Doug Stuber's passing is a great shock to those of us who were lucky enough to meet him.
I can't top Josh's story, - it's a perfect capsule of Doug's warm & generous personality. One of his special gifts was that if you spent some time with him, it felt like you'd known him for a lifetime. I was trying to recall when I first met him. It seems like our relationship goes back 20 or more years, but in reality he and his wife Darla retired to Amelia Island in 2009, so our first meeting was actually some time after that.
The book auction story is great because, besides highlighting his generosity, it also touches on another of his great loves, which was books. I spent a couple of nights in his den on trips where we used his home as a jump-off point, and I'd guess he had one or two thousand books in his den, mostly hardbacks. Shelves and shelves of built-in bookcases, and then stacks on the floor. On all topics, he was apparently eclectic in his interests. I suspect that to Doug, giving a book was the ultimate expression of appreciation and sharing.
Another thing that may surprise NANFAns who met Doug out in the field on a collecting expedition is that Doug didn't keep native fish. He and Darla built a super koi pond right on their patio just outside their back door, and he was active in the local koi club, but on all these expeditions where Doug was dip-netting & seining & photographing with great enthusiasm, and sharing his catch with anybody who wanted Species X, or sending fish by mail to faraway friends, he never kept any for himself. He just enjoyed the activity, seeing the fish, being with the people.
One of a kind.
He will be missed.