Douglas M. Fletcher
1947 – 2009
SHREWSBURY, Mass. – Doug, 62, of Turner died of lung cancer on Sept. 1 at the home of his daughter and her family in Shrewsbury, Mass.
He was born in 1947 and raised in Leominster, Mass., by the late Irene (McGuiggan, Fletcher) Boyns and the late Frederick P. Fletcher. His twin sister died in childbirth, and his older sister, Elizabeth Fletcher, died in a swimming accident.
He was a newspaperman from the word Go. Immediately after his 1966 graduation from Leominster High School, he began his 42-year career at the Worcester, Mass., Telegram. Doug joined the Fitchburg, Mass., Sentinel in 1969. As Leominster Bureau reporter, he covered police and fire news. As the Sentinel’s youngest chief political reporter, Doug covered the “meetings” at Murnick’s restaurant.
In 1974, Jesuit priest Robert F. Drinan, the first U.S. congressman calling for the impeachment of President Nixon based on the bombing of Cambodia, gave him a scoop regarding the upcoming House Judiciary Committee votes on the articles of impeachment. He later became the Sentinel’s assistant city editor.
He served six years as the youngest editor of the Gardner News from 1978 to 1984. He also worked at the Leominster Enterprise, the Haverhill Gazette, and the Middlesex News of Framingham, Mass.
In 1986, he bought a camp-home on Drews Lake in Linneus with Kathi. A short stint as public relations and marketing director of the Millinocket Regional Hospital was his entrance to Maine, where he lived most of the next 23 years. He soon became editor of the Houlton Pioneer Times, his first weekly. After short editorships back at the Gardner News and the Moosehead Messenger, Doug found his home for 13 years at the Lewiston Sun Journal in positions from business and news writer to enterprise reporter to copy editor. He fondly remembered a road-trip assignment bringing readers the places, people, and stories of 400 miles of Route 11, and his dream assignment sharing the experience of paddling the Allagash River, photographed by Daryn Slover. The people of the Sun Journal were his family and friends to the end.
He will be remembered as a caring father and grandfather. He was a friend who listened with compassion and comforted with support. He was a lover of nature and music and will be remembered for his infectious laugh, for drives through the North Maine Woods exploring roads and looking for moose to photograph, for backpacking in Baxter State Park, for singing and dancing in Hangtown, for rafting the Kennebec, for canoeing and fishing in the Allagash, for hunting at Braley Lake, for canoeing the Saco, and for being the life of the party. He will be sorely missed, but he will be remembered with smiles and laughter.
He leaves his daughter, Darcy and her husband, Steve Messineo, of Shrewsbury, Mass.; three grandchildren, Nicholas, Zachary and Madilyn Messineo; his closest friends Kathi Sutton of Chesterville, Bob Fichtel of Ashburnham, Mass., and Fred Curran of The Forks; several cousins in Massachusetts; and friends in Massachusetts and Maine, including the people of the Lewiston Sun Journal, where he worked for the past 13 years.
He was predeceased by his former wife, Evelyn (Ventresca, Fletcher) Moore, of Ashburnham, Mass., and his step-father, Earle Boyns.

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