Douglas Peter Mandel was born August 9, 1947 and was raised on a large ranch in the Badlands of North Dakota, the eldest of three brothers. There he developed a deep love for the outdoors and a good natured sense of humor. He rode tall in the saddle. Mounted on “Tumbleweed” he looked like John Wayne, if you squinted a bit and the sun was behind him. He was the 1965 valedictorian of his Watford City, ND High school class. Doug attended the University of Idaho for a year before being appointed to the Naval Academy in 1966.
While at the Academy, Doug was known as “DP” by his Company mates. He was a consistent participant in company sports, playing on the Fieldball and Softball teams. His real battles, however, took place not on the playing field, but on the desk top and in the classroom. Academics were a constant challenge that brought out Doug’s most determined efforts while at the Academy. Doug was known to his classmates as a calm, quiet and unassuming man, who was always willing to help. He was a gentle giant with a smoking pipe in his mouth, well-worn slippers propped on his desk and a book resting comfortably in his lap, most of the time with his eyes open. Doug would do anything for anyone who needed his help, but was reluctant to let others know when he was in need. Doug was one of those rare and noble men whose kindness and selflessness supported others from a quiet character centered on self-imposed anonymity. Doug, while being soft spoken, chose his words carefully and when he did say something, it was always worth hearing and frequently was a humorous reflection on life.
After leaving the Academy, Doug migrated to Portland, OR, where his family had moved, following the sale of their North Dakota ranch. Doug even convinced his Maryland sweetheart, Kathy, to come out to Oregon and marry him. They raised three children together while Doug supported them as a landscape contractor.
When he was 29, Doug was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He survived the subsequent surgery, but unfortunately passed away about six months later on February 2, 1982. He fought the illness as hard as he fought with his brothers and as hard as he fought to stay in Annapolis. Throughout this struggle, Doug maintained his focus, sense of humor and positive attitude to the end. Doug left behind his wife and two children, two brothers and his parents. He is missed by all who knew him.
Updated: November 11, 2018
Curator: Ed Moore