Former club member, Doug Vassilatos, passed away early Thursday morning. Doug was one of the first members of Rockland Road Runners, now in its 40th year, and this club was one of the biggest joys of his life.
Doug was a contemporary of George Wodicka and Bill Fortune – legendary names which still grace two of our races. They were all retirees of the NYPD with stories to tell. Dougie’s gentle personality and Bill’s quiet humor contrasted with George’s brash outspokenness. They were the nucleus of what became the Nine O’clock Group, a large eclectic gathering who ran and socialized together for many years. Carol was part of it, and after a few years she and Dougie got together as a couple. When that happened, the group was thrilled at how happy they both were. George always claimed, Doug wasn’t happy—”he just THINKS he is.” He never stopped thinking it. And he never stopped running —neither his medical issues nor the passage of years stopped him. He will be long remembered by his running companions of that era.
Doug’s wife Carol and niece Kris held a memorial Celebration of Life for Douglas Vassilatos on Sunday April 30th at Rockland Lake Golf Course.