Stanley Douglas “Doug” Witt died peacefully at home on Sunday, December 29, 2013, after a challenging and courageous year with cancer. Before he died, Doug enjoyed several wonderful weeks at home with family. A celebration of Doug’s life will be held Saturday, January 4, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. at Van Go Mobile Arts in Lawrence.
Doug was born on September 3, 1944 in Boulder Colorado, the son of Norman Witt and Vaneta (nee Vaughn) Witt, and step-son of Yvonne (nee Duhon) Witt.
After graduating from high school, Doug attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where he earned several degrees, including a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and International Relations in 1967, a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology in 1970, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology in 1977. While in college and graduate school, Doug worked as a psychologist for the Veterans Administration Center in and the Kansas Neurological Institute.
Beginning in 1973, Doug worked as a clinical psychologist at the Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, where he dedicated himself for nearly 30 years. Before retiring in 2002, Doug held many roles at the Center, including Coordinator of Court Services, Director of Adult Services, Director of Children’s Services, Outpatient Services Director, and Clinical Director. Doug’s tenure at the Center resulted in pushing the envelope of behavioral healthcare to provide innovative and cutting-edge services for all members of the community, a legacy that lives on.
Doug began teaching at the University of Kansas in 1992 as a lecturer in the Department of Psychology, a position he held for 20 years. He coordinated placement of graduate students at Bert Nash and taught doctoral students providing clinical services. Doug treasured teaching and the students, reflected in the mutual respect students held for him.
For the last decade of his professional life, Doug worked for Disability Determination Services in Topeka, helping people with disabilities to access behavioral health services. In this and all his professional roles, Doug dedicated his energy, empathy, and expertise to helping others and improving the quality of life of life for individuals, families, and the entire community.
As a therapist and teacher, as well as an administrator and program developer, Doug was admired by colleagues throughout his career for his calm approach, keen intellect, honesty, humor, compassion, and approachable style.
In addition to his professional leadership, Doug will be remembered by family and friends with hearts full of love. At home, Doug was often found on his John Deere tractor, cruising around the land he developed alongside his longtime partner in work, love and life, Sandi. Friends and family will remember countless gatherings with them around fires on the prairie. Doug loved his children, grandchildren and the rest of his family with infinite kindness, acceptance, and understanding, wanting nothing more than peace and happiness for them in whatever forms it took.
Doug loved art, music, and nature. He enjoyed traveling with Sandi over the years to visit family and friends.
Doug was preceded in death by his wife, Sandra Shaw, as well as mother, father, and step-mother. Loving survivors include his children, Laura (Witt) Bogart and husband Mick, Aaron Witt and wife Beth, step-children, Jennifer Shaw and husband Tim Peltier, Debbie Shaw Schwartz and husband Ron, Risa Shaw and wife Sharon Gervasoni, Leah Shaw Fen and husband Michael, Alan Shaw and wife Virginia, grandchildren Wittney and McKenzie Bogart, step-grandchildren Allie, McCall, Jamil and Kiana Fen and Aaron, Casey and Haley Shaw, step-nieces and nephews, Meg Morrow, Melissa Morrow, Amy Benton, Anthony Cote, Tara McIntire, Todd McIntire, sisters-in-law Linda Morrow and Sue Cote, and brother-in-law Michael Cote.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Van Go Mobile Arts, the Lawrence Community Shelter, and the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge-Kansas City. Donations may be sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary.
The family wishes to express their deep gratitude to everyone who has so kindly and generously supported Doug and the family.