Joseph Henry Doutre Jr.
Joseph Henry Doutre Jr. died Nov. 27, 2019, at Kootenai Health. He was born Sept. 26, 1936; the first child of Joseph Doutre Sr. and Clara Davis, in Ely, Nev. He grew up in Spokane, Wash., and in South Gate and San Jose, Calif. He attended North Central High School in Spokane, then the family moved to San Jose, where he attended Campbell High School. His father was a very well-known gunsmith and Joe learned much at his father’s gun shop, where rifles were custom-made to order with the measurements of the purchaser.
Joe joined the U.S. Navy on Feb. 15, 1955, and went to basic training at San Diego. He spent 16 years at sea in the Atlantic. He was assigned to destroyers as a machinist repairman. He requested West Coast assignments but was always assigned to the Atlantic Fleet and was based in Gorton, Conn., Newport News, Va. and Providence, R.I. He completed his 20 years and retired in San Jose.
He worked for Food Machinery Co. FMC as a machinist in San Jose, and at church, he met and married his wife, Sandra Cowgill, on May 29, 1976. This last spring they celebrated 43 years of marriage. They were not blessed with any children, but they share Sandy’s sister, Susie (John) Wanlass’ five children, and 19 grandchildren, all of Lehi and Saratoga Springs, Utah.
The stress of living in San Jose was causing problems for Joe because he had a traumatic brain injury from his service in the Navy. He had petit mal seizures that were increasing from the stress of city living, so they moved to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in July of 1977. They owned a large house in the Indian Meadows subdivision of Kootenai County, and soon began taking in teenage foster care children from the LDS Social Services. Over the years, they had more than 25 children stay with them at different times. Joe was happy to help these kids in their time of need.
Joe worked various jobs in the area and was active in volunteering in his church at the dairy. He was an assistant Boy Scout master for several years in the early 1980s. Joe was a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles #486 in Coeur d’Alene and served as their president in the late 1990s. He was also a member of the VFW 889 for almost 40 years. He was a member of the Disabled American Veterans Fort Sherman Chapter 9, and the American Legion Post 143 in Post Falls.
Sandy would like to thank Kelly Chase from Comfort Keepers, for many years of dedicated care for Joe.
Joe leaves behind his beloved wife, Sandra, and his beloved Shih Tzu, “Zeus,” who both miss him. He is preceded in death by his father, Joseph Sr.; his mother, Clara and his step-mother, Bertha and a baby sister, Carolyn. He leaves his sister Delsa (Joe) D’Amaro of Napa, Calif., and his brother, David, of San Jose.
Contributions in lieu of flowers are requested to be sent to Veterans of Foreign Wars 889 Building Fund, 406 N Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene, ID 83814.
Viewing hours for Joseph will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019, at English Funeral Chapel, 1133 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene. Services are 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2801 N. Fourth St., Coeur d’Alene. Joseph’s casket will be open for one hour prior to the service in the Relief Society Room. Flag presentation and taps will follow the service by the Kootenai Veterans Council. Interment will be at Washington State Veterans Cemetery, 21702 W. Espanola Road, Medical Lake, Wash.
Visit Joseph’s memorial and sign his online guest book at www.english funeralchapel.com