Douglas William Huggins (1922 – 2018)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, and colleague. Douglas William Huggins was born in Calcutta, India, in 1922. After finishing boarding school at Taunton in Somerset, England, he joined the British Army Royal Engineers in 1941 where, after basic training, he was selected for officer training school and graduated with the rank of second lieutenant. Doug’s first posting was to a field squadron taking command (at the age of 18) of one of three troops with 65 men. At the end of the war, Doug was posted to Germany and joined an engineers’ unit charged with the cleanup of the concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen.

After marrying his sweetheart Mary (neé Richard), the two emigrated to Canada and settled briefly in Vancouver. Douglas worked as an architect and eventually moved to Vernon B.C., to begin a practice with colleague and friend Drew Allen. The partnership of Allen Huggins Architects was instrumental in building Vernon’s community infrastructure, through both private and public projects. Alongside their family and friends, Douglas and Mary founded the Powerhouse Theatre, now a nationally recognized company. In addition to overseeing the retrofit of the original building, Doug designed sets, acted (notably as the dame in multiple Christmas pantomimes), and tutored an extensive group of people, many of who are still involved with the organization. In 1970, Douglas was awarded the Eric Hamber trophy for his outstanding contribution to community theatre in British Columbia. Doug and Mary also travelled extensively, visiting six of the seven continents between 1975 and 2008.

In 2009, Douglas and Mary moved to Maple Ridge to be closer to their family. Although Mary moved to a nursing home in 2016, Douglas continued to visit her regularly, always a loving and caring husband.

Doug was predeceased by his parents (Harold and Muriel) and his sister Shelagh. He leaves behind his wife of over 70 years, Mary, as well as children Michael (Jennifer), Susan (Danny Sambol), and Peter (Leona). Douglas is also survived by grandchildren Jasmina (Steve Koga), Becky (Chris Soles), Sarah (Sim Desai), Chris, David (Tracey), Alex, and Sean, as well as nine beautiful great-grandchildren.

Special thanks is extended to the staff at Greystone Manor in Maple Ridge, for their love, care, and embracing of Doug’s immense spirit. A funeral service will be held at St. Patrick’s Church (22561 121st Ave), at 1:00 p.m. on May 3rd, with a reception to follow at Greystone Manor (11657 Ritchie Avenue, Maple Ridge).

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation in Douglas’ name.
Click here to donate to the Heart & Stroke Foundation

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Condolence Messages

  1. Our deepest condolences to you and your entire family – Deni & Greg James

  2. Doug Huggins was a true Renaissance man with passion and inspiration derived from his roots and upbringing . He imagined and created works of art in his buildings, his sets, his characters and mostly in the wonderful memories he has left us! We will miss you Doug with much love Heather and Richard Hooper

  3. With special thoughts and blessings to all Doug’s family. We loved him dearly. He brought me so much joy when he was on the stage — he truly was an award winning actor and set designer. His creative sets were what sets should be about — the best for all the actors to work/play on and bring joy to all who looked at them. He was so passionate and committed to everything he was involved in and we have Powerhouse Theatre because of him. My husband, Eugene, was truly blessed to have such an amazing and significant mentor. He was his hero and I know he will write more about that aspect. Truly, he will be missed and we are all better people because of his input into our lives. Sharon Leveque

  4. Doug welcomed me into the Powerhouse Theatre in 2002. I worked along side him and Mary for quite a few productions. He excelled at many things but my personal favourites were his roles in pantomime. His timing was flawless. I extend my sympathy to his family. He will be missed. Never forgotten.

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