Remembering Doug Keith

News December 28, 2015
credit: T. Heal. Doug (far right) with some happy Birch ski club Jackrabbits (l-to-r Sonya, Jeannette, Abby, Alex & Geoff) sporting their new club jackets. Photo taken on Doug’s property in the fall of 2014.

Doug Keith passed away suddenly on December 24th, 2015. Doug has been a major supporter of cross-country skiing in Manitoba for many, many years. He was not only the owner of the Birch ski area, but also did the grooming for a number of years and covered many of the operating costs out of his own pocket. He was always welcoming to skiers on his trails whether they were new or experienced, young or old.

Doug and the Birch ski area hosted countless races, provincial championships, family events, jackrabbits outings, provincial team selection races, and at least three Manitoba Winter Games. The area also has hosted numerous cross-country running races, biathlons, and mountain biking races – including the incredibly successful 1999 Pan Am Games mountain bike races. Doug has clearly been a cornerstone of many endurance sports in Manitoba.

This fall, Doug hosted his 21st fall cross-country running race at Birch. He was the starter for every age group giving heartfelt encouragement to all the runners in each event.

In the last few years, Doug has been behind-the-scenes in many ski events at Birch, but you can be sure he loved seeing that his trails were so valued by the cross-country ski community.

Doug’s incredible support of our sport will be missed, but his love of our sport will always be cherished. Thank you Doug for being so wonderful.

~S. Scoles

Donations can be made in Doug’s honour to the Birch Mountain Sports Club either on-site in the trail-fees box, through a form on their website or mailed to Birch Mountain Sports, Box 406, Notre Dame de Lourdes, MB, R0G 1M0.

And, of course, the best way to honour Doug is to head out to Birch Ski Area and enjoy his cherished trails.

Doyle’s Funeral Chapel in Carman, MB will post an obituary notice on their website.