Doug Schwab passes

Doug Schwab (right) served as Chair of the WA Golf Championship Committee for many years. In 2012, he presented the Player of the Year award to Tom Brandes (left). Brandes would later succeed Schwab as Chair of the committee.

Longtime dedicated WA Golf volunteer Doug Schwab passed away on Nov. 1. He was 74.  

In 2018, Doug was diagnosed with Multi-System Atrophy, a rare degenerative neurological disorder affecting the body’s involuntary (autonomic) functions. Although the disease was taking hold, he remained positive and worked hard at Pro Sport to keep his muscles working and his body active. 

Doug served on the WA Golf Board of Directors for more than 20 years, and specifically as Chair of the WA Golf Championship Committee. 

He was also a Rules official for WA Golf, and officiated at several golf championships and USGA national qualifiers each summer. In addition, Doug worked with Leaderboard Systems to support non-profit organizations raise funds through golf tournaments and auctions. 

He remained active in golf even after retirement, starting three men’s clubs at Riverbend in Kent, Sumner Meadows in Sumner and The Home Course in DuPont. In 2022, The Home Course Men’s Club named a charitable tournament in his honor, The Doug Schwab President’s Cup.  

Doug was born in Toledo, Ohio on September 19, 1949, and in 1955 the family moved to Whittier, Calif. 

During his school-age years in Whittier, Doug loved baseball, golf and hanging out at the beach with friends. In the summer of 1964, Doug went to Japan as an exchange student with Rotary International and there he began his love of Japanese culture. After graduating from LaSerna High School, Doug attended UCLA where he received his bachelor’s degree in history and philosophy. Probably his biggest accomplishment at UCLA was reading a small ad in the school paper for an assistant manager on the UCLA basketball team. From 1969 to 1972 Doug worked side by side with the great John Wooden as UCLA became the winningest team in NCAA basketball history.  

Doug’s other passion was photography, specifically track and field. He was published on the cover of Runner’s World for his picture of Frank Shorter. Early on in her running career, Doug met Jacqueline Hansen. They fast became good friends and he would continue to document her career as she raised through the ranks to an elite status. Hansen holds the world record for the marathon and her collection will soon be on permanent display at the Museum of World Athletics at UMASS, including many photos credited to Doug. 

In 1975, Doug moved to Everett, Wash. to work for Amtrak, where he remained for the next 32 years. 

In 1982, he met Lisa and they were married in 1985. 

In retirement, Lisa and Doug moved to Gig Harbor, Wash., where Doug was active and remained engaged in the Gig Harbor United Methodist Church. Through his work on the Memorials and Finance Committees, the friendships he made along the way have given him many fond memories. 

After Lisa retired, the couple started to travel. Not many people can say they’ve been to six continents and 75 countries. He loved the adventures of travel and soaking in the cultures of each country. 

Doug passed peacefully at home surrounded by those who loved him most, as was his wish. 

A memorial service and reception will be held on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023, 2:00pm at the Gig Harbor United Methodist Church.  

Charitable contributions can be made in Doug’s memory to The Gig Harbor United Methodist Church, the Gig Harbor / Pen FISH Foodbank, or your local PBS Station. 

If unable to attend the memorial service, but would like to view it later, here is the link.