Douglas Keith Drilling

Douglas Keith Drilling

June 1, 1925 – April 18, 2020
Age 94 of Maplewood. Surrounded by family April 18, Doug passed peacefully from this life to join Helen, his beloved wife of 72 years. Born June 1, 1925 in Minneapolis to Joseph and Mildred (Roberts) Drilling, a family that loved camping, hunting and fishing together. Graduating from South High in 1943, Doug turned his attention to courting the girl next door. Helen, a farm girl from Lindstrom, lived with her aunt while attending Business College. An athletic young woman, she took to the outdoor lifestyle Doug loved and they married in 1946, honeymooning in a tent along the North Shore. In 1953 they purchased a home in Richfield where they lived raising their three children until 1978 when they moved to White Bear Lake. Doug was a salesman for Ehrlich & Co Office Supply in St Paul, eventually owning the business. Helen became the bookkeeper and son, Jim, joined them and took over the business in 1995. Upon retirement Doug and Helen moved to Island Lake near Duluth and enjoyed living near grandchildren while fishing, gardening and x-country skiing. Doug was a kind gentle man of faith who focused on family and friends. He taught his family to appreciate nature and love and protect the outdoors. He could fix anything and taught his children to be self-sufficient problem solvers. He was immensely proud of his family. Even as his body failed him, Doug remained cheerful and uncomplaining, trying to make life easier with a joke and a smile for those who cared for him. Preceded in death by parents; sister, Betty Kenyon; wife, Helen (Nelsen), and daughter, Mary Jo Drilling. Survived by daughter, Kathleen (Terry) Chmielewski; son, Jim (Judy Pilz) Drilling; son-in-law, John Merrill; 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Our thanks to all the staff at Ecumen Seasons at Maplewood for their loving care and to Ecumen Hospice, especially Amy, Plitt, Sammi, Cindy, Yasmin and Joel, for their loving care and support during an especially difficult time. Memorials preferred to Ecumen Hospice, 7541 9th St N Ste 200, Oakdale, MN 55128. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. (Published in the Star Tribune on May 17, 2020)