Douglas Manson Halcrow, 73, of Waddell, AZ, passed away on February 20, 2014. Doug was a proud Veteran of the U.S. Army. He was preceded in death by his parents, Donald and Velva E. Halcrow. He is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Marsha Diane Baldwin Halcrow and daughters, Stephanie and Shelley Halcrow. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 1, 2014, at 10:30 AM at Surprise Funeral Care, 16063 W Bell Rd, Surprise, AZ 85374. For more information on the location, where to send memorial donations in lieu of flowers and to sign Doug's online guest registry, please visit www.surprisefuneralcare.com.
A Life Remembered
Douglas Manson Halcrow, 73, was born on November 6, 1940 in Drayton, North Dakota. He passed away on February 20, 2014 and is survived by his loving wife of 44 years, Marshal Diane Baldwin Halcrow. Doug grew up in a small farming community in northern North Dakota. Passionate about sports, he was most proud of his undefeated 1958 American Legion Baseball "Cinderella Team". Even though the boys hailed from a town of only 825, they challenged the teams from the largest cities and won the Class A Division Championship. Because of this, the team was the very first team inducted into the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame in 2009. To this day, Doug's closest friends were his teammates from the "Cinderella Team".
Doug attended Mayville State College where he played basketball and baseball. He was inducted to the Mayville State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1991. In 2009, Doug was both humbled and honored to be asked to give the keynote graduation speech for his alma mater. Upon graduation college, Doug was drafted into the Army where he found his life's passion--programming computers. This skill brought him to Phoenix where he helped develop the original FORTRAN operating language at General Electric. In Phoenix, Doug met the love of his life, Marsha Diane Baldwin and married her in 1968.
Doug followed his mentor to Florida where they started one of the first time-sharing computer companies in the United States. After the company was sold, Doug moved to Napa, California where he owned a medical billing computer company as well as a software development consulting business.
Doug continued sports into his adult life, first refereeing men's college basketball in Arizona, Florida and California for 35 years; then coaching his daughters in all kinds of sports and finally developing an all-star league for the top female high school basketball players from northern California who played in summer tournaments all over the western United States.
He was extremely proud of his two daughters. Stephanie graduated from the Air Force Academy and is now a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force. Shelley graduated from Cal Poly San Lluis Obispo, worked in reproductive research at UCSF and now uses these skills to breed and train Quartr Horses.
He is a member of CCV Church, a Rotarian and life-long member of ND American Legion and the NRA.
Doug loved to spin stories and make people laugh. He wanted to make others feel at ease and enjoy themselves. Doug was loved by all and will be sorely missed.
Doug Halcrow, one of Drayton's greatest athletes and a member of the DHS class of 1958, died Feb. 20 after suffering a massive heart attack at his home near Surprise, Ariz. He was 73.
A memorial service for Halcrow, who began a successful career in computer programming and software development when he was in the Army, will be held March 1 at Surprise Funeral Care. According to his wishes, his remains were to be cremated.
His wife, Marsha, said Doug became ill and unconscious late in the evening of Feb. 19 at their residence in the community of Waddell. She and their daughter, Shelley, administered CPR until an emergency crew arrived. Doug was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at a hospital.
Douglas Manson Halcrow was born on Nov. 6, 1940, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Drayton, the son of the late Donald M. and Velva Halcrow. He spent all 12 years of his preparatory schooling in Drayton. He was a 1962 graduate of Mayville State College.
Halcrow and Marsha Diane Baldwin were married on July 27, 1968, in her hometown, Winslow, Ariz. They had two daughters, Stephanie and Shelley. Doug was immensely proud of his daughters' accomplishments. Stephanie is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, stationed in Oklahoma City and Shelley is a graduate of California Polytechnical Institute in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Shelley's draws on her work in animal reproductive research at the University of California at San Francisco to breed and train quarter horses at the family's ranch in Waddell. Stephanie is a graduate of the Air Force Academy, where she played basketball and threw the discus in track. She attended the Naval Post Graduate School and has been stationed in the Middle East, the Pentagon and is presently at Tinker Air Force Base.
Halcrow's name was synonymous with sports in North Dakota when he grew up. He was a DHS baseball and basketball star and is in Mayville States Athletic Hall of Fame for his accomplishments in those two sports and as a member of the 1962 Comet baseball team. He said he was "humbled and honored" to deliver Mayville State's commencement address in the spring of 2009.
Of his own endeavors, he was most gratified by the Drayton's 1958 American Legion baseball team, whose Class B designation was no hinderance in forging through N.D. Class A ranks deep into the Legion's national playoff. Doug, one of the aces on the pitching staff, never lost a game that season, played first base, and was the team's acknowledged leader, a role he naturally assumed in many of his pursuits.
Doug also starred on DHS's 1958 baseball team, which won the state high school championship, first of six in a row for the Bombers. During summers while in college, he was the force behind, and in front of, several high-flying Drayton independent ball teams.
Halcrow was part of the drive for the 1958 Drayton "Cinderella Team" to be selected by the N.D. Sports Hall of Fame in Jamestown. Drayton's induction in 2010 was the first time an entire team has been enshrined in the Hall. He said his closet friends came from that team.
At 6 feet, 4 inches, Doug had a commanding presence and was a fine raconteur, an innate trait he honed as a boy pumping gas at his dad's mercantile store in Drayton. Often he joined the graying philosophers of the Halcrow Hot Stove League who regularly showed up to pontificate on sports and solve local, national and world problems. On his frequent breaks, he would play catch with his dad or one of his friends between the gas pumps and the store.
"He loved to spin stories and make people laugh," said Marsha. "He wanted to make others feel at ease and enjoy themselves."
Halcrow was drafted into the Army shortly after his graduation from Mayville State. The Army gave him an unanticipated opportunity to learn computer programming, which became his career. He wore an Army signet ring for his early training.
When he was released from duty, Halcrow went to Phoenix, where he helped launch the original FORTRAN supercomputer operating language at General Electric. In Phoenix he met Marsha, the love of his life, a former junior rodeo circuit rider who introduced her husband to the equestrian world.
After their marriage, Doug and Marsha moved to Florida when Doug left GE to join a former colleague to start one of the first time-sharing computer companies in the nation. The Halcrows moved to Napa, Calif., following sale of the company.
Doug founded a medical billing company there as well as a software development consulting business, which he operated until shortly before his death.
Halcrow's passion for sports never faded. He refereed college basketball in Florida, California and Arizona for 35 years. He coached his daughters in a variety of sports and eventually created a summer hoops league for high school girls in northern California, which sent its all-stars to tournaments throughout the west.
The Halcrows relocated to Novato, Calif., in 1989, and in 2012 completed a move to the ranch at Surprise. He was a member of Christ Church of the Valley in Surprise, Rotary International, and the N.D. American Legion. An avid race car fan, he travelled all over the country with friends to racing events.
Memorials may be made to Drayton American Legion Post 159, 210 N. Main St., Drayton 58225 (phone 701-454-3980) or to the Mayville State University Foundation at www.mayvillestste.edu/alumni-friends/make-gift.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 1 2014, at 10:30 AM at Surprise Funeral Care, Surprise, AZ. www.surprisefuneralcare.com