Douglas Houskeeper

Visitation at Funeral Home

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Friday, March 1, 2024
Stroyan Funeral Home
405 W. Harford Street
Milford, Pennsylvania, United States

Funeral Service

11:00 am
Saturday, March 2, 2024
Milford United Methodist Church
206 East Ann St.
Milford, Pennsylvania, United States

Final Resting Place

12:00 pm
Saturday, March 2, 2024
Milford Cemetery
 Route 209
Dingman Township, Pennsylvania, United States

Obituary of Douglas Ayers Houskeeper

“For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Phil. 1:21). Douglas (The Cat) Ayers Houskeeper, 78, was called Home by Christ on February 27, 2024. After raging “against the dying of the light”—pancreatic cancer—Douglas died peacefully at home surrounded by his family and treasured animals. He is predeceased by his parents, Harry H. Houskeeper, Sr. and Doris Ayers Houskeeper, and his brother, Harry H. Houskeeper, Jr. He is survived by the love of his life and wife of 54 years, Pamela (Vetter) Houskeeper; their daughters, Linnea Brigid Douglas Ayers Houskeeper Reilly and Heather Houskeeper; two extraordinary sons-in-law, John Joseph Reilly and Scott Weis; and his beloved niece and nephew, Julie Vernieri and Glenn Houskeeper. Douglas was born on December 30, 1945, in Glenridge, New Jersey, and grew up in Fairfield, NJ.


As a big game hunter, long-distance hiker (1,000 plus miles), road-tripper (15,000 plus miles) athlete, consummate outdoorsman, conservationist, and life-long learner, Douglas lived life fully and out loud. Every day was an adventure. A man of profound Christian Faith, Douglas dedicated his life to “suck[ing] all the marrow out of life” and helping others as a husband, father, son, brother, uncle, teacher, mentor, Good Samaritan, and friend. He valued God, Family, Country, life (a stray cat needing a meal or a turtle in the middle of the road), and education.


Douglas worked as a special education teacher and administrator (principal) for over 30 years, creating the first special education program at Mount Saint Joseph’s Residential Children’s Center in the early 1970s and pioneering, in the early 1980s, a working farm-based hands-on special education school, Thunder Mountain, for emotionally disturbed and troubled youth. Having graduated from William Penn College (Iowa) and completing a master’s degree at William Paterson (Wayne, NJ), Douglas prided himself on being a lifelong learner, acquiring over 60 more nationally accepted credits through Pennsylvania’s Continuing Education Programs. Douglas stalwartly believed that every child and person deserved an education and had something unique to offer the world. Additionally, he was certified to teach pet and human first aid and CPR, lifeguard training, NRA Gun Safety, and Wilson Reading.


Douglas’s accomplishments and accolades far exceed the length of this eulogy; however, the highlights are as follows: a member of DeMolay and later a Master Mason and York Cross of Honor Recipient at Harmony Lodge #8 (NJ); lifelong Warren County, NJ, Rod and Gun Club member; Fourth Degree Dan in The American Tang Soo Do Association; Herald of Christ recipient from Calvary Chapel (NJ); multi-medal winner in many tri-state races; Wild Turkey Federation (PA) member; proud lifelong NRA member; former Pinkerton Officer; seven-year Special Police Office Veteran (Caldwell PD, NJ); Honorary William Jennings Bryan Graduate; Honorary Lenape Tribal Member through Lenape Medicine Man Charles P. Vicari; and a one-man animal sanctuary.


All of us who care for and love Douglas Ayers Houskeeper have experienced an irreparable loss, leaving a permanent void; however, all of us who care for and love Douglas Ayers Houskeeper also know that he is only a prayer away—one with The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.


Calling hours will be held at Stroyan Funeral Home, 405 West Harford St., Milford, PA on Friday, March 1, 2024 from 4 to 7 PM. Funeral services will be held at Milford United Methodist Church, 206 East Ann St., Milford, PA on Saturday, March 2, 2024 at 11 AM with Rev. Jennifer Lovallo officiating. Burial will follow in Milford Cemetery, Dingman Township, PA.

Memorial donations in may be made to Gait Therapeutic Riding Center ( or Appalachian Trail Conservancy ( 

Arrangements by Stroyan Funeral Home, 405 West Harford St., Milford, PA.


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