Douglas Haaland, 67, passed away peacefully and surrounded by loved ones, on January 23, 2020 after a
brief but dignified battle with renal cell carcinoma.
Doug was born on May 3, 1952 in Detroit, Michigan. He spent most of his formative years growing up on
a farm in Henning, Minnesota. Anyone who has heard Doug speak will recall his warm, resonant voice.
His vocal talents also extended to his singing voice where he was a tenor in the Minnesota Allstate Choir
while at Henning High School from which he graduated in 1970. He then served with the United States
Air Force as a radar operator with the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) stationed in the
Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Shortly after his discharge, Doug worked as a correctional
officer in the Michigan Department of Corrections while attending Northern Michigan University.
In his mid twenties, Doug moved from the shores of the Great Lakes to the shore of the Pacific Ocean in
the Bay Area of California. For a while Doug ran his own private security company, Regional Corporate
Security Services, but his deep belief that he would be best as a public servant pushed him to enter the
California State Legislature in 1986 where he served as a true conservative for 27 years. It was here that
Doug’s love for country and his passion for politics flourished. His fields of expertise included agricultural
and water policy, along with analyzing natural resource policy and legislation. Much of his expertise
helped shape the most significant water policies in California in more than 40 years, as well as assisting
in the writing of the 2009 water bond proposals. Over the years he served in a wide variety of positions
within the Assembly and Senate, including that of legislative aide, field representative, legislative
director, principal assistant, staff consultant, and Chief of Staff for two Assembly members. He also
worked as both a Principle and a Chief Consultant for the Assembly Republican Office of Policy and
provided political analysis and consulting for a large number of local, state, and federal-level campaigns.
Additionally, Doug volunteered countless hours to community organizations, including the Rosemont
Community Association and the Rotary Club of Carmichael.
Perhaps Doug’s greatest accomplishment during his years of service at the Capitol was his esteemed
status as a trusted, highly competent colleague, and as a kind, enthusiastic, sought after mentor. He
always stood up for his beliefs and for his people, and loved to engage in lively, thoughtful and
humorous discussions backed up by facts. Doug strove to educate in a respectful and positive way. A
conversation with Doug most often left one more knowledgeable than before it began.
As a husband, a father, a stepfather, a grandfather, an uncle, and friend, Doug was someone who could
be counted on to offer sage, yet succinct personal advice, when asked for it. Doug was fun loving, with a
quick wit. He greatly enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, be it dining out or attending a
San Francisco Giants or 49ers game. Doug also enjoyed movies and music, the coast, road trips, a good
cigar, and was a history buff. He was devoted to his mother and always affectionately referred to each
of his sons, even after they were grown men, as “sweetheart.” Doug was a principled man who believed,“There is nothing more important than protecting the ones we love.”
It was this belief that led Doug to join with victim’s rights groups throughout the state of California
following the murder of his grandson, Dustin, in 1998 – a case of child abuse. Through his efforts, new
legislation known as Dustin’s Law, to protect children and ensure their safety when abusers return from
prison, was written and put into effect. In his later years, Doug met his true love and partner in Jane.While their time together was not nearly long enough, it was a blessed and loving union, one that brought Doug closest to his family. Doug and Jane enjoyed traveling, trips to the coast, their wonderful grandchildren, date nights, binge watching Netflix, holding hands, and just being together. Doug was happy.
Doug is survived by his beloved wife, Jane, Carmichael, CA, and his sons Troy (Gena Daman) Haaland, Hancock, MI, Doug Jr., and Lawrence (Michelle) Haaland, Fresno, CA, his mother, Evelyn Vasend, Henderson, NV, his sister, Carolyn (Hagag) Soliman, Henderson, NV. Doug is the beloved grandfather of Landon, Connor, Samantha, Tristan, Jaedan, Brandon, Ryan, Payton, Charlie, Ryder, Sawyer, Liam and Sonny, fond uncle of Amy, Nicole and Nathan, stepfather of Ashley (Jordan) Abercrombie, Emily (Matt)
Sudol and Dave (Alexa) Strasburg. Doug was preceded in death by Lawrence Haaland (father), Rubin Vasend (step father), Dan Haaland (brother), and Dustin Haaland (grandson).
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery at Dixon, California.
The family is most grateful to the dedicated team of doctors and nurses at Mercy San Juan Hospital with special thanks to RN Oksana and Care Assistant Beza.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Doug’s name to the Doug Haaland Memorial Fund.