Ed Douthitt passed into history Sunday May 6, 2018.
He was born in Wheatland Wyoming, March 5, 1922 to Ed and Minnie Douthitt. He spent his early years on a homestead in that area, and enjoyed riding horseback, and staying at line shacks. His parents moved frequently after they gave up on the homestead, eventually settling in Denver, Colo.
Ed joined the army in 1940 and ended up in an engineering company. After Pearl Harbor was bombed and WWII started, he helped build the Alaska Highway. His outfit specialized in building bridges and setting up ferry crossings on the many rivers along that route. After that project was completed Ed volunteered to participate in the European invasion. He left that outfit for combat training and landed at Normandy as a combat army engineer. He stayed in Europe until 1948.
Upon returning to the states he started truck driving, which became his lifelong vocation. While living in Great Falls in the early 1950s, he met and eventually married Doris Olson who was originally from Parshall, N.D.
They had one son, Mike in 1956. As a family they enjoyed camping, fishing, and exploring the ghost towns of the northwest. Snow skiing and motorcycle riding were some father son activities that he enjoyed.
As an owner operator he had many routes. Ed often drove truck on the Alaska Highway, which he had helped to build years earlier. Ed earned his Private Pilot’s license in 1950 and eventually earned his commerc ial, instrument, and seaplane ratings. Ed maintained his pilot’s license until age 87 and had owned many airplanes over the years.
When the Alaska oil pipeline project started up he moved to Fairbanks and started driving the haul road to Prudhoe Bay/Dead Horse. Ed eventually retired as a Teamster from Local 959, many years later. While living in Fairbanks he would hire out to a local flight service to fly hunters into the remote bush country.
After retirement from the teamsters, he continued to drive truck as an owner operator and he returned to Great Fall, Mont. where he lived with his wife Doris.
Both Doris and Ed eventually moved to Butte, Mont., to be closer to their son Mike. At age 87, Ed sold his last truck and fully retired. While living in Butte he volunteered at the local food bank, and enjoyed contributing to society in that capacity.
Ed was preceded in death by his brother Daniel, and his wife Doris Douthitt.
He is survived by his son Mike and grandchildren Ann, John, and Jennifer Douthitt, all of Butte.
ln accordance with his requests, cremation has taken place at Butte Crematories.
Axelson Alternative Cremation is privileged to serve Ed’s family.