Douglas Lloyd Champlin of Gardnerville, Nevada, died peacefully on May 20, 2013, in Scottsdale, Arizona, after a brief illness of cancer. He was born January 9, 1941, in Enid, Oklahoma, to Joe Noble and Jane Edwards Champlin. He is survived by his wife Laurel Raether Champlin, daughter Christa Hampton and husband Cobey, of Cave Creek, Arizona, daughter Claire Woolsey and husband Cole, of Reno, Nevada and Cassidy Champlin of the home, six grandchildren, sister Joanna M. Champlin and husband Shawnee Brittan of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, many nieces, nephews and beloved friends all over the world.
Doug is preceded in death by his parents and beloved brother, H.H. (Bud) Champlin, formerly of Enid, Oklahoma.
As a young boy growing up in Enid, Oklahoma, Doug developed a love for history and the military. He became a collector at a young age of toy soldiers, guns, and just about anything he could get his hands on related to history. He attended Mercersburg Military Academy and graduated from University of California, Berkeley, in 1964 with a degree in political science and was a member of Phi Delta Theta. While at Berkeley Doug enrolled in the Army Reserve Officer Training Course and upon graduation was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Reserves.
Doug’s love for cars led him into the racing world and his love for firearms led him into manufacturing fine rifles through Champlin Firearms in Enid. His love for flying led to building reproduction biplanes with Great Lakes Aircraft Co. for a number of years. Doug’s love of history and aircraft took over once again and he began acquiring fighter aircraft all over the world and restoring them to original condition. He acquired WWI and WWII airplanes (all flyable), weaponry, artwork and even had his own restoration facility. His collection was proudly displayed for twenty-two years (1981-2003) at the Champlin Fighter Aircraft Museum in Mesa, Arizona which also was the home of the American Fighter Aces Association and the Flying Tiger Association.
The Museum of Flight is now the home of the Champlin collection. At the time of his death, Doug was a Trustee’s Board Member at the SMOF and an Inductee to the Oklahoma Aviation Hall of Fame.
Memorial services are being held Friday, May 24 at 2:00pm at the Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, Scottsdale, Az. Memorial donations may be made to the Museum of Flight, Seattle, Washington or Hospice of the Valley, www.HOV.org.