Herald Journal Obituaries

Douglas R. Kugler, 53

Douglas R. Kugler, age 53 of Watertown, died Wednesday morning, June 15, 2005 at his home, where he was recovering from surgery performed in April for an abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Doug was born Aug. 11, 1951 at Wadena.

Doug was employed as a science educator at Watertown-Mayer High School for 19 years.

He began his teaching career in 1978 at Mazeppa High School, after graduating from St. Cloud State University with a comprehensive science major and a chemistry minor. While at Mazeppa, Doug taught a number of science courses and was assistant football, wrestling, and track coach.

Doug was hired at Watertown-Mayer High School in 1986 to teach biology, ecology, and physical science. He also coached junior high wrestling, serving as assistant coach for three years and co-head coach with Joe Traen for nine years. In addition, he was assistant track coach at W-M from 1986 to 1999. He retired from coaching in 1999, after 21 years.

Doug received several honors as a science educator during his career, among them the University of Minnesota Outstanding Science Teacher Award in 2002. He was named Teacher of the Year in the W-M School District in 1991, Teacher of the Year by the W-M Student Council in the mid-1990s, and also honored by Resource Training and Solutions as Teacher of the Year at the Educational Excellence Awards banquet in 2001.

His educational career took him into the area of ecology. He and other teachers started an Ecology Club which included a recycling program for the school district, as well as the community.

Doug was very active in the W-M Education Association, serving as its president the past three years, and previously serving as chief negotiator for the teachers’ association.

An eloquent speaker, Doug was often asked to speak at school functions, and as a eulogist for funerals.

One of Doug’s favorite hobbies was gardening. For many years, he and fellow educator Mike O’Brien shared a garden plot on school property, raising an abundant amount of produce that was shared with many.

He is survived by his loving wife of 19 years, Tamie; four children: Shawn (Julie), Nat, Sam, and Cora; two grandchildren, Greta and Sara; his father, Bob; three sisters, Susan (Scott) Ebersole, Pam (Dennis) Prindle, and Deb (Rob) Newcombe; mother- and father-in-law Dale and Leila Bothun; and other relatives, friends, and students.

Funeral services were Monday, June 20 at the Watertown-Mayer High School with the Rev. Robert Ericson of Trinity Lutheran Church of Watertown officiating.

Speaking at the funeral were Doug’s sister, Debbie Newcombe; his three sons, Shawn, Nat, and Sam; Jim Borer, and Jim Erickson.

Soloist was Linda Yantes, and pianist was Kunjorn Chambundabongse, with instrumental music by Peter Jacobson and Ellen Kniebel.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Doug’s family to start a scholarship fund.

Arrangements were by Iten Funeral Home, Watertown.

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