#SadNews – #LosingAFriend&Mentor – #DougLittle

This morning, I received the sad news that my very good friend and mentor, Doug Little, has passed away. Doug lost his long battle with several serious health issues, and the world is a drearier place without him. 

I met Doug and his late wife, Jeanne, somewhere around 2010, when I took my first voyage aboard Captain Jeanne’s prized ecotour boat, the Naiad. I enjoyed that first tour so much, I started going out on their boat regularly.  Both Jeanne and Doug were extremely knowledgeable about the wildlife and habitat along the St. Johns, and their tours were fantastic. In fact, their lives were so full of interesting adventures, I finally decided to use the two of them as inspiration for my characters in my second book, Swamp Ghosts. (Maggie Devlin is an ecotour boat captain, and Gunnar Wolfe is a talented nature photographer, just as Doug was.)

After writing the book, I took a copy to the Littles, and Doug instantly invited me to do a Meet the Author Tour aboard the Naiad. From that point on, Doug  mentored me in more ways than I can count, including selling my books from his ticket window at the boat launch.

Along the way, Doug also introduced me to the good folks at DeBary Hall Historic Manor, where I started giving talks on writing and self-publishing. He followed that with an introduction to the equally good folks at Enterprise Museum, with the same results. Over time, my talks began to focus on central Florida wildlife, and I ended up presenting nature talks exclusively, one at each venue every month, and all thanks to Doug’s introductions. I continued giving 24 talks a year until my health issues slowed me down in 2020, but I  hope I’ll be able to get back to that routine soon. 

Doug was an incredibly interesting guy, with so many irons in the fire, it fairly boggled my mind. He’d been in the TV industry years prior to coming to Florida, and was always checking out new investments and ideas. And he was supportive of all his friends, no matter what their endeavors included.

I will never forget the unwavering encouragement and friendship I received from Doug and Jeanne, so I’m not kidding when I say they were my mentors as well as my very good friends for well over ten years. 

I miss them both terribly.

55 thoughts on “#SadNews – #LosingAFriend&Mentor – #DougLittle

    • Thanks, Debby! Both Jeanne & Doug were so surprised and pleased that they’d inspired Maggie and Gunn, and remembering the looks on their faces that day makes me very happy. I’ll always miss them! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Valerie. They were truly surprised that I had been inspired by them, and mentioned them in my author’s notes. I do miss them very much, and I will also miss being able to go out on the river with them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes virtual hugs are ALMOST as good as real ones, Gwen. Not quite, but close, and still very helpful. THANKS. I’m glad you read that post first, becausewas trying to remember how long Jeanne had been gone, and didn’t think to do a quick search on my blog.

      Yes, they were two amazing friends, fun to be with and supportive, and they loved the river and its denizens as much as I do. I will never forget them! 🙂


  1. I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss, Marcia. You’ve spoken about Doug and Jeanne frequently in the past and their inspiration for two characters I loved in your Riverbend series. Doug’s generosity in promoting your books, and encouraging you to do the talks I know you love, must give him a lasting place in your heart. He’ll still be an inspiration to you going forward and you’ll carry his love for wildlife with you. ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for that, Trish! I believe you’re right about all of it, and I know I’ll never forget either of these two remarkable people! It’s been a very sad day and still doesn’t seem real.

      Thanks so much for stopping by to offer a word or two of solace. I appreciate it! 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry to hear of the loss of your good friend and mentor. It’s wonderful when folks like this come along and enrich our life just by being in it. I can see he will be missed. sending hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Doug was a blessing, all right, and I will always remember him and the wonderful river tours he led, in addition to the mentoring and friendship he shared with me for so long. He’ll be sorely missed by MANY folks whose lives he’s touched! And I know he would want us all to remember the happy times, so that’s what I’ll aim for. 🙂 ❤


    • We all knew Doug had not been well for some time, but he kept coming through treatments and surgeries, and was able to keep going. I guess we began to think of him as indestructible, so losing him was a shock, for sure. He’ll be missed by many, many folks, for sure! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss, Marcia. I remember your tribute when Jeanne passed away and I know how much your friendship with her and Doug meant to you.
    I’m saddened that he too has left this world, but also happy to know he is reunited with his wife.
    You have my sympathies, dear friend. Wishing you much comfort and peace. ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Mae, and I believe Doug is in a better place, too. I like to picture he and Jeanne together, with none of the worries that plague our world today. I appreciate your kind well wishes, too. Once I get used to the fact that he’s moved on, I’ll be fine, but I’ll certainly never forget either of them, and all they did for me. 😊❤️


  4. So sorry for the loss of your good friend and mentor, Marcia. You were lucky to have Doug and Jeanne in your life as I am certain they were also lucky to have you in theirs. May your memories of them bring some warmth into your grieving heart. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Carol! I like to think I was a good friend to the two of them, too, and I’m pretty sure I at least brought some extra laughter into their lives. Plus, we learned from each other, which made a wonderful bond between us. I’ll never forget them, that’s for sure, and my memories are all good ones. 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Yvette. Jeanne and Doug really did inspire my characters in Swamp Ghosts, though Doug was not the physical giant of a man Gunnar Wolfe is. He used to get a lot of laughs out of that when he talked about my book on his boat tours. He’d read the line “Wildlife photographer Gunnar Wolfe looked like the kind of guy every man wanted to be and every woman just plain wanted.” The he’d throw his arms wide, take a quick bow, and go “Tadaaaa!”
      It helps to remember his sense of humor and the fun times we had over the years, and that’s what I’m going to focus on as I get used to this loss.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Pete. I appreciate that, and remembering Doug, Jeanne, and all the good times we had is how I’m going to cope going forward. They were great friends, mentors, and excellent stewards of the St. Johns river. Countless passengers on their tours learned to appreciate Florida’s wildlife and habitats because of them, and I’ll never forget them. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Debra, and you are so right. As I move past the shock of this unexpected loss, I can focus more and more on all the fun we had on the river, and all the things Doug introduced me to that enrich my life today, like giving wildlife talks and such.

      Thanks for stopping by and reminding me. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve come to this a little late, Marcia, but I wanted to say I am so sorry for the loss of your lovely friend that we almost came to know personally through your posts. It’s a sad time, and probably too soon, but, sometime, the memories of a friendship that enriched your life may become a great comfort. Sending you a big virtual hug. x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Judith. I really appreciate it. It’s been a tough few days, trying to absorb the fact that such a dynamic person is no longer with us, so you aren’t too late to offer a bit of encouragement and a hug, believe me. And I agree with everything you said, too. Doug was one of a kind, for sure, and I’ll ever, ever forget him, his friendship, and his steadfast support.

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to add your thoughts. It helps! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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