The Rev. Douglas Freese Dorchester died peacefully on Nov. 1, All Saints’ Day, at Thirwood Place Retirement Community in South Yarmouth. He was 91.

He was the son of The Rev. Donald H. Dorchester and his wife, Mary F. Dorchester. Doug was predeceased by his two brothers, John W. Dorchester and Malcolm L. Dorchester, as well as his oldest son, James A. Dorchester, formerly of Trescott, Maine. Douglas was a descendant of William Brewster, John and Priscilla Alden, William Bradford, Thomas Rogers and Richard Warren of the Mayflower.

He was the husband of Janice Potter Dorchester for just short of 70 years. High school sweethearts from Windsor, Conn., Doug and Jan raised five children and they lived where his career led them, including Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. Doug and Jan spent many wonderful years, including their retirement, in the family home that they had built in 1963 on the Lagoon Pond in Oak Bluffs. More recently, they lived in Monument Beach and later settled at Thirwood Place Retirement Community, where Doug shared his passion for life and storytelling with his friends within the Thirwood community. He never missed sending a birthday card to another Thirwood resident.

Doug was a man of faith with an unwavering conviction that would always make his opinions known to others. He was a passionate sailor and recreational fisherman throughout his life. Some of his most enjoyable moments always included one of his many boats throughout the years as well as his beloved children and grandchildren, who all have that same love for the ocean and boating. He was very pleased to have been recently blessed with three great-grandchildren and was also very proud that the Dorchester name would be carried on by the next generation.

The family will always remember the many trips for soft-serve ice cream during those unforgettable summer times on the Vineyard, usually in one of his beloved Ramblers. While living full-time on Martha’s Vineyard, he was president of the interdenominational Neighborhood Convention, president of the Lagoon Pond Association, president of the Scottish Society of Martha’s Vineyard, and clerk of the Vineyard Nursing Association. He was affiliated with Trinity United Methodist Church in the Oak Bluffs Camp Ground, where he and his wife sang faithfully in the choir and he also served as co-chairman of the capital needs campaign to renovate the historic church.

Rev. Dorchester served as a chaplain in the Navy during World War II.

Doug was very proud of his Scottish ancestry, a part of the Clan Macintosh. Doug and Jan traveled to England and Scotland aboard the Queen Elizabeth and Cunard Line during several trips abroad and were able to trace the family roots of both their families.

Born and raised in Connecticut, he graduated from Loomis School in Windsor, from Wesleyan University in Middletown, and from Yale Divinity School in New Haven. He was valedictorian at Loomis and Phi Beta Kappa at Wesleyan, and served as a chaplain in the Navy during World War II. His career featured a wide range of ministries from the local parish to the denominational level. For over 20 years he served as executive secretary of the Board of Education in Southern New England and Northern New Jersey. During this period he also served in a variety of ecumenical positions. While in New Jersey, he always made time for the family to take in the latest Broadway musical, with a special fondness for Radio City Music Hall and Tad’s Steak House. Doug was also extremely proud of his contributions at Camp Aldersgate, while working for the Northern New Jersey Conference.

Survivors include his wife, Janice P. Dorchester, and their four remaining children: Dee Engley of Hatchville; Ellen Langwig and her husband Russ of Schoharie, N.Y.; Marcy Dorchester of Albuquerque, N.M.; and Don Dorchester and his wife Tina of West Yarmouth. Additional survivors include Doug’s brother, Rev. Charles D. Dorchester and his wife Mary of Kenduskeag, Maine; six grandchildren: Marcus Engley and his wife Anastasia of Seattle, Wash.; Rhobie Currie and her husband Tom of Balston Spa, N.Y.; Jason Dorchester of West Warwick, R.I.; Kate Langwig of Melrose; Davita McDonnell and her husband Andrew of Albuquerque, N.M.; and Chris Dorchester of West Yarmouth; three great-grandchildren: Brannen Currie and twins Desmond and Evelyn Currie of Balston Spa, N.Y. He is also survived by two nieces: Susan Potter of Brattleboro, Vt. and Jeanne Smith, of Miami, Fla., and four nephews: Byron Dorchester and his wife Nancy of West Hartford, Conn.; Daniel Dorchester and his wife Wendy of Mt. Pleasant, S.C.; Jeff Potter and his partner Betsy Dawn of Northampton; and Robert Dorchester and his wife Sue of Gainesville, Fla. Doug also had many Dorchester cousins throughout the U.S. and Western Canada.

Interment will be private at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. A memorial service will be held on Dec. 12 at 11 a.m. at Thirwood Place, 237 North Main Street, South Yarmouth. The service will be held in Kingsbury Hall Auditorium, followed by refreshments and fellowship.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the South Yarmouth United Methodist Church, 324 Old Main Street, South Yarmouth, MA 02664 or to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115.

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