Published: 1:44 pm, Tue. Jan. 5th, 2016Updated: 1:39 pm
No formal services are scheduled for Douglas Vaughn McQuay of Artesia.
McQuay, 53, passed away peacefully in the early hours of the morning Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016, at his home.
It was his desire to be cremated and his ashes scattered near the ocean, where he loved sailing and spending time with family and friends.
A celebration of life balloon release will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, at The Derrick Floor, corner of Sixth and Main streets. Please join us at that time at the park, or wherever you are in the world, and share with us as we say goodbye to a loved one and friend to many.
Doug was born May 26, 1962, in Artesia to K.H. “Bud” McQuay and Carolyn (Warren) Edwards. He attended schools in Artesia, Albuquerque and Houston, Texas. He studied electronics and communications engineering at New Mexico State University-Carlsbad. The NMSU instructor at the time was so impressed with Doug’s understanding and knowledge of the field, he turned the class over to Doug on several occasions to teach and better explain the technology to students.
When someone passes, you often read that they were taken too soon. In the case of Doug McQuay, he could have lived three lifetimes and not completed all the dreams and wonders he had. He’d be the first to tell you he wasn’t perfect and learned some life lessons late. That doesn’t take away the gift he was to those who knew him.
He was a man of many talents and gifts. He was a man of few spoken words but a believer in the power of communication. The belief was so strong that he started a communications business at a young age in Artesia and went on to build telecommunication towers and systems all over the world – and in working with research and development, he built his own software packages to monitor remote processes such as oilfield installations, water utility facilities, gas pipelines, etc.
His reputation as a specialist in his field garnered the attention of major communications companies, and it didn’t seem to matter where he was needed to build his systems: Las Vegas, London, the top of the World Trade Center in New York, India, Japan, many Third World countries, and ranches across Texas, as well.
Telecommunications wasn’t his only form of communication. Doug was a lifetime learner. If you walked into any home he lived in, you would see bookcases full of books he had read. He was a gatherer of knowledge and new ideas. He didn’t just take on the ideas in those books as his own. He would question them and study them. He had his own opinions and loved to discuss or have a spirited debate about interesting topics. He would likely call this his “blurse” – a blessing and a curse. It was part of just what made Doug – Doug. We love him for it.
He played music by ear. He started with the trumpet, and we recall him being shy trying to play “Happy Birthday” for his Mom. Soon, he was playing to a room full of anyone who would listen, as he played the trombone, guitar and drums. In addition to music, he loved to move people with his laughter. His humor was woven deep into his genetics yet was uniquely his own. His quick-witted, smart humor relied on timing: He would say his line, then wait for it to set in as he looked at the receiver; then he would laugh with the receiver as if they held some special secret together.
The tenderness in Doug was what not everyone was able to see – those loving blue eyes that could tell a story without saying a single word. The gentle touch on a shoulder that said “I love you” more than the sentence could ever convey.
After 20-plus years of being away from Artesia and family, Doug reconnected in 2013 with lifelong friend and love of his life Lori Malone and returned home to start a new life adventure with her, and to be around family once again. Upon his return, he started his own business, McQuay Technology, and went to work. He was an independent software developer/embedded systems developer and had contracts with companies throughout the United States. He planned to continue his contract work with former clients overseas as he expanded his business in the local area, as well.
His business expansion was not to be, however. In the spring of 2015, Doug was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, and those plans along with those Lori and Doug had as a team were not to be realized in the way they had hoped. However, they met the disease head on together, and she was to be his biggest champion through the coming months. She has been his constant companion, source of strength, and encouragement through his last year. His love and appreciation for her was no secret to anyone who knew them, as he was the first to shout out his feelings for her to anyone who was around.
Survivors include the love of his life, Lori Malone, of the home; his mother, Carolyn Edwards, of Rio Rancho; sisters Stephanie McQuay of Longview, Texas, and Colette “Nicole” Cox and husband Ruben of San Juan Capistrano, Calif.; his children, A.J. McQuay and wife Megan of Albuquerque, Jordan McQuay of Plano, Texas, and daughter Brooke McQuay of Sugar Hill, Ga.; grandson Luke McQuay; stepmother Brenda McQuay of Hot Springs, Ark.; stepsisters Stephanie Ussery, Robin Donnelly and Leslie Kauffman; stepbrother Trey Edwards; aunts Marilyn Shaw and husband Harry of Rio Rancho, and Martha Patterson and Nancy Jorren, both of Artesia; uncle Robert McQuay and wife Joan of San Diego, Calif.; numerous cousins – Gary Gwynne, Steve Shaw, Rod Shaw, Jim Jorren, Jenise Dahlin, Rusty Gwynne, Cara Peterson, Roxanne (McQuay) Kenny, and Paul McQuay of California; and nieces and nephews Tyson Yates, Trevor Yates and McKayla Morrison, all of Texas, and Austyn Guthrie and Erica Cox of California.
He was preceded in death by his father, K.H. “Bud” McQuay; his stepfather, Tom “Tom-Tom” Edwards Jr.; paternal grandparents Robert F. and June McQuay; paternal grandmother Billie Bullard; maternal grandparents Ernie and Louise Warren; three cousins, Dwayne Shaw, Ray Gwynne and Christy Patterson; and uncles Gary Gwynne, Ed Patterson and Harry Jorren.
In lieu of flowers, Doug requested memorial donations be made to Lakeview Christian Hospice in Carlsbad or the American Lung Cancer Society.
Arrangements are under the direction of Terpening & Son Mortuary. Condolences may be expressed online at www.artesiafunerals.com.