Douglas C. Shaheen, 93, of Cedar Rapids, fell asleep in Christ on Sept. 23, 2018. There is great comfort knowing he is reunited with loved ones who have gone before and whom he has greatly missed.
Services are at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, at St. George Orthodox Church. The Rev. Fred Shaheen will officiate. Burial with military rites at St. George Cemetery. There will be a visitation on Friday, Oct. 5, from 4 to
7 p.m. at St. George Orthodox Church where a Trisagion will be held at 7 p.m.
Douglas was one of seven children born to Thomas and Sophia Shaheen. He spent his very early years enjoying small-town life in Conger, Minn. He liked to reminisce about his Minnesota roots,
his grandparents' grocery store and the wonderful clan of relatives who lived nearby.
Business opportunity, and an already well-established Lebanese community, brought the Shaheen family to Cedar Rapids. This move introduced him to Mamie Oberthien, his future wife. Douglas graduated from Roosevelt High School, where he was active in many activities, especially football. Following military service in World War II, Douglas and Mamie were married and blessed with 68 years together before Mamie's death in 2014.
Douglas will be remembered for his easy smile, warm heart and gentlemanly ways. He was a good man. And there can be no doubt that he was a proud grandfather who adored his grand- and great-grandchildren. Time well spent for him meant any time with his family. As Douglas loved his grandchildren, they in turn honored him with their love and attention, especially during his lonely years without Mamie. There is an enduring legacy of love between this grandfather and his grandchildren. God meant them for each other and our hearts are grateful for this blessing.
Military service and patriotism were cornerstones in Douglas' life. He was the proud son of an immigrant who bravely served his country during World War II and beyond. Douglas began his military career as a forward observer/field lineman with the 63rd U.S. Infantry Division "Blood and Fire." His service took him to the battlefields of Germany, Austria and France during intense days of fighting. He was awarded two Bronze stars and was recognized for saving the lives of fellow soldiers when caught behind enemy lines. His battalion liberated Nazi subcamps attached to the Kaufering concentration camp complex. Douglas and his fellow 63rd Division soldiers were invited to the Iowa Statehouse, where the French government presented them with a certificate of honor for enduring heavy combat and for their vital role in liberating France. Following World War II, he enlisted in the Army Reserves, then the Iowa National Guard. Douglas retired after 20 years with the rank of major. Throughout the years, Douglas and Mamie enjoyed attending 63rd Division reunions. He always remembered the "many good men we left behind."
Douglas was an astute and successful businessman. With his wife by his side, he owned and operated Shaheen Sundries, a grocery store and food counter on Ellis Boulevard. Later, he managed D & E Distributing, a wholesale beer distributorship, and co-owned Shaheen Wholesale with his brother, DeLane. He was a skillful manager who had high expectations for himself and his employees. Above all, Douglas was a leader and hard worker, exemplified in both his private and military careers.
Douglas was an avid outdoorsman. Duck and pheasant hunting, along with fishing, brought many hours of pleasure and happy memories. In his younger years, Douglas was an active member of Ducks Unlimited, Wetlands for Iowa and Pheasants Forever. Each autumn to come, when there is a chill in the air and ducks begin to fly south, he will be fondly remembered.
Douglas is survived by three daughters, Connie Bowler, Cedar Rapids, Cathy A. Bowen, Littleton, Colo., (formerly of Cedar Rapids) and Jan Overland (W. Scott), Cedar Rapids; five grandchildren, Jill (Bowler) Scott (Michael), Robins, Briana (Bowen) Epp (Lynndell), Littleton, Colo., Jamie Bowler (Tara), Alburnett, Andrea Parker (Adrian Pink), Cedar Rapids, and Abbey Overland, Washington, D.C.; seven great-grandchildren, Taylor Scott, Robins, Bracken and Braylee Epp, Littleton, Colo., Kaden and Katelynn Bowler, Alburnett, and Isadora and Vivian Pink, Cedar Rapids; loving sisters, Dolores Haddy, Scottsdale, Ariz., and Yvonne Hidder, Cedar Rapids; and many caring nephews and nieces.
Douglas was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mamie; his parents, Thomas and Sophia Shaheen; son-in-law, Gary Bowen; brother and sister-in-law, DeLane and Elaine Shaheen; brother and sister-in-law, Donald and Delores Shaheen; brother, Tommy Shaheen; brother, Dennis Shaheen; brother-in-law, Albert Haddy; brother-in-law, Joe Hidder; sister-in-law, Patricia Shaheen; sister-in-law, Susan Shaheen; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Albert and Ethel Oberthien; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, John and Jean Oberthien; and nephew, Thomas Shaheen.
Douglas was a longtime member of St. George Orthodox Church, where he enjoyed the fellowship of his church family, many whom he had known for a lifetime. He also was a member of numerous business associations and was an adept contract negotiator.
Our heartfelt gratitude to the compassionate caregivers of Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy and Hospice of Mercy. Thank you to the caring staff of Prairie Hills Assisted Living, his home over the past year. Our thanks to the Rev. Father Fred Shaheen, staff and hostesses of St. George Orthodox Church for their comfort and assistance. Douglas was blessed by the words and deeds of many relatives and friends far too many to name here please know that every kindness made a difference in our lives.
For those wishing to give a memorial, the family kindly asks that money be directed to one of the following local charities in Douglas' memory: St. George Orthodox Church, 3650 Cottage Grove Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52403; Eastern Iowa Honor Flight, P.O. Box 10704, Cedar Rapids, IA 52410; Meals on Wheels Horizons, A Family Services Alliance, 819 Fifth St. SE, P.O. Box 667, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406.
Please leave a message or tribute to the Shaheen family on our web page, www.cedarmemorial.com under Obituaries.