Douglas Murdoch Jeffrey, 85, of Southbury, CT, died peacefully in his home on April 16, 2021.
Born in Bridgeport on August 7, 1935, to the late Thomas and Jessie (Nicholson) Jeffrey, Doug graduated from the Danbury State Teachers College (now Western Connecticut State University) in 1957 and earned his master’s in education from the University of Bridgeport. He taught in the Newtown school system, mostly 5th and 6th grade in the Newtown Middle School, for over 35 years, touching the lives of thousands of students. Even years after his retirement, ex-students comment that “Mr. Jeffrey'' was a favorite teacher. The Doug Jeffrey Award for the school’s literary magazine was named in his honor. He also worked at the Newtown post office for nearly 20 years. His old post office box, No. 2, can still be seen in situ next to the Postmaster’s No. 1 box in a wall in the My Place restaurant in Newtown, the site of the original Newtown Post Office building.
Doug began dating his wife Ellen (Midgley) in the 1970s and they soon started a yearly tradition of going to the horse races in Saratoga Springs, NY. In 1987 they eloped in Saratoga and returned every summer for their anniversary—or for the races, no one was ever sure. They remained happily married for 33 years until Ellen’s death in December, 2020. Like Doug, Ellen taught in the Newtown school system for over 35 years.
A sports enthusiast, Doug played various organized sports, coached in the Newtown Little League, and followed, sometimes too fervently, the NY Giants and Yankees. When he retired, Doug was able to turn his attention to one of his great passions, golf. For years he played three or four times rounds of golf a week, visiting countless courses around the state. He loved music, too, mostly Sinatra and Willie Nelson, but also such diverse acts as Delbert McClinton and Lyle Lovett. He greatly enjoyed reading mysteries, his many cats over the years, and to end each day with good scotch.
Doug had the gift of making everyone he met feel welcomed and well-liked. A feeling that was returned by his many friends who enjoyed his humor and easy smile.
Doug was predeceased by his wife, Ellen, and his two brothers, Thomas S. Jeffrey and John D. Jeffrey. He is survived by his three children from a first marriage to Jane (Moore) Jeffrey and their spouses, James and Sarah Jeffrey, John and Amy Jeffrey, and Jodi (Jeffrey) and Barry Blumenfield; his ten grandchildren, Robert Jeffrey, Brian Jeffrey, Paul Jeffrey, Jessica Jeffrey, Emily Blumenfield, Ian Jeffrey, May Blumenfield, Carter Jeffrey, Evan Jeffrey, and Emma Jeffrey; his seven nieces and nephews, Thomas and Marie Jeffrey, Linda (Jeffrey) and Angelo D’Agostino, Donald Jeffrey, Scott and Jennifer Jeffrey, David and Diane Kuhla, Michael Kuhla, and Kathleen (Kuhla) and Paul Singley; and his beloved cat, Simon.
There will be a celebration of Doug and Ellen’s life together later in 2021. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Southbury Animal Control, 501 Main Street South, Southbury, CT 06488.
Arrangements were entrusted to Munson-Lovetere Funeral Home. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.munsonloveterefuneralhome.com.
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