve, New Mexico. Dug was raised in Santa Fe, and attended Colorado State University, Fort Collins. He found his calling as an educator during his service in the U.S. Army, and earned a Masters in Special Education from Arizona State University.

Dug met the love of his life, Donna Waterman (née Rummens) at ASU, and followed her to Davis, CA where she enrolled in grad school. Dug and Donna made their life together in Davis, and Dug taught work experience for special education high school students in the Sacramento City School District for 36 years.

A man averse to change, Dug was famous for driving a 1962 Ford Falcon, wearing a watch he won as a child, and never, ever owning a cell phone. He gained international renown for solo biking historic Route 66—without a cell phone—on his 66th birthday while raising money for Habitat for Humanity, a feat memorialized in his book, It Only Hurts When I Sit Down. As a long-distance runner, Dug outlasted much of his competition, winning age-group awards into his 70s. He deeply embraced his role as the purveyor of “dad” jokes and bad puns, which he passed down to his children and grandchildren.

Dug’s compassion for others and thoughtful kindness was expressed through his philanthropy and commitment to service. With Donna he founded the Work Week, a summer senior high mission trip, which he led for over twenty years. He was always willing to extend a hand, preferably if it involved lifting, painting, or hammering.

Dug was preceded in death by his parents, and is survived by his sister Lynn, his brothers Kim and Chris, his wife Donna, his children Ryan Waterman (Julia Roller) and Darlene Oertle (Dean Oertle), and his three grandchildren Ben, Luke, and Kate. In lieu of flowers, donations in Dug’s memory can be made to Self-Help Enterprises ( or the Crisis Nursery of Yolo County (

A service in memory of Dug will be held on August 21 at 2 p.m. at Davis Community Church, 412 C St., Davis. Due to the pandemic, seating is limited and must be reserved before the service. To register, go to the church website at .

For those that cannot attend in person, the service will be live-streamed at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Douglas "Dug" Waterman, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Davis Community Church

412 C St, Davis, CA 95616

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