Try 1 month for $5

RIO RICO, Ariz. — Douglas "Doug" Stephen Fleck, 59, passed away May 21, 2014, from a heart attack while hiking the Anza Trail near Rio Rico. A memorial service will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Crosby, N.D., on July 17, 2014, at 1 p.m.

Doug was born in Crosby on July 28, 1954, to Anton and Shirley Fleck. He was raised and educated there, graduating in 1972. Doug was an athlete and participated in football, track and field, basketball and baseball. The love of sports remained with him his entire life.

Doug attended Minot State College and graduated from Dickinson State University with a Bachelor of Science in Social Studies Education and Health/Physical Education. Doug earned his Master’s Degree in Educational Guidance and Counseling from Montana State University. He taught and coached football as well as track and field at schools in North Dakota and Medicine Lake and Simms, Mont.

Doug and Patrica "Patty" Hancock from Medicine Lake were married on Aug. 5, 1989. They both were educators and at one time taught at rival schools in Montana, with Patty in Fairfield and Doug in Simms. Doug was high school counselor/football coach for the Simms Tigers from 1987-2003.

Doug's passion for hiking grew while living on the Fairfield Bench which is close to the beautiful Rocky Mountain Front. It was not uncommon for Doug to hike two or three times a week while participating, leading and encouraging others to do the same.

In 2005, Doug and Patty moved to Arizona, where he accepted the counselor position at Mountain View Elementary School (K-5) in Rio Rico, located in southeastern Arizona. Doug's associates commented that Doug had done a lot to establish a warm and caring culture at the school, always putting kids first. Doug retired on May 23, 2013.

As a sports enthusiast, whether living in North Dakota, Montana or Arizona, Doug enjoyed the month of October best of all! This included the MLB Playoffs/World Series, Friday nights attending local and some not-so-local high school football games, and he also traveled back to North Dakota and Montana for high school playoff games. Saturdays, he would be at the University of Arizona (Wildcats) Stadium in Tucson for a pac-12 football game. Sunday was NFL Day and Monday Night Football was pizza night for Patty and him! After retirement, Doug found more time for hiking and attending U of A baseball games.

In addition to his wife, Patty, Doug is survived by his mother, Shirley Fleck of Crosby; and four siblings, Robert (Jean) Fleck, Green Valley, Ariz.; Katherine (Dale) Christianson, Fargo, N.D., Sandra (Donald) Wolf, Crosby, Cynthia (David) Nichols, Portland, Maine; and sister-in-law Jean Thompson, Bismarck, N.D. Numerous nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews survive, and to whom he was that teaser-good-guy "Uncle Doug." Doug also is survived by sister-in-law Beverly Hancock of Billings; and brothers-in-law Bryce (MarShele) Hancock and Jay (Susan) Hancock of Medicine Lake. Numerous Hancock nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews also survive.

Doug was preceded in death by his father, Anton Fleck in 2003, older brother Keith Fleck in 1988, father-in-law Bryce E. Hancock in 1992, and mother-in-law Doris Hancock in 2013.

Doug, you left us way too soon. We all miss you, and now you have the best seat at the stadium!

Obits / News Briefs, Billings Gazette

Sign up to get each day's obituaries sent to your email inbox

Load entries