Douglas L. Jonas

July 22, 1935 - Nov. 29, 2018 “A Life Very Well-Lived”

Douglas (Doug) Lee Jonas passed away peacefully on November 29, 2018 at Virginia Mason Hospital in Seattle after living a joyful life full of love, giving, laughter and adventure.

Born on July 22, 1935 to Carl and Margaret Jonas, Doug grew up in Puyallup in a tight-knit Swedish and Welsh immigrant family that valued family, hard work and community. Doug attended Washington State University where he met the love of his life, Janette Witkowski (Jan), and became a life-long Cougar fan while obtaining a BS in Civil Engineering. After college, Doug served active duty for 4 years with the Air Force Air Weather Service, obtaining a Meteorology degree at St. Louis University and supporting Air Force pilots out of Eielsen Airforce Base near Fairbanks, Alaska during the height of the Cold War. After completing his active tour in Alaska, Doug went on to serve an additional 26 years as a Reservist for the Air Weather Service, retiring as a Colonel in 1988.

While in Alaska, Doug also obtained a Masters in Engineering Management from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Doug and Jan returned to the Seattle area in 1962, when Doug became an engineer for the City of Seattle. In the early 70’s he started an engineering consulting business, which he ran for nearly 3 decades, during which time he guided and managed a variety of public works initiatives in Washington State and across the country contributing to advances in transportation and waste management practices.

Doug and Jan ultimately settled on Bainbridge Island in 1966 to raise a family, becoming active community members and stewards of this beautiful island. For decades Doug was an Elder for the Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church, actively involved in nurturing growth of the congregation. In later years, Doug participated in the NW Indian Fisheries seining project, helping to monitor the health of the waters surrounding Bainbridge Island.

Doug was a dedicated advocate for the Seattle area YMCA Youth Camps Orkila and Colman and their work to support at-risk youth by providing access to nature, life skills and leadership opportunities. He served on the Board of Directors for years, committing weeks of his time every year to help rebuild and maintain camp facilities often recruiting friends and family to help.

Doug had a genuine awe of the world and was interested in everything. He held a particular love for the Pacific Northwest and Mount Rainier. He was a passionate backpacking, boating and skiing enthusiast, passing his love for the outdoors on to his kids and grandchildren, and was constantly planning the next great adventure with family and friends. No matter where he was, Doug enjoyed the humor of every situation, and loved to tell a good story.

In retirement, Doug and Jan travelled extensively, visiting both the North and South Poles and nearly every continent in between, but their most frequent and favorite travel destination was Pullman, Washington in their beloved Palouse to root on the WSU Cougars at nearly every home football game and many basketball games.

Doug is survived by his wife, Jan of 61 years, brother Ronald Jonas of Reno Nevada, daughter Andrea (Phil) Pickett, sons Ken (Gwen) Jonas and Carey Jonas, grandsons Alex and Tyler Pickett, extended family and many, many longtime friends who all miss him dearly.

A Celebration of Doug’s Life is planned for January 12th, 2 pm at the Rolling Bay Presbyterian Church. His extended family invites Doug’s many friends and colleagues to join them in honoring his life.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in to The Doug Jonas YMCA Camp Endowment (, or to the Jonas Family Faculty Fellows Honors Endowment at Washington State University Honors College (

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