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Tommy Douglas “Doug” Purkey

Tommy Douglas "Doug" Purkey

Tommy Douglas “Doug” Purkey

Tommy Douglas “Doug” Purkey died on Friday, October 19, 2018 after a 17 year battle with addiction that began in high school.

His death was unexpected, yet something his family had lived in fear of for a long time. Though our hearts are beyond broken, we take comfort knowing Doug is finally at peace, his long battle won for him by his Lord and Savior.

Services will be at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, October 25, 2018, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel.  Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, 2800 Paramount Blvd.

Douglas was born on October 5, 1985 in Amarillo. He graduated from Amarillo High School in 2004.

When Doug walked into a room, you immediately noticed—partly because he was almost six and a half feet tall, but also because his beautiful smile and warm blue eyes drew people to him, as did his infectious laugh. When Doug was around, people wanted to be near him.

Though he was an addict, that one thing out of the thousands of things that made Doug who he was did not define him. Instead, these are the things he will be remembered for most:

Doug loved his family. His grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, his aunt and uncle and his cousins meant everything to him. If a family member needed anything, Doug would drop everything he was doing to help them. He loved working on race cars and going stock car racing with his Dad. He enjoyed going fishing with his uncle. And he loved hanging out and just being around his brothers and sisters.

Doug loved children, and they naturally loved him. If there were any kids in a place Doug happened to be, you could bet they would be drawn to him. He loved spending time with his nieces and nephews and they, along with his little brother who is 27 years younger than he, worshipped him. The times they had together will be treasured forever.

Doug loved his chosen profession. He had a successful tree-trimming business on and off for many years. It was a business he loved and did well. He especially liked talking with potential clients to win new jobs. Doug was good at establishing a rapport and making people feel at ease. People wanted to do business with him.

Doug loved his dogs. He had two well-trained pit-bulls and they were each 150 pounds of pure love and affection to him.

Finally, Doug loved people. He would have given his last dollar to anyone who needed it. His final action here on Earth was to donate his organs so that others could have a second chance. His lungs, liver and kidneys will live on. We were hoping his heart would as well, but nobody in the family was surprised when the doctors said it was too big to donate—we’ve known all along his heart was the biggest thing about him.

It’s been said that it takes a village to raise a child, and Doug had a pretty big group that had a hand in raising him. Doug is survived by his grandparents, who he lived with for most of his life, Tommy and Ora Lee Hodges, who he affectionately called his “Nan.” He is also survived by his mother, Tina Hedger, his father, Kenny Douglas Purkey, Jr. and wife Kenja, and Kenny’s former partner, Shelly Anthony.

He’s also survived by four brothers, Dylan Hedger, Drayton Hedger, Joey Bybee and wife Laurie, and Beckett Purkey; two sisters, Ashley Osborn and partner T.J. Johnson, and Indigo Cavazos; his uncle J.T. Hodges, his aunt Susan Williams; nieces Makinlea Johnson and Chloe Bybee; nephews Christian Brown, Zander Johnson, and Connor Bybee; his cousins Nicole Dunnam and husband Rocky, Zachary Hodges, Colton Hodges and Morgan Rogers; and his two beloved pitties, Zeus and Athena.

To parents of addicts, never give up on your children—but even more important, tell them every single day how much you love them and remind them that nothing will ever change that. Take pictures every chance you get, and remember to be in them also.

To people who work with addicts, or see the effects of addiction–while this disease has become epidemic and you’re likely overwhelmed, thank you for all that you do. May you continue to see the people in front of you as someone’s son or daughter who is worthy of your effort, rather than just another statistic.

Finally, to anyone who is addicted—know that we see you, that we believe in your ability to create a better life for yourself, and that every day is a new reason to try again.

We are forever changed by Douglas leaving. Our grief knows no bounds, but we are not alone. The parents of over 72,000 teens and adult children who died of addiction last year are grieving along with us. There is almost no one this disease does not touch in some way. The family requests that memorials go to help other families with addicted children by giving to Managed Care Center in Lubbock, or to ARAD here in Amarillo.

19 Comments

  • Misty D Lang Posted October 22, 2018 3:58 pm

    May the Lord wrap you in his arms and give you all the comfort and strength as you go through this time. You all are in my thoughts and prayers! Fly High Doug Fly High Sweet Angel!

  • Breanna Campbell Posted October 22, 2018 5:12 pm

    If only I would have known that seeing u that night on bonham would be the last time I saw I would have told u what an amazing person you really are despite all the crazy stuff you said and did to make me mad I would have do things totally different,..I love u homeboy fly high bro until we meet again gone but never forgotten R.I.P 10/19/2018 thanks for always being you

  • debra Posted October 22, 2018 5:48 pm

    i have to say your post touches my life in every way. i have a son michael that was born on oct 5,1985 and he is a mirror image of your son….. i pray every day that someday he will be able to beat his demons! he too loves his family, kids love him, and he worked for a tree trimming company. i will pray for your family as i know first hand what drugs do…. much love to your family…. God bless you……

  • Millie Bingham Posted October 22, 2018 6:15 pm

    Thoughts and prayers are with all of the family 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼💕

  • tino hernandez Posted October 22, 2018 6:47 pm

    Well said the enemy is strong but we have our Lord Jesus Christ. We have help out there and I pray you touched someone going through addiction because the only thing that saved me was INCARCERATION over 5 years . Thank you for sharing God Keep Blessing you Guys.

  • Patty Posted October 23, 2018 7:55 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I did not know Doug, but I read his obituary. It breaks my heart. Addiction is so real and tears up so many families. My mom had 10 kids of which 6 were drug addicts and or alcoholics. 2 have been buried in the last 4 years and 3 are not far from death. It’s sad and until they want and get the help they need all we can do is pray for them. I’ll keep your family in my prayers because I know the Lord hears our hearts.

