Douglas Brian “Doug” Nadeau, PhD, 63, of Topeka, passed away on November 6, 2021, surrounded by his family.
Doug was born in Holyoke, MA on November 16, 1957, the son of Alton and Virginia (DiNapoli) Nadeau. He grew up alongside and is survived by his two sisters, Nancy Koske (husband Chuck) of Holland, MA, and Sue Matheny (husband Doug) of Ellington, CT. Both sisters would likely tell you that Doug was the favorite child. On May 13, 1977, he married his high school sweetheart, Cynthia E. (Corey) in Northampton, MA, who would definitely tell you that 44 years was not long enough. In addition to Cynthia, Doug is survived by a son, Daniel Nadeau and his wife Liz; a daughter, Jessica Kinsey and her husband Joseph; as well as seven grandchildren, Kael, Ella, Luka, Mila, Max, Thea, and Adriana, who all knew him as “Papa”. His mother-in-law, Dorene Corey of Minot, ME, along with in-laws, nieces and nephews also survive him.
Doug was a great many things, and a brilliant scientist was one of them. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor of Science in Analytical Chemistry and a PhD in Food Science. Throughout his career, Doug held many impressive positions: an Assistant Professor and Cooperative Extension Food Safety Specialist (University of Connecticut), Food Technologist and bringer of delicious brownie desserts (Weight Watchers), and Manager of the Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM). For the last 25 years, Doug served in multiple roles within Research & Development, with Senior Scientist being his last position (Hill’s Pet Nutrition). Despite the degrees, job titles, and awards, the only thing Doug truly cared about was being able to do something he loved every day, and having opportunities to mentor others along the way.
According to Doug (and Jack Nicholson), all work and no play made Doug a dull boy, so Doug spent his free time doing other things, like watching movies, literally any movie playing on the SYFY channel. The Shining and Jaws were among his favorites. He could recite every line, word for word, although he only quoted movies during the most optimal times, guaranteeing him a laugh or two. Aside from being a film aficionado, he also fancied a Tervis cup filled with Jim Beam and Diet Pepsi…but only on the days that ended in “y”, and when he was feeling extra festive – a good glass of Irish whiskey. He was always up for a good game of pool, especially playing to the background music of his 1970s and ‘80s playlist. Known as “Garage Man” and “Mr. Fix It” by his family, Doug’s favorite pastime was working in the garage. He had a passion for motorcycles, dirt bikes, and pretty much anything with a motor. One of his greatest accomplishments was restoring his father’s 1931 Model A Ford, which he me-tic-u-lous-ly brought back to its original, classic beauty by maintaining most of its original parts. Seriously, there’s an instructional binder to prove it.
One could easily call Doug a reserved man, but he had one hell of a sense of humor. “Don’t encourage him!” Cynthia would always say, as everyone laughed at whatever witty remark Doug just muttered. Doug was also selfless, exceedingly dependable, firm, patient (on most days except for moving day), and he believed that a handshake still meant giving someone your word. He also quite possibly made the world’s best cheeseburger, cooking breakfast was his thing, and unfortunately, he passed on his “there’s always room for ice cream” mentality to his daughter.
Doug was a great many things to a great number of people, and he will be deeply missed by his loving family, friends and colleagues. His request to be cremated was honored; putting him in a can of Chock Full o’Nuts was not. Sorry, Dad. A celebration of his life will begin at Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home on Friday, November 19 with a visitation at 4:00 p.m. followed by the service at 5:00 p.m.
The family would like to give special thanks to Dr. David Einspahr and the staff at the Stormont Vail Cancer Center, and the caregivers at Hospice House for their loving attention to Doug. Cynthia thanks her family and friends for their support and love, especially Barb and Allan. Memorial contributions may be made in his memory to Midland Care Hospice, or the Jimmy Fund with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and sent in care of the Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, KS 66603.
Online condolences and fond memories may be left at www.brennanmathenafh.com.