Outdoorsman could fix any kind of engine

MELROSE — Douglas Edward Strachan, 70, of Melrose, formerly of North Reading, passed away unexpectedly on July 10, 2021 at his home following a long illness. His longtime companion, Cristine Cardello, was by his side.

Douglas was born August 30, 1950 in Stoneham. Growing up, the second of four children, “Dougie” was known for his curly red hair, twinkling blue eyes, protective personality and extraordinary sense of humor. Youthful passions included drawing, camping and summers on “The Red Legs” baseball mound playing Little League under the watchful eye of his father and head coach, Donald Strachan.

An accomplished Boy Scout, he excelled at all things outdoors, and by the time he reached high school, the lanky teen had caught the eye of North Reading High School’s cross country team. He went on to letter in multiple sports and graduated in the Class of 1968.

Enterprising and energetic, Doug spent time as a lobster fisherman. His vocation however was short-lived, as his uncanny “lobstah” trapping skills often produced an overabundance of live crustaceans… which in turn filled and spilled out of his parent’s refrigerators, freezers, bathtubs and sinks. Shortly thereafter (and to his mother’s relief) he moved into a career that would span some 50 years: the automotive parts and repair industry. A wise decision for a young man known throughout the North Shore for his talented “tinkering” and ability to fix any car, truck or boat engine he could find.

In the coming years Doug’s deep love for family and the great outdoors culminated in a beloved multi-generational lake home in Maine. The six-bedroom cabin — which he built alongside his father and brother Donny — was his pride and joy, a nirvana of sorts: filled with pine trees, moose sightings, crackling fires and midnight swims. And it was here Doug lived his happiest moments: seated contently in his lake boat, eating red hot dogs, and teaching children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews the fine art of fishing — all the while casting line after line into his top secret fishing spot, “Bass Heaven.”

He is survived by his daughter, Linda J. Strachan (Mary Ade) of Nantucket and his son, Douglas J. Strachan of Atlanta, Georgia; his seven grandchildren: Thomas Murphy, Kathryn Murphy, Meghan Murphy, Sam Murphy, Daniel Murphy, Oscar Strachan and Shiloh Strachan; his dear sisters: Kathleen (Richard) Farrar of Carver, Patricia (Brian) Hantzis of West Henrietta, N.Y., sister-in-law Carol Strachan of Billerica; and nieces and nephews: Rachel (goddaughter), Emily, Donald, Kristen, Richard, Mark, Brian (godson) and Adam.

Douglas joins his beloved parents, Donald and Kathleen Sullivan Strachan, brother Donald C. Strachan and granddaughter Emma Rose Murphy.

A private wake was held July 20 at the Croswell Funeral Home followed by a private interment at Riverside Cemetery in North Reading.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in honor of his late brother, Don C. Strachan, to Massachusetts General Hospital. Address: Massachusetts General Hospital, Development Office, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114. https:// www.massgeneral.org/cancer-center/about/support-us. All donations deeply appreciated.