Douglas Keene


Douglas “Doug” C. Keene, 78, died peacefully Thursday December 17, 2020 at Halifax Hospice Center in Orange City after a 6 year fight with Lewy Body Disease.  He was surrounded by his wife and daughters.


Doug leaves his wife Barbara of 55 years, daughter Jenny Fogle andhusband Danny, daughter Amy Howe and husband Chris, grandchildren Daniel, Jessica, Forrest, Ashley, Lauren and Scott, great granddaughter Hannah, brother Jeffrey Keene, niece Elizabeth and nephew Jeff.


He is preceded in death by his parents Henry and Elizabeth Keene, brother Richard and grandson Gage. 


Born in Oceanside, NY on March 25, 1942, Doug spent his early years as an avid reader learning about wildlife and their habitats.  As a young boy who stuttered, Doug found kindness in animals and nature that was sometimes lacking in his peers.  His love for animals and passion for the outdoors later expanded from land to sea.  He learned to scuba dive and discovered the beauty of coral reefs and life in the ocean.  He developed a lifelong goal to protect the environment and was later given the nickname Father Nature by his friends and family. 


As a teenager, music became an important part of Doug's life.  His talent for singing emerged on a high school stage where he placed 2nd in the annual variety show.  In the years to come he played the guitar and wrote music and lyrics to accompany his beautiful voice.  Much of his music, inspired by his love of the environment, will remain a legacy to his kindhearted way.  


Doug began a career with Eastern Airlines as a ramp service man that expanded for over 20 years.  In 1968 he transferred to Miami International Airport turning the page to a new chapter of study in Florida's warm climate.  It is here that his intrigue with tropical plants and collecting seeds from all over the world began. After moving to DeLand in 1980, he became a master gardener, a member of the Central Florida Palm Society and also served on the Deland Tree Advisory Committee.  His Deland home site evolved into a global greenhouse and is a testament to his love of plants from all over the world. In the early ‘90’s, Doug went back to school at Daytona Beach Community College to further his knowledge in botany and biology. Doug later worked for Volusia County Road and Bridge and retired in 2009.


Throughout the years, Doug involved himself in the fight for racial and social justice.  With his wife Barbara by his side, he walked in countless marches, volunteered hours of his time and wrote letters to the editor of various newspapers.  He wanted to make the world better for all people.  As one of his heroes John Lewis said, “Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”  That he did.


Doug often said, “It’s my goal in life to make someone laugh every day.” His quick wit and wonderful sense of humor, spot on impersonations and mischievous look put a smile on the face of all that were near him. He loved his family and friends and spent much precious time with his children and grandchildren instilling the gift of kindness, compassion, love of life and laughter in each.  Our hearts are filled with a lifetime of laughter and love from this special man. A celebration of life will be held on a later date.