Next time you go fishing in Iosco or Alcona counties dedicate one of those fish you catch to Douglas Wayne Minegar, 69, of Mikado, who died March 25, 2023. “Let’s go fishin’!” was his frequent call to his friends and family. The forests, lakes and streams of northeast Michigan were his canvas, and he was a master of many crafts, but most people who knew “Dougie” wanted him to do some drywall project and there isn’t a neighborhood in the area that wasn’t touched by him in his 40-plus years in the craft. Lucky are the ones who are able to have his art. He loved to draw, was an avid woodworker, did chainsaw sculptures and even wrote and illustrated a children’s book for his grandchildren, which are many.
Doug was born Nov. 23, 1953, in Denver, Colorado, to Robert and Jean Minegar. His father was in the Air Force, and he traveled around the United States with his four sisters, Roberta Reed, of Billings, Montana; Anita Scott (Michael), of Pleasanton, California; Beth Moody (Ken), who died of cancer in Battle Creek; and Nancy Rolph (John), of Ypsilanti. During this time, he developed his love for fishing, hunting, and trapping. He also learned to play the guitar, which he did on many occasions around a bonfire or at a party with friends. After graduating from Oscoda Area High School, Doug roamed the country without a care and during those travels picked up his profession of drywalling and painting. He eventually settled off F-41 in Mikado, near his parents. His son Andrew Minegar, 44, of Portage, grew up there.
Doug married Bonnie (Basner) Minegar, and with her came three stepchildren, Sam Basner, 55, of Black River; Mike Basner, 53, of Bay City; and Kim Basner, 50, of Lincoln. Bonnie died of a heart attack while visiting family in Florida. Several years after Bonnie died, Doug married Michele (Rivette) Minegar, 68, of Mikado. Another three stepchildren were added to the family: Brent Dotson,50, of Oscoda; Shannon Dotson, 47, of Mt. Morris; and April Rivette, 42, of Mikado. Michelle, who still lives in Mikado, and Doug were married for 18 years. He taught many of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and friends’ children about running a trap line to “get rid of those pesky beaver,” hunting the big buck or pulling up some pike. He lived for fishing with friends and family on Lake Van Etten or going on fishing canoe trips up the Au Sable River and excursions to his secretive spots to pull up the “brookies” on some stream.
Later in life Doug survived a burst aneurysm, which paralyzed his left side. He spent several years in Lincoln Haven Nursing, where he was known to tell the stories about his outdoor exploits, whether having fun skirting the rules or just contributing to the legend that was left in his wake. There are enough stories people have of Doug that would fill a book, so please, share your crazy stories about him at the Buresh Funeral Home in Oscoda.
A visitation at the funeral home will be held between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and a service at 3 p.m. on April 8, 2023. Some of Doug’s ashes will be scattered in Lake Van Etten, where he could frequently be found while he was still able. At a date yet to be determined we will raise a toast to the man, the myth, the legend of Mikado, Michigan.