Cover photo for Douglas Thurston's Obituary
1941 Douglas 2024

Douglas Thurston

October 13, 1941 — April 15, 2024


Doug was born October 13, 1941, and grew up on Missoula’s West side. His parents, Burwell and Dorothy Thurston, were kind & generous, giving Doug his most wonderful qualities – kindness, generosity & poise. He was in the first class that went to Missoula County High School, now called Sentinel. After working at the Bonner Mill for a short time after high school, he joined the Air Force and was stationed in Glasgow as an aircraft mechanic. Returning home after his service, he went on a blind date with Rosemary, who was a nursing student at St Pat’s Hospital. Eventually they married and were together for 56 years.

 Doug and Rosemary moved to Seattle, where Doug worked at Boeing for a few years before deciding he wanted to work on cars, a love of his. He ended up at the Mercedes dealership where he worked for 34 years. Sharing his love of cars, he was pit crew while his son Dave was racing cars, and even raced one year himself. Dave fondly recalls one of their father-son adventures, where the two of them drove from Seattle to Alabama to pick up an old Deuce military truck. Not only were the two of them able to get it running, but they drove it back to Seattle. Doug even drove it, which worried Rosemary, but they made it home, a little rattled and sore, but safe.

 Doug was always there for his kids, to help, give some advice, or just for some friendly teasing that went both ways. Dave got a new set of tongs and while cooking bacon, he nipped his dad on the nipple and boy, was Doug mad -as Dave says, “he was pissed.” That didn’t happen very often. Doug was a gentle, quiet man but when he was mad, watch out. Christine should have stayed away from his trucks! When Christine left for college, and every road trip that was taken, he would always say, “Don’t forget to get gas…and did you check your oil?” His way of saying - Be safe! 

Doug helped his Dad rebuild the Flathead Lake cabin after his grandfather’s old cabin burned. That cabin was where generations of family and friends enjoyed summers of swimming, skiing and lots of eating. After Doug and Rosemary moved to Seattle, vacations were spent there, which were always a special time for Doug and his family. Countless Sundays they stayed a just a “few more hours” so Doug could water ski because “the lake was like glass for the first time all week.” The boat would pass close to the dock and Doug would drop a ski, and after a couple more times around, he would glide to the beach, although sometimes a short swim was involved.

Doug helped anyone who asked for it and offered help if he thought they needed it. Though he was quiet when first meeting someone, after a bit he would he was giving people a hard time and always found a way to make them smile. After his stroke he could be hard to understand but he would still find a way to give his physical therapist a hard time. She always knew and she would laugh. Doug’s eyes were very expressive, especially when he raised one eyebrow in question – usually, “…where’s my mocha!” 

Thoughtful, caring and kind…these are words that describe Doug. He saw the good in everyone. Loving to his grandchildren Gavin, Sydney, Garrison and Hunter, the youngest, with whom he would cradle in his arms and both fell asleep in the recliner. 

We will miss that quiet, kind man who loved us all and whom we loved. 

He is survived by his wife Rosemary (Meagher), son David Thurston (Lisa), daughter Christine Thurston, grandchildren Gavin Moss, Sydney (Kaneff) Durheim (Clayton), Garrison Kaneff, Hunter Thurston and sister Judy (Thurston) Wahl.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Douglas Thurston, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, April 18, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Mountain time)

Garden City Funeral Home and Crematory

1705 W Broadway St, Missoula, MT 59808

Rosary will Start at 6:45pm

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, April 19, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

St Francis Xavier Catholic Church

420 W Pine St, Missoula, MT 59802

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Friday, April 19, 2024

Starts at 12:15 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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