William Douglas Waddill was born January 25, 1941 to H. Peyton and Mary Barnett Waddill in Dallas, Texas. Doug was the 3rd of four children, 3 boys (Ed, Doug, and Steve) and a girl (Lanelle), born to a Presbyterian minister, Peyton, who was a strong role model for him. His mother Mary was one of nine children in a big, warm, close family that helped make that a priority throughout his life. While born in Dallas, they moved often for Peyton's job as he would get assigned to different churches in Texas, but Doug spent his most formative years in San Antonio and Jacksonville.
Attending elementary school in San Antonio, he had a funny encounter with a fellow 1st grader and young dancer named Annelle, getting invited to her house for a costume party to celebrate her 6th birthday. After knocking on the door dressed like the Lone Ranger, the young ballerina looked at Doug's cowboy hat and toy gun belt and exclaimed, "What kind of costume is THAT supposed to be?!", which made the young Doug cry. While just classmates then, that party would prove both coincidental and fateful.
Active in sports and boy scouts growing up, Doug made friends easily wherever they settled. His most distinct talent during his younger years was his singing voice. He nurtured that ability in church and school. His senior year, they moved to Austin where he attended and graduated from Austin High School, sang and was selected to All-State Choir.
Living on a pastor's wages, the family didn't take extravagant vacations but loved to camp and spend time outdoors. They travelled to Big Bend very early in Doug's life and camped there not long after it was designated a National Park. They would drive all the way out there in an unairconditioned station wagon, camp, hike and gaze at crystal clear night skies.
After high school, Doug followed in both his parents’ footsteps and attended Trinity University. It was there he was re-introduced to the strong-willed and attractive Annelle, where they began dating. The two of them complemented each other well, fell in love, and began a 52-year marriage while in school together. They were married December 19, 1961 in San Antonio. The young couple had their first of four children in 1963, a baby boy they named William Douglas Jr. (Bill). They later followed Doug’s jobs to Dallas in 1965, and then their biggest move to Philadelphia in November 1966. It was in Philadelphia where the rest of their young family took shape over the next 11 years, when Russell, Jeffrey, and Meredith were born, coincidentally replicating Doug's family life growing up with 3 boys and girl. They shared many great memories both together and with family that visited from Texas, as well as forged friendships that would last a lifetime. Doug and Annelle were, however, native Texans and the pull of family and heritage tugged hard, so they moved back to Texas in 1977, where they made Houston home for the next 35 years.
Always in sales, Doug had a natural ability to connect with people. When he moved to Philadelphia for a sales management position with an eyewear company, he befriended a partner in a small municipal bond brokerage firm and that chance meeting changed his career. This person hired Doug, taught him the bond brokerage business, and remained his friend for life. In fact, on a bucket list trip back to NYC in 2017, Doug took the train to Philadelphia just to visit his old friend who took a chance on him 50 years earlier.
One of the things he cherished most in his life were the trips to Pedernales Falls State Park, and later Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch, Guadalupe Mountain National Park and other spots in West Texas with his brothers Steve and Ed over a 25+ year span. Forged as children, they all had a love of that country and even more so, sharing the time in their campsite, hiking, cooking over an open fire, and talking underneath those West Texas star-filled nights.
Doug also grew up spending time on a family farm near Valley Mills on Hog Creek that became an instrumental part of his family heritage. For generations, Hog Creek has hosted a 4th of July family reunion for over a hundred people. He grew up camping on the banks of the creek, building the cabin that still stands, and nurturing relationships with extended family that very much shaped the gentle, warm-hearted, kind, friendly man and father that everyone grew to know and love.
Doug was preceded in death by his wife Annelle in 2014, and is survived by his son Bill and his wife Kathy and their two daughters, Abby and Olivia; his son Russ and his wife Elizabeth and their son, Thomas, and daughter, Sarah; his son Jeff and his wife Kristin and their son, Benjamin, and daughter, Kate; his daughter Meredith Miars and her husband Chris, and their four daughters, Hannah, Emma, Alexa, and Ava; and his sister Lanelle and his brother Steve.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that donations be made in his name to First Presbyterian Church in Waco, Texas. Memorial services are pending due to current circumstances.
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First Presbyterian Church of Waco
1100 Austin Ave, Waco TX 76701