Douglas S. Poulter, age 90 of Ferryville, passed away of natural causes on Tuesday January 19, 2021 at Great River Care
Center in McGregor, Iowa. He was born August 13, 1930 in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, the son of Samuel and Jennie
(Nystrom) Poulter. During his childhood in Lake Geneva, he especially enjoyed all the people and activity summer would
bring, and his friendship with the Wrigley children was formative to his life-long devotion to the Cubs and Bears. In his
adolescence, he learned to box and became a tournament-caliber table tennis player.
Douglas’s professional passion was education. In 1952 he graduated from UW-Whitewater with a Bachelor of Arts
degree. In the summers between teaching school years, he elected to attend the State of Iowa University in Iowa City,
achieving a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) degree in 1957. It is there, in the summer of 1955, Douglas met his first love of
his life, Alice Dunn, and they married over Christmas vacation December 1955, this in Vinton, IA. They moved to the
Chicago suburbs where he worked in the Proviso Township School District 1957-1980, teaching English, Speech, and
Theatre. There he directed over fifty theatrical performances, including South Pacific and Oklahoma. In 1980, he and
Alice moved to East Moline, IL where Douglas was employed by United Township School District as First Assistant
Superintendent in charge of High School instruction, evaluation, curriculum development, and improvement. He
enjoyed this new administrative challenge and became a consultant of the same to other school districts. In near-by
Geneseo, he continued his enthusiasm in community theater, directing several more productions including The Sound of
Music, his zenith moment as a community theater director. Alice’s failing health, a progressive lung condition, led to an
early retirement from United HS in the late ‘80s. He and Alice were unable to have children, a tremendous
disappointment to them both. Alice passed in July 1989.
In the summer of 1996, on a blind date arranged and accompanied by mutual friends and a dinner prepared by chef
Douglas, he met his second love of his life, Bonnie Jesseau Qualey. They were married on January 11, 1997 at the
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Boscobel. It was one of the colder days in memory and the Eve of ICE BOWL
II, following which Douglas graciously tipped his Bears cap to the victor Packer fans. Douglas and Bonnie loved each
other dearly, and with Bonnie’s six grown children, Douglas was instantly a (step-)father, grandfather, and great
grandfather. He experienced friends and family, births and baptisms, birthdays and graduations, engagements and
weddings, anniversaries and reunions, parties and travel, holidays and vacations, theater and concerts, all in a
whirlwind, typically to his enjoyment and always entertaining. As life plays, in 2007 Bonnie was diagnosed with cancer,
and though a valiant battle fought together, eventually she succumbed on December 26, 2013. A cruel fate, for the
second time, Douglas losing the love of his life.
Douglas continued to be loved and supported by family and friends up through his death, including the Qualey children
and grandchildren, Poulter niece and nephews, and his close friends in the Ferryville area. Douglas enjoyed hosting and
sharing a good dinner, a fine wine, a celebratory cigar, a fun story, and a warm fire with family and friends. He was well-
read and traveled. He appreciated the elegance of historic collectibles as well as the natural beauty of wildlife viewed
from his back porch or gazebo. He lived life principled, with purpose and determination. He loved family, and of course,
his Cubs and Bears. We will all miss Douglas and his endearing qualities.
The Qualey family extends our heartfelt gratitude for the care and kindness provided to Douglas while in failing health,
including those Ferryville friends and Lori Knapp Home Services who provided daily support to him at his home over his
last few years, and then the tremendous and dedicated staff at both Crossing Rivers Health Medical Center in Prairie du
Chien, WI and the Great River Nursing Home in McGregor, IA who ensured his safety, comfort, and dignity over his final
months of life.
Douglas is survived by his stepchildren: Peter (Tracy) Qualey of Verona, Michael Qualey of Mason City, IA, Anne (Randy)
Scheck of Burlington WI, Beth (Burt) Katubig of Littleton CO, Patrice Qualey (Scott Gilbertson) of Madison, Amy Qualey-
Mason (Andrew) of Denver CO, ten Step-Grandchildren, five Step-Great-Grandchildren, Niece Alice Poulter of
Chanhassen, MN, Nephews Dave Poulter (Jody) of Lake Zurich, IL and Steve Poulter of Bloomington, MN.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother James (8/1998), and his sister-in-law Joyce Poulter.
Due to Covid 19 and its public distancing restrictions, a memorial service will be held Saturday August 14, 2021 at the
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Boscobel followed immediately thereafter by a celebration of life gathering
with family and friends. The Kendall Funeral Service in Boscobel is assisting the family. Those wishing to send memorials
or cards can do so by sending them to Dr. Peter Qualey, 9809 Hill Creek Drive, Verona Wisconsin 53593. The Douglas
Poulter Memorial collection will be donated in its entirety to the Great River Nursing Home in McGregor, IA.
Online Condolences can be sent to www.kendallfuneralservice.com
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