  • Candi Posted October 23, 2018 10:30 am

    Although this was a beautiful obituary, addiction was such a small part of who Doug was. I hate that that is what seems to stand out the most, because Doug was so very much more. His addiction was an issue, and it may have ultimately sent him to watch over us, but that’s the last thing that comes to mind when I think of Doug. I never could be mad at him for long and there is no amount of money I wouldn’t give to have him back. He was so funny and real. He was one of my best friends and he is irreplaceable. I saw him the night before and I wish I would of made him stay with me longer! I love u Douglas and I’m at ease knowing ur finally watching over me every day! RIP love! Love always and forever, Your real wifey for lifey

  • Tammy Beck Posted October 23, 2018 10:34 am

    I’m so sorry for you all. JT you’re all in my heart and prayers with lots of strength for you all.

  • Eric Mason Posted October 23, 2018 11:44 am

    Rest easy my friend for death is not tha end but it’s tha beginning of eternal life…….

  • Mat Guzman’s Mom Posted October 23, 2018 11:56 am

    I feel your sorrow and your pain.
    We lost our son five years ago on August 5. Mat had been in and out of treatment for several years. He too was a big guy at 6’2 with a heart and smile that would melt you to your core.
    He was loved by and missed by many.
    Addiction knows no boundaries. Rich, poor, famous or your friend or family.
    Always, pray and tell them you love them. A mothers love is unconditional there are no if ands or buts.
    I’ll pray for your family and knowing your son is living for eternity along with my son Mat with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We will see them again when God calls us home. Until then may God and prayers give you comfort in your heart that is now missing a piece. Love and prayers. Mat’s Mom.

  • Wendy Danner Posted October 23, 2018 3:03 pm

    I am so very sorry for your loss. I can only imagine the pain you are feeling. Please know that your friends and family are here to help hold you up. We love you. Prayers for all of you.

  • Kaye House Posted October 23, 2018 3:06 pm

    I’ve volunteered for a prison ministry for over 20 years & have seen first hand & countless times the despair & grief caused by drug addiction. If anyone does not believe satan is alive & well & working his magic, they have never known an addict or their family. Thank you for this beautiful story & prayers in the coming days for peace. God blessy’alk!

  • KIM POLLARD SANDERS Posted October 23, 2018 4:13 pm

    Doug had a great smile. I can always remember how he talked about his “Nan.” I had the privilege of meeting her. I pray for you most of all Nan.
    I knew Doug thru my daughter Meagan. Addiction is horrible and I know too well what it does. I pray for Doug’s family who never gave up on him and supported him always. I am glad Doug does not have to struggle with Addiction. He has been set Free. May God Bless his family

    Kim Pollard Sanders (Meagan’s mom)

  • Shauna lea Neal Posted October 23, 2018 10:05 pm

    Dougy!!! Man, I’m beyond crushed!!! Ive known you for almost 10 years and we just recently got back connected, and I’m so glad we did. You told me that if I ever needed anything, as long as you had it, or could get it, I got it. Thank you for being a true friend. I love you Doug and miss you so much. Watch over me please, you know I need it. R.i.p
    <3 Shauna

  • Tonja Posted October 24, 2018 1:01 am

    One of the most beautiful obituaries I have ever read. Doug’s disease is not what stood out the most. What stood out the most was a huge loving heart, a great smile, a fun spirit/sense of humor and a beautiful family. I was only around Doug a few times, but, the way he spoke about his work, his family & beloved dogs made it clear that he was passionate about his life & the people (& dogs) in it. He was so funny, it felt like we laughed for days. My heart is broken for all of you who loved him. Nothing can take away your pain, but, please find comfort knowing that because of you he knew love & happiness & had a great heart. “To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die” It was nice to know you, Doug, rest easy & fly high ~♡~

  • Kira Dunlap and Brett Dunlap Posted October 24, 2018 7:29 pm

    I have known Doug since we were kids, he was my cousin Joey and Ashley’s brother. Doug did light up a room and was so funny. My brother Wayne also sends his prayers and love. Rest in paradise Doug. You will be greatly missed.

  • Monette Treat Posted October 24, 2018 11:28 pm

    I love Doug Purkey! He was in my cooking class at AHS. He was fun to be around! If I ever had to get onto him for something in class, he would look down on me and smile! He and my son, Hunter were friends and Doug came to our house a few times. I remember him playing pool with the guys and laughing. I truly cannot imagine the loss and pain you are suffering but my prayers are with you all. May God fill your hearts with precious memories, ease your pain and comfort you as only He can.

  • Nikki Rael Posted October 25, 2018 2:18 pm

    Purkey,
    Wow, I cannot believe I’m seeing this. We were friends at AHS, same class and all. If I knew the last time I seen you would be the last… This breaks my heart to know you did not overcome all the dumb craziness . You were a kind soul Purkey, you would roll around in that green Ford Explorer. I can still see your big self in the hallways … May You rest now Doug . God please allow the patience, strength, and courage to deal with this loss . May God heal all who feel defeated and struggle daily. To the family and friends, God Bless you , you are in my prayers, my heart, continue to have faith. Though Doug is not with us anymore, he is with his creator and he will rest peacefully . May God Bless You All .

  • Carol Siens Posted October 26, 2018 9:11 pm

    Kenny and Kenja, it’s with a heavy heart that I write this. I met Doug twice in his life and I remember Tammy mentioning him and his Tree business. Doug will be remembered by all those that loved him for happy times. He had a serious addiction problem that he fought hard, God said enough and called him home. He will never be in pain again. Your family is in my Prayers and thoughts, we are not to lose our children but God is in control.

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