Malcolm (Ted) Douglas Was Kind, Caring Man

Malcolm Edward Douglas, known to all as Ted, died Sept. 30 in Boston, from cardiac failure.

The only son of the late Capt. Ned (Edward Mills) Douglas and the late Katherine (Kaye) Willauer Douglas, Ted was born in New York city on Oct. 30, 1943. Along with his older sisters, Katherine (Kate) Douglas Romanski, now of Hales Corners, Wisc., and Elizabeth (Betty) Mills Douglas of Waukesha, Wisc., he spent his childhood summers at the family home on West Chop Road in Vineyard Haven, and later resided there year-round for a time.

Ted attended the University of Denver, graduating in 1967 and moved back east. He helped establish the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Rockland, Me., and worked for the school for several years. He purchased a home in Dedham and spent a short period time in automotive sales in the greater Boston area, but soon decided to go into business on his own, doing high quality interior painting. He liked working alone and took great pride in his work, often becoming friends with his clients. As with everything he did, Ted studied and learned this profession from all sorts of masters and delivered superior results.

Later, Ted channeled a long love affair with classic American automobiles into his specialty firm, Western Chrome. In essence, this translated into bits and pieces of chrome and other items used to refurbish, restore and enhance the great old cars of the American past. His business took him away from the rust-covered junk yards of the Eastern Seaboard to the drier reaches of the vast American West, including Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Along the way, in pursuit of various chrome "treasures" over the years, Ted made friends from all walks of life. Heading west in his empty Dodge pickup, he'd often stop by to visit. Or, if his stop came en route home, you probably would find him washing western dust off a collection of elderly chrome bumpers in your yard or basement. He'd then carefully repack them in the truck for the return east to Dedham, with perhaps a stop at the car shows in Carlisle, Pa. No one who knew Ted was ever surprised to enter his Dedham home and find the living room full of chrome and other odds and ends waiting to be sorted out.

Ted never married, but his friends were legion and he became god-parent to many children. When you speak of a "favorite uncle," Ted was eminently qualified - he loved children and they him. He was kindness itself to so many people and was an advocate for all. His loving character, commitment and generosity endeared him to everyone.

In addition to his sisters, Ted is survived by his stepmother, Jane Connor Douglas of West Chop; a nephew, Thomas A. Romanski of Pleasant Prairie, Wisc., and Willauer cousins Whiting R. Willauer and Sally Willauer Nash of Nantucket, Peter O. Willauer and W. Bradford Willauer of Prouts Neck, Me., Charles H. Willauer of Boston, Andrew Willauer of Nantucket, and Eliot B. Willauer Jr. of Hawaii, who are the children of old West Chop residents Whiting, Osborne and Eliot Willauer.

Ted's 59th birthday would have been Oct. 30th. There will be a memorial service at 3 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Dedham for everyone who knew him and was part of his life. Contributions in his memory may be made to The Ted Douglas Memorial Scholarship at the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, 75 Mechanics street, Rockland, ME 04841.