More pics to come

This page is dedicated to Douglas K. Stein, Friend,
Sportsman, Charter Captain, Organizer, and very competitive kind of person. Doug
meant so much to the outdoors community that he will surely be missed by all.

Stein was the kind of guy that if he thought “it should be
this way” he was generally right. His many years of volunteering for the fishers
and shooters of this area will seldom be duplicated. As quoted from Mike Gillis
[below] “He was a gentleman of action and
accomplished a great deal. He knew how to delegate and was a diplomat.”

Stein served as president of the Niagara River Anglers
Association for nearly nine years [since 1996] and will be remembered for his
many accomplishments during his tenure. He began his “career” with this
association by volunteering and heading several committees within, and served as
director before being voted in as president for 1996.

If you would like to add something to this dedication,
please email it to me  here

Make sure you scroll down to read what others had to say

Memorial to Doug from Brother Cliff

PICTURES COMING…..Check Back 02/15/09

The Following appeared in the Niagara Gazette
column by Bill Hilts jr. …. Hilts story is typical of Doug Stein and how much
he meant to his friends and colleagues:

Niagara Outdoors for
Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009

Stein Left Mark on Local Outdoors Scene
By Bill Hilts, Jr.

Capt. Doug Stein of Grand Island passed away this past week, [February 9 2009] a
person remembered for his many contributions to the local fishing and outdoor
scene. He was president of the Niagara River Anglers Association for eight
years, starting in 1996. Stein ran the club with a heavy hand and a big heart,
supporting the sportfishery as only he could do.

If something needed to get done, he was at the front of the line leading the
charge. When sporting groups started to pursue pen rearing projects for salmon
in Lake Ontario, Stein made sure that Niagara County was one of the first and
the Niagara River was the location. He helped to start up the popular Ice
Breaker Raffle for the NRAA and he was one of the guys who came up with the idea
for the group’s mini-fishing pond.

He was a charter captain who fished Lake Erie, the Niagara River and Lake
Ontario. He served as a delegate to the Lake Ontario Stakeholders group that was
organized by the Department of Environmental Conservation, lending his vast
knowledge and experience as input for key decisions that the state needed to
make in relation to the sportfishery.

He was also very competitive, be it for fishing, shooting or any other outdoor
activity. I shared quite a bit of time with the man, at tournaments in St.
Catharines; in goose blinds in the Finger Lakes; on our winter skeet league
team; at local sporting clays courses; fishing on these great waters of WNY; and
sometimes just getting together with friends. While he came across as a macho
kind of guy, he was soft at heart and a very caring individual. He was also a
great guy to pick on.

A bunch of Doug’s friends gathered at a table at the 3-F club earlier this week
to share stories about Stein. We laughed until our stomachs hurt as we took
turns telling common stories of the great outdoors with the man.

Capt. Bruce Blakelock shared a story when they were returning from their hunting
blind in the Finger Lakes to the hotel. Not knowing where they were at the time,
Bruce plugged in the address of the hotel into the GPS. “Take a left turn,” said
the unit. Doug looked at Bruce. “That’s wrong,” he said and took a right. “Take
a u-turn,” said the unit as Doug continued to head in the wrong direction. For
the next half hour, he proceeded to take the opposite directions of whatever the
GPS would instruct. Frustrated, Blakelock tried to figure out where Stein was
coming from. As he looked over, there was a smirk on his face. He had gotten

Bob Cinelli remembered when he was in a rush to get to the blinds last winter
and in his haste, managed to lock his keys in his truck – after he had started
it up to warm. With no spare key to gain entry, we had to call the AAA for some
assistance. And even though he arrived at the blind later than he had hoped, the
birds never flew until later that morning.

“Doug had a difficult time getting up from the bucket seats at times,” sai d
Cinelli. “He would grab a hold of my shoulder and use it as leverage to stand.
Many times, the shooting would be over with by the time he got up, facing only
falling birds from the sky. His retaliation was to hit one of the falling birds
and yell, “I got that one!”

I remember one of the tournaments we were fishing in St. Catharines and we
always had a competition going on between our team and his. After the first day,
his team was in the hunt; our team had been disqualified because of a
“double-touch” because we went to the gas docks before heading to the scales. Of
course, Stein proceeded to rub this in over the course of the evening.

The next day, Team Stein struggled to catch fish; we came in with one of the
biggest catches for the tournament and nipped their team by less than a point.
The look on his face was one of shock and as he walked away from us, I remember
him kicking a rock like a little kid. It was no different when we battled out
for high gun on our skeet team last year. On the final da y, I was able to
narrowly edge him out by one bird. He looked like a little puppy dog that had
his bone taken away. He could take the ribbings; and he could dish them out,
too. He was a kid at heart.

Mark Daul of Youngstown, a charter member of the NRAA, noted: “He was an
outstanding person that had a lot of sense and he was always a straight shooter
– up front with everything. He was that same way with his fishing, too.”

