Doug Black - 82 years old passed away March 12, 2016
Come Join Us In A celebration of Doug's life . Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 from 5pm to 8 pm. at the American Legion Post # 35 2240 West Chandler Blvd. Chandler, Az. 85224 outdoors at the Garden Pavilion area ( Just West of Dobson Rd. on Chandler Boulevard )
Dress Casual and come mingle with all of his family and friends. Be sure to bring your best memories, jokes and stories along to share with us in celebration of his life. There will be free food and beverages available for all and The Mountain Rescue Honor Guard will be performing a bagpipe salute to their fallen member along with other tributes to this great man's life.
Father, Business Owner, Rock Climbing pioneer in the Phoenix area and one of the founding members of the Arizona Mountaineering Club and the Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association (CAMRA), and avid Sailor, passed away on Saturday, March 12th 2016 in Chandler after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne, children David Black-Gomes, Thomas “Tom” Black, John Black, Martin “Rand” Black and Susan Falcon as well as 6 Grand children and 4 Great Grand children.
Doug moved to the valley with his parents in 1950 from Minneapolis, MN and later served in the Navy aboard the aircraft carriers USS Hornet and USS Bon Home Richard. He returned to the valley and started his own welding shop in 1967, that specialized in steel stairs and railings and his specialty, custom spiral staircases. Always ready he worked with the 7th step foundation giving ex-convicts that much needed first job after they served their time in Arizona State prison.
Doug was one of the early members of the Arizona Mountaineering Club. He is remembered as a hero that along with other club members, was frequently called upon by Phoenix Fire Dept. to rescue stranded and injured hikers and climbers from Camelback Mtn., Piestewa Peak, Pinnacle Peak and the Superstition wilderness area, in the 60's. They later formed the Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association (CAMRA) which became a Maricopa County Sheriffs Posse. He helped establish a rock climbing school along with other members of the Arizona Mountaineering club and later the Mountain Rescue Team, training men and women to properly and safely climb for sport. The team trained Phoenix Fire Dept., Pinal County Sheriffs, Grand Canyon Search and Rescue and other agencies in mountain climbing and mountain rescue techniques with CAMRA and he held Officer posts in both CAMRA and the National Mountain Rescue Association and helped to develop some of the technical hardware such as pulley and belay systems used to this day in Mountain Rescue. He brought the idea of using ATV wheels mounted on the stretchers for transporting victims through rugged terrain to the valley after seeing one at a National Mountain Rescue Conference in Washington state and was the first to begin mounting them on stretchers for use here in the valley. They are now standard equipment for Search and Rescue teams everywhere.
As a sailor, Doug bought his first boat while in the Navy and smuggled it on board the Aircraft carrier. He would break it out when they were moored in port and sail around as much as he could. In the 60's the family purchased several sailboats including a Coronado 15' which they regularly sailed on Lake Pleasant. He joined the Arizona Yacht Club (yeah you probably didn't know such a thing existed) and along with his son, John, they raced the boat in regattas at Lake Pleasant with the club.
Doug sold his business and home in 1978 and bought a fully ocean ready Coronado 41' Sailboat in Michigan and sailed it through the Great Lakes, the Erie Canal, down the East coast, through the Gulf of Mexico, The Panama Canal and up the West coast to Ventura Ca.. where he lived and sailed for several years taking trips as far away as Hawaii and British Columbia. He frequently sailed the Channel Islands off the California coast, one of his favorite places. In 1986 he bought land in Steinhatchee, Fl. and moved the boat there. He remained there for 21 years, starting his Wrought Iron company back up and volunteering with the local fire dept. until 2014 when his health brought him back to Arizona to stay with his son, John in Chandler.
Doug Black Ring Angle piton Galvanized ring c.1962-1963 Donated by Wally Vegors