Doug Innes

March 25, 1932 - October 18, 2023
October 22, 2023 6 Condolences Print Obituary Send Flowers

Edmonton has lost a musical treasure with the passing of Doug Innes. As well as being an irreplaceable figure in Edmonton’s music scene, Doug was a devoted husband and father.

Doug was born in McCreary, Manitoba, in March of 1932 during the great depression. He was the youngest of five children, having four older sisters. He grew up in Kelwood, Manitoba in a musical home where his father, Ed played violin and his mother, Irene played piano. Money was tight, and his father was often on the road in search of work to keep food on the table.

Doug played hockey in winter, baseball in summer, and rode horses whenever the opportunity arose, but his lifelong passion was music. He was a self-taught musician who never learned to read music, depending instead on his “ear” and remarkable innate musical talent. As a child, he played banjo and clarinet, accompanying his parents at home and, after age 10, in the local orchestra. Later in life, he settled on the clarinet and saxophone.

At age 17, after grade 11, he left home and took a job in the bank. Promotions and transfers took him to several stops across the Prairies—through Winnipeg, Regina, Calgary and, eventually, Edmonton, where he spent the last 60 years of his life. In 1955 he met his future wife, Shirley, in Regina. In 1956, after a whirlwind romance (by today’s standards) they were married. In December of 1956 they welcomed their first son, Grant, to the world. Carol followed in May of 1962 and Brian in February of 1966.

After moving to Edmonton, Doug entered the local music scene, playing in many jazz bands and countless venues and events over the years. At the same time, he ascended in the finance industry, eventually becoming a regional vice-president for the Hong Kong Bank, but ultimately turned down a promotion to the Canadian head office in Vancouver. This would have required him to leave Edmonton—an intolerable concept for Doug.

Throughout his life, he espoused values of hard work and personal responsibility, but he had an affable nature and infectious sense of humor that drew people close to him. After retiring, Doug volunteered with the Conservative Party of Canada, golfed, curled, and cemented friendships with many close friends he accumulated over the decades. He read voraciously, maintaining an impressive knowledge of politics, world events and sports. He loved golfing, curling and all things Edmonton—especially the Oilers and Eskimos. During his last five years, he met Pat Eastman, who became a close friend, an invaluable support and a regular dancing partner.

Doug remained strong and vital to age 91, but prostate cancer and chronic leukemia eventually overtook him, and he died after a brief struggle this fall. He was predeceased by his wife Shirley, his parents Edward and Irene, his sisters Doreen Bell, Helen Gilmore, Ruth Wood and Beryle Finlay, and his granddaughter Brenna Innes. He is survived by his children Grant, Carol and Brian, his grandchildren Kelsey, Kristen, Anthia and Taylor, as well as his great-grandchildren, Logan, Brooke and Adelyn.

The melodies of his life, laughter, and wisdom will live on in the hearts of those who knew him. He will be greatly missed but not forgotten.

We would like to thank Dr. Haydeh Erfanifar for the wonderful and compassionate care she provided as Doug reached the end of his journey. The family will be arranging a celebration of life that will be held on or close to March 25, 2024, the date of his 92nd birthday. We will provide further details as the date grows closer.

  1. Dear Grant, Carol and Brian and families,
    So sorry to hear of the passing of your father. Doug and Shirley were treasured friends of ours for many years. So many wonderful memories. You all were so lucky to have had your dad for so many years. Know that we are thinking of you all during this sad time.
    Love to all,
    Fred and Sandy Stuchberry

  2. Such a dear friend and a wonderful musician.
    We will miss him ❤️

  3. So sorry on the passing of your Father. We so enjoyed listening to him play the Sax and the Clarinet at the Fiddler’s Roost . He was such a great Person to know. One of the Best. R.I.P.

  4. Sincere Condolences to his family and all who knew him. He was a real gentleman, friendly, kind, and a fantastic musician. I treasure the memories of his playing and the times he backed me up with his amazing musical talent. Beautiful write up.

  5. So sad. Doug was a very special person and his exceptional musical ability will be sadly missed; but live on forever in our memories.

  6. Our families and the Innes families have been life long friends starting in Kelwood MB where our parents lived and grew up with the Innes kids. We all have many fond memories of music, music, music.
    Your dad was responsible for my sister Donna Wilson learning how to play the clarinet. Over the years we enjoyed many nights of music and laughter with the Innes.
    My family has lived in Edmonton since 1956. Donna was an avid curler so knew your mother well as we did your dad. He was one of the best.
    Our deepest sympathies
    The families of
    Cliff and Ethyl (Wilson) Stewart
    Cliff and Roxie (Wilson) Ennis
    Morris and Verna (Buchanan) Wilson

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