It won’t be the same without having Doug around. He was 62 years old, way too
young to leave us. Losing close friends at an early age helps us to recognize
how short life can be. We need to live life each day like it’s our last; doing
the things we enjoy and surrounding ourselves with people we want to be around …
like Doug. We’ll miss you, man!


The following are comments left on the popular Outdoors Niagara Forum where
fellow outdoorsmen left their condolences as of February 12 ’09 ~ more will be
added here as they come in.

Author Comment    

Feb 9, 09 – 11:34 AM

Sad News

Doug Stein has passed away, today.
The wake will be this Friday, 3:00- 8:00 pm,(2-13-09)
on Grand Island.
Cliff (brother)

Mark Daul

Feb 9th, 2009 – 2:21 PM

Re: Sad NewsDoug Stein was a man of his word for all the years I have known him and
we soon became good friends. He knew all my family and watched my
children growing up throughout the years, and always asked “how’s the
kids doing?” whenever I saw him.

As president of the NRAA for nearly 9 years, he accomplished many things
that no one could ever duplicate, and before being President, he spent
much time for the betterment of the Association by giving his time to
much needed fund raising activities. If someone was needed, “Stein was

I am deeply saddened by his passing.

Thank You Doug.
Mark Daul

Dirty Harry

Feb 10th, 2009 – 1:07 PM

Re: Sad NewsDoug was missed the day he left the NRAA presidency and now is certainly
a sad time in the lives of many. The NRAA will never have another
president like him or even come close. Doug as always, seemed to get
things done and it didn’t matter how big or small the project was. There
were always good people to pitch in. I have to say this, I left that
club when Doug did and may God rest his soul and I’m sure he’ll be
catching walleye & salmon from the sky.


Feb 10th, 2009 – 2:20 PM

Re: Sad NewsDoug will be waked at:

Kaiser Funeral Home
1950 Whitehaven Road
Grand Island, NY 14072

3:00-8:00pm this Friday, 2-13-09
Service will be at 8:00pm this Friday at
the funeral home.

Thanks, Cliff

Joe Ognibene

Feb 11th, 2009 – 8:36 AM

Re: Sad NewsDoug Stein was a valued friend and a pleasure to know. His nine-year
reign as president of NRAA was without a doubt the period of the club’s
greatest growth and accomplishments. He became my departed wife Mary’s
hero when he gave her some swabs to lessen bee stings. He will be sorely
missed by all off us who appreciate knowing a gentle man who was also a
gentleman. We lost one of the “good guys.”
Mike Gillis

Feb 11th, 2009 – 4:26 PM

Re: Sad NewsWhen I was a director on the NRAA staff I quickly learned that Doug was
a true leader. He was a gentleman of action and accomplished a great
deal. He knew how to delegate and was a diplomat.

He provided real support for John Ranney when John went through his
similar illness.

John and Doug’s spirits are fishing the Niagara on the “Blue Goose”

We Be Fishin

Feb 12th, 2009 – 11:33 PM

Re: Sad NewsIf you would like to sign the guest Book for Doug,
Copy and paste this address to your web browser.


Feb 14th, 2009 – 1:08 AM

Re: Sad NewsI would like to thank all those who came to my brothers wake Friday.
The expression of sympathy was heart felt.
Thanks, Cliff
PS. A memorial tree will be planted in the
spring in Doug’s name. At the NRAA site. Thanks again.


Enthusiasts remembered ~ From Will Elliott, Buffalo News
Outdoors Columnist 2/15/09
Outdoors folk lost two major
volunteer contributors this past week with the death of Doug Stein
on Sunday night and the passing of Donna Zawacki on Monday morning.Stein fought a bitter bout with cancer. A seasoned charter
captain on Lake Erie and on Lake Ontario, Stein also served an
eight-year term as Niagara River Anglers Association president,
during which he founded the clubs’ involvement in pen-rearing
projects and kids fishing ponds at the 3-F Club. NRAA members and
angling friends throughout Western New York have lost an expert
marine engine mechanic and a valued friend.

Zawacki served as a solid supporter of Hawkeye Bowmen events and
activities since she and her husband, Dick Zawacki, joined the club
nearly 50 years ago. After more than 15 years of heart
complications, she died Monday morning. Hawkeye members, family, and
hosts of friends remembered her on Wednesday evening.

Both devoted a lifetime to the outdoors and amassed legions of
good friends along the way.

from brother Cliff  

As a memorial to my brother
, who passed away February 9, 2009.

Doug was an US Army Veteran and a fishing charter captain
on the great lakes.

“Life’s Journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a
well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out,
shouting “Holy Sh*t!!! What a Ride!!!”

Indeed he did.

You will be missed.

Recent Photo of Doug with Wife Kim

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