We are devastated to share that our beloved Stephen has passed away from an unknown condition, after fighting so valiantly for more than three weeks to stay with us. Stephen slipped away peacefully on Tuesday, May 25 at 8:01pm, in the loving arms of his daughter, Rielle, his son, Kieran, and his wife, Kim, while a beautiful impromptu vigil gathered in the spaces outside his window in love and support.
Stephen leaves grieving his cherished wife, Kimberly (née Kukasch); his adored children, Rielle Elizabeth and Kieran Andrew; his mother, Mary (née Afelskie) of Ennismore; his father, Dr. Joseph MacDougall (Margaret Simon) of Lincoln, NB; his siblings, Colin (Karen) of Glenburnie, ON; Heather Maines (Mike) of Gray, Maine; Ian, of Ennismore; twin sister, Stephanie Dolan (James), of Scarborough, Maine; and younger brother and long-time sidekick, Leslie (Jenn) of Parry Sound, ON (formerly of Fort McMurray, AB); his MacDougall nieces and nephews: Branna, Brogan, William, Bronis, Michael, Godson Padraig, Goddaughter Keegan, Fiona, Rhodes and Goddaughter Lennin; parents-in-law Harold and Gail Kukasch, of Huntsville, ON (formerly of Fenelon Falls, ON); siblings-in-law Cheryl and Mike Dove and nieces Jenna and Julia, also of Huntsville, ON; so many dear friends but especially Stephen and Melissa Casselman, Cam Taylor and Mike Collins of Peterborough and dear old friends Kenneth Rogers, of Fort McMurray, AB, and Darren Livingston, of Minesing, ON; numerous aunts, uncles and cousins; his extended Camp Chikopi/Camp Akomak family; and his bewildered Portuguese Water Dog puppy, Maverick. He was so loved.
We are heartbroken and in shock. Stephen was our whole world. He was an amazing husband - patient, supportive, devoted and loving. He was an incredibly involved Dad who never missed an event or turned down an opportunity for a mountain bike ride with his kids, a chance to toss a disc with them or a dock-to-rock swim at the lake. He is idolized by both Rielle and Kieran; Daddy will always and forever be their hero.
Stephen was a devoted son, brother and uncle. He was loyal to his 'Moomier' and was definitely more than a son-in-law to Harold and Gail. He was a favourite 'fun uncle' and Godfather.
Stephen was an incredible friend to so many, and he always left a lasting impression. The stories and comments people have been sharing in recent days speak to that; to know him was to love him. Stephen was an excellent listener and had an uncanny ability to engage with anyone and make them feel important. When time and distance separated old friendships, they were always easily revived upon reunion, and these last difficult weeks have made it abundantly clear that this is indeed true.
Stephen was born in Bikita, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) on February 9, 1976, where the family lived for his early years before moving to a historic farm alongside the Saint John River in Lincoln, New Brunswick. There he spent his youth playing in the flats and, later, working on the farm. He was industrious even then, working to ensure board of his horse, growing and selling market fruits and vegetables and operating an apple cider business with his siblings and a couple friends. A family of bagpipers, Stephen learned to play the pipes at a young age and East Coasters may recall Stephen and his siblings playing alongside their vegetable stand at the Fredericton Farmers Market in the early 90s.
Stephen attended McMaster University, where he and Kim met and he forged numerous enduring friendships, and then pursued his dream of becoming an automotive mechanic at Mohawk College, graduating at the top of his class. Stephen began his career at Johnston Chrysler in Hamilton, and is still recalled fondly there. Shortly before he and Kim married in 2003, they decided Peterborough would be a great place to raise a family and create a life. At the time they had a boat on the Trent-Severn system that was kept at Birch Point Marina in Bobcaygeon, and they imagined boating on weeknights instead of just weekends. Stephen accepted a position at Lindsay Dodge and the deal was sealed. Stephen and Kim were married on October 25, 2003, in Uxbridge, and began building an incredible life in Peterborough.
Stephen was an active and passionate community volunteer. He was a member of the Hastings and Prince Edward Regimental Pipe Band for a few years before resigning due to scheduling difficulties - he wanted to spend weekends with his family. He was a pioneering member of Peterborough Ultimate League (PUL - frisbee) and he facilitated many skills and community outreach clinics over the years. He was a quiet, natural leader and people gravitated toward him. Stephen was an integral part of setting up and running the highly regarded PUL Juniors Program, sharing his passion for Ultimate with youth in our community and helping to grow and shape the sport. He loved ultimate and our amazing ultimate community here in Peterborough, and was highly regarded as not only an excellent player but a respected sportsman, a patient and positive coach and just an all around great guy who always had a smile.
Stephen was also proud to represent our community's citizens with his appointment to the City of Peterborough Arenas, Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (APRAC), passionately helping to guide our city's vision for sport. He advocated for better access to field space for ultimate, and believed strongly in the community building capabilities of the sport, especially with its low barriers to entry. A long-time competitive swimmer in his youth (Gagetown-Oromocto Titans), Stephen was especially passionate about the construction of the planned athletics and community centre in Peterborough and the inclusion of a pool in its first phase.
Stephen was a loyal and dedicated employee, having spent the last seven years of his career with Mercedes-Benz Peterborough, where his job title was Shop Foreman but everyone knew his role encompassed so much more. He was passionate about the growth and success of the business as though his name were on the sign. He was a highly respected and patient manager and mentor, relishing any opportunity to share his knowledge, especially with young people entering the trade. He was a charismatic but modest leader, and he would have continued to go far. He had been head-hunted over the years to leave, as recently as a few months ago, but he loved his team and his work. He enjoyed the strategic process management challenges of operating a growing department; his little black notebook in which to jot down ideas was never far.
Stephen was multi-talented. He was an athlete who excelled at anything he attempted, sometimes to the chagrin and amusement of others. He could enter a triathlon with minimal training in advance, and literally blow others out of the water (he was very splashy!). The first official triathlon he ever did was a Half Ironman (!). Taking up disc golf had others wondering if he'd played for years; a first attempt at curling saw him put one on the button. That was Stephen, though always modest. He was an award winning and gifted diagnostic mechanic, called upon to deal with all manner of unusual and exotic, and often cases that had long perplexed others. He was a mostly self-taught and quick study home and cottage renovator and someone who was just always willing to lend a hand, a tool or an ear with a smile, brightening any space he entered. He was incredible, and he will be so missed.
I would like to express my most sincere gratitude to the A3 ICU team at PRHC, especially Dr. Mark Maraschiello and Dr. Greg Bishop, who definitely pulled out all the stops to do everything they possibly could for Stephen. All of the RNs, RTs and physicians on his team provided excellent care throughout his extended stay. I had been so looking forward to introducing Stephen to this team and letting them meet the real man he was, because he was amazing.
For those wishing to make a donation in memory of Stephen, an account has been set up at CIBC to support his family and especially his children in their continued pursuit of the sports and activities that he introduced to them, as well as their ongoing care and future education. Donations can be dropped off at the funeral home with cheques payable to Melissa Casselman or Kimberly MacDougall
Friends will be received at the HIGHLAND PARK FUNERAL CENTRE 2510 Bensfort Rd., Peterborough on Sunday, May 30, 2021 from 1:00-5:00 PM. Visitation will be drive up only and friends visiting must remain in their vehicles at all times. Masks are mandatory. A celebration of Stephen’s Life will be live streamed through Stephens Online Obituary on Monday, May 31, 2021 at 6:00 PM. Private family interment Lakefield Cemetery.
Time: May 31, 2021 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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