Who’s Who? Dr. Douglas Eustace

From a family history perspective Douglas Eustace’s ancestry is interesting because it unites two Eustace families; the Joseph and Hetty (Sear) Eustace family of Eaton Bray, England with James Eustace, one of the 22 children of William and Elizabeth Eustace of Oxfordshire.

Descendents of both of these Eustace families went to Wakefield, Kansas and it was in the Sunflower State that they were united in marriage. Although members of two different, but related Eustace families, it appears that these families may have not been aware of their common ancestors, Abraham and Frances Eustace who were married at Bledlow in 1736 until EFA Master President Donald W. Eustace connected the lines through his research. (See article on the Joseph and Jabez Lines elsewhere in this issue.)

Douglas Llewellyn Eustace was born December 3, 1920 at Wakefield, Kansas to Jeffery Herbert Eustace and Dora Ysabel Eustace. He attended elementary school in Wakefield, Kansas until 1931 when his widowed mother took her three young children to Selah, Washington. Douglas received the remainder of his elementary education at Selah and graduated from Selah High School in 1938. He then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at Eastern Washington University before going on to dental school. He earned his Doctor of Medical Dentistry degree from University of Oregon in 1950. While at Eastern Washington University, Douglas was student body president, participated in Acapella choir and found time to enjoy a match or two of tennis.

He served a total of 7 ½ years in the US Army, first in the Signal Corps, European Theater of Operations (1943-46) and later in the Dental Corps at Ft. Lewis, Washington (1950-53). From 1953 until retirement in 1982, Douglas practiced dentistry at La Grande, Oregon. Since retirement, he and his wife Janet have enjoyed camping and trailering.

On July 21, 1943, Douglas married Helen Janet Smith, daughter of R. Lisle and Helen (Pearl) Smith at Tampa, Florida. They are the parents of four children; Jeffrey Lisle, born January 19, 1947; Christine Louise (Smith), born July 5, 1948; Kimberly Ann (Hathaway), born February 6, 1950; and Alan Dale, born June 5, 1952 (deceased-1973).

Douglas Eustace has been involved in Rotary Club and served as president of the La Grande Rotary. He has also served as chairman the local school board and on the board of the Grande Ronde Hospital.

In 1972, while the dental office was being remodeled, Doug took a trip to India where his son Jeffrey, was serving in the Peace Corps. They spent two months traveling around India by bicycle, bus, train and plane, from Calcutta to Kashmir and places in between. Doug describes the experience as “unforgettable.”

Douglas’ father, Jeffery Herbert Eustace, was born at Wakefield, Kansas in 1872. Jeffrey first married Miriam Hammond in 1907, who died in childbirth the following year along with her first child. He then married Dora Eustace whose brother Harry had married Jeffery’s sister Ethel a couple of years before. Harry and Dora Eustace were children of Edwin Eustace and grandchildren of James Eustace of Chinnor.

Jeffery died in 1926 in Kansas, following an automobile accident. He left a wife and three infant children, Ivan aged 12, Dorothy aged 11 and Douglas 6 years old.
The Dust Bowl which caused great suffering in the Southern Plains began in 1930 and lasted a decade. In 1931, Dora Eustace together with three very young children, left Kansas in a Model A Ford for Washington state where her brother Phil Eustace was living. The oldest son Ivan, then 16, drove the car the entire way. Douglas recalls that there was not one paved road on the entire route between Kansas and Washington.

The parents of Jeffery Eustace, William Eustace and Catherine Elizabeth Cliffe, were married at Manchester, England in 1868 and following the birth of two daughters decided to emigrate to Kansas.