Doug First

Doug First, 64, of Berrien Springs passed away with his wife and sons at his side on Tuesday, July 07, 2015 at his home.  

A Celebration of Life Service will be held 11:00 A.M. Saturday, July 11 at the First Church of God, 2627 Niles Ave., St. Joseph, with Rev. Robert Confer officiating.  Friends may visit with the family from 5:00 until 8:00 P.M. Friday, July 10 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice at Home or Berrien County Youth Fair.  Those wishing to sign Doug’s Memory Book online may do so at   

Doug was born March 5, 1951 in Benton Harbor to Harry & Gertrude (Ziemke) First.  He graduated from Benton Harbor High School, Class of 1970 where he played football and was a record setting pole vaulter.  On September 30, 1972, he married the former Paula Cummings in St. Joseph.  Doug was in food service his entire life.  He was employed at Whirlpool in the cafeteria, was manager at Denny’s in Benton Harbor for many years, and for ten years was the food service director for Eau Claire Public Schools.  Doug was a member of First Church of God where he cooked for many years for many youth & church events.  He loved the Berrien County Youth Fair and only missed one in his lifetime.  Doug volunteered for many years at the Berrien Springs Athletic Department, and served as Director of the recreation department, and was instrumental in replacing the track at the high school.  He had a wonderful rapport with all the children he met at both Berrien Springs and Eau Claire.  In his free time he enjoyed tending to his vegetable & flower gardens, canning the fruits of his labors, fishing, playing cards, and spending time with his family and many friends.  

Doug is survived by his wife Paula; two sons-Matthew (Tammy) First of Ovid, MI, Daniel First of Stevensville; his granddaughter Olivia First; two brothers-Ron (Diane) First of Dowagiac, Rick First of St. Joseph; nieces & nephews-Jody, Jamie, Misty, Renee, Evan, Wes, Allen, JoAnna, Chelsea, & Cody; a cousin Dale (Mary) First; a special aunt Lu Helvey, and his sister-in-law Sue First.  He was preceded in death by his parents, his in- laws Al & Ardis Cummings, his sister Diane Schneider, two nephews-Jeffery & Eric First, brothers-in-law-Brad & Chris Cummings, and sister-in-law Patricia Cummings. 

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