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In Memory - Classmates

Doug Lesch

Doug Lesch

From Doug's wife:

It is with much sadness that I write to let you know that my husband and best friend, Doug, passed away Wednesday, July 15th. As you all know, he struggled with ALS for the last 10 years. The only light is that he is free of this devastating illness. We shared much love and happiness together and those are the times that I want to remember. Thank you for your friendship, support and concerns during the happy times and the difficult ones. May he be at peace, Donna 

Douglas W. Lesch


Doug Lesch, 69, of Bradenton, FL died July 15, 2015, at his home after a courageous struggle with ALS for ten years. He was born, May 6, 1946. For the majority of his life he resided in Montgomery County, Maryland. He retired from the Federal Government in 2003. He and his wife moved to Florida in 2011; paradise found for four beautiful years. Doug's favorite pastimes were cooking, baseball, coin collecting, horse races, and dining out at his favorite restaurant on Anna Maria Island. He is survived by his wife Donna Lesch; her daughters, Erika Vitiene and Gretchen Watkins and their families; sister Judy Sharple and husband, Steve, of Sarasota FL; daughter Aimee Schaech, and husband, Mark, Jr., of Elkridge MD; son Andrew Lesch and wife, Maja, of St. Paul MN and four grandchildren: Abigail, Stella, Mark, III and Edie. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions can be made to the ALS Association (http://www.alsa.org/donate/).
Published in The Bradenton Herald on July 24, 2015


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07/19/15 05:57 PM #1    

A. Catherine Ikenberry (Fawell)

I know I am one of many who will cherish Doug's friendship.  I have missed him since he went off line several months ago.  He was incredibly courageous and wise.  I think most of us will think of his attributes when we are called upon to face our own challenges.  I'm so thankful that he shared. 

07/20/15 02:59 PM #2    

Joanie Bender (Grosfeld)

Dear Donna,

I am so very sorry to hear the news. Your note reflects how much you and Doug loved each other. I hope you can feel peaceful memories sometimes to look back on.

Doug was an amazing classmate. He shared so much in this BCC Forum with everyone. What an terrific person and he had such courage. His posts were great. His love of his family was great. We are all thankful for Doug.. I am so very sorry to hear this sad news. We will miss him so much. Though sick he had a tremendous vitality of spirit. Again, I am so very sorry. Please take care.  Love, Joanie

07/21/15 10:08 AM #3    

Diane McChesney (Parfitt)

I have been struggling with my feelings the last few days since I read about Doug's passing. We are here in the DC area visiting our grandchildren and Donna's note came through. What a jolt even though not unexpected. We were prepared for this by Doug himself. His posts were among my favorites. Early on we debated issues like we did at BCC. At first we were only slightly aware of the struggle it took him to post his thoughtful and provocative ideas. We would send back a quick and snappy response and again he would always take the time to add a thoughtful response. I loved to tune in to read what he had to say. Reading back through them this morning I could see how he touched us all. He was struggling each time with the ravages of the dreadful disease ALS but he never complained. He inspired us. He always had loving comments to make about his dear wife Donna, who was there for him during this journey. We are all better for having been touched a little bit by getting to know him again 50 years later. This is the real measure that the BCC website has brought us. For times like this and to cherish the memories I hope we keep it going. Bless Doug for being a large part of it and much love and sympathy to Donna and their family. 

07/21/15 05:17 PM #4    

Deborah Brown

Thanks for letting us know about Doug, Donna. I was glad he was able to share his wise observations in our forum.  I will be thinking about you and your family.


07/22/15 05:23 PM #5    

Jay Cooper





Dear Deborah,

My heartfelt sympathy and comNdolences go out to u and ur children.  Doug was a wonderful, a classmate.  He will be missed but never forgotten.  


Jay Cooper

07/23/15 02:29 PM #6    

Michelle Hochman (Schuster)

Dear Donna, my heart goes out to you and your family. I, like so many of our classmates, grew to care about Doug so much. I always read every word he wrote and looked forward to his posts. If he was offline for a while I would worry and miss him and be so relieved when he was back. He was quite a special guy and gave us so much. He taught us a lot about life and how to live it when you get thrown some hard  challenges.

 I hope he, and you and your family, know how much he means to us. All my sympathy and friendship to you and your always, Michelle

07/25/15 05:58 PM #7    

Nancy Webster (Emery)

Dear Donna,

I know you and Doug put up a brave fight as he struggled day to day with ALS. We lived through the same circumstances with our son who had Muscular Dystrophy for 15 years. I also know you and your family will keep Doug close to you in your hearts and minds as you cherish many loving memories of him forever. .

 His wonderful and interesting posts on the BCC 64 class forum will truly be missed.

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Take care and stay strong

Nancy (Webster) Emery

07/26/15 06:01 PM #8    

Elena Jurgela

Donna,  My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.  We all looked forward to Doug's posts, and truly admired him.  His bravery inspired us all, and his loss leaves all who knew him devastated.  I know I will truly miss him.

07/26/15 08:57 PM #9    

Myra (Mickey) Epstein (Goldstein)

My deepest condolences to Doug's family.  I felt like I knew him through his posts; I'm sure they took amazing effort for him to compose them for his classmates.  For me, Doug was one of the highlights of the reunion.  What courage and character he showed.  Rest in peace, Doug.


Mickey (Epstein) Goldstein


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