McKeil, Douglas McCormick


Douglas McCormick McKeil (Doug)


It is with great sadness and loving memories we announce the peaceful passing, on
January 21st, 2023, of our Dad and Papa, Douglas McCormick McKeil. Doug was predeceased
by his beloved wife Helen (Muir) (2018), son Jamie (2003), and grandson Shawn Wood (2018)
(Sarah), and will be dearly missed by his daughter Peggy (Mike) and son Rob (Patricia),
grandchildren Kristin (Matt), Alanna (Justin), Emma and Erin, great-grandchildren Scarlett, Ivy,
and Liam, and his faithful dog, Maggie, all whom he loved and cherished. Also predeceased by
brothers Malcolm (Jean), Evans (Florence), and sister Sylvia Cameron (Bill), and survived by
sister-in-law Betty Ann Noakes and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Doug was born in Pugwash, Nova Scotia on September 12th, 1931 to William and Olive
McKeil, and was always a proud Maritimer. After leaving for Hamilton at the age of 17, Doug
worked briefly at Stelco then moved onto marine construction. It was while working in Thunder
Bay that he met the love of his life, Helen. They married and moved many times in Quebec and
Eastern Ontario as Doug worked on the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway, then with two
young children in tow, they settled once and for all in a house built in Ancaster by his father,
William and brother-in-law, Bill. Here, as Doug worked at Standard Engines to achieve his diesel
mechanic license, another son arrived.
Doug then used his remarkable skills and knowledge to refit, modify, and build tug boats,
barges and other marine equipment at his brother’s growing business, Evans McKeil Work Boats
(now McKeil Marine). His coworkers were a hard-working group who became lifelong friends
that relied on and trusted each other with their lives.
In retirement, Doug enjoyed the hours spent building radio controlled boats, often
outfitted with sails sewed by Helen, then Sunday morning launches at Fifty Point with his sailing

group. Doug and Helen together enjoyed golf, gardening and road trips, discovering little towns
in Ontario and meeting up with family and friends for lunch and catching up.
When Helen was diagnosed with dementia, Doug took on the challenge of caring for her,
learning everything he could about her disease. With his exemplary care she was able to stay in
their home longer than expected. He was by her side every day until she passed. Losing Helen
took the wind out of his sails.
Dad’s quiet, easy going manner, his sense of humour, and the way we didn’t need to live
up to his expectations, but wanted to live up to his example made him the kind of person you
could only hope to have as a father, grandfather, great grandfather, and friend. We will miss you
We would like to thank the staff at the Brantford General Hospital for their wonderful
care. In keeping with Doug’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family service will
take place at Bayview Cemetery and Mausoleum in the Spring.
Please go to to sign the book of condolences.



2 replies
  1. Tim McKeil
    Tim McKeil says:

    I worked with Doug quite a bit, off and on, from the mid seventies through to his retirement.
    He was, to us younger people, a generation behind, one of the old guys to whom we had great reverence for, regardless of how our behaviour might have hidden that.
    Doug was one of those who always had a something steady and even to say when getting in front of a problem, setting us off on a path that had a chance of success.
    I hope that some of us can bring some of Doug along with us to pass on.

  2. tom russell
    tom russell says:

    From working on the tugs in Hamilton my wife Joan and I got to know Douglas and his family for far too short a time. Douglas was every thing that has already been expressed, and much, much more. Doug, you have enriched our lives and we will never, never forget you.


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