Douglas Kayton

Douglas Wilson Kayton

Sunday, June 29th, 1930 - Tuesday, March 24th, 2020
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Douglas Wilson Kayton, born June 29, 1930, in Portsmouth, Va., passed Tuesday morning, March 24, 2020, at the age of 89 in Roanoke, Va.

Doug was married to Dana Jeanette for sixty-five years before her passing in 2016. They both grew up in the Cradock area of Portsmouth, Va., where they were married in 1951. He joined the Navy shortly after and served during the Korean War. He was very proud of his service to the country. After the Navy, he worked for Norfolk Ship Building and Dry-dock in Norfolk, Va., for over 25 years before moving to Roanoke, Va., where he worked for many years and retired from the American Red Cross.

Doug is survived by his daughter, Kim Thornburg and son-in-law, Buck; his son, Guy Kayton and daughter-in-law, Anne; sister, Beverley, living in Portsmouth, Va.; five grandchildren, Kyle (Jamie), Kalyn (Taylor), Blake (Emily), Max, and Nicholas; and five great-granddaughters, Skylar, Taya, Dana, Hayden, and Lyla.

Doug was a very creative person, and a lifelong wood worker and artist. As an artist, he gave away many of his paintings just to see a smile on another person’s face. He and Jeanette painted hours and hours of murals on the walls of the Salem VA Medical Center in Salem, Va., just to bring smiles on the faces of his fellow service members. He also painted the stories of the Bible on the walls of his church, Salem Presbyterian. The Sunday School teachers still use Doug’s murals to teach young kids the stories of the Bible.

Doug will be missed and all he gave to those around him.

A private service of inurnment will be held by the family at the Salem Presbyterian Church Columbarium. Online condolences may be expressed at
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Salem Presbyterian Church Columbarium
    41 East Main Street
    Salem, Virginia 24153
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Beverly Synan

Posted at 10:01pm
Meeting Doug while taking care of his sweet wife, Jeanette was one of the life experiences that I remember fondly...filled with lots of laughter, tears, compassion and friendship. I often told Doug, that he would have loved my dad because they were both in the Navy and their personalities were the same.. Doug was a man of many talents but the love he displayed caring for his wife far outshines any other talent he possessed. I miss so much about him, even though our friendship was brief ..he left such a special place in my heart......I hope you and Jeanette are not only listening to your big band music but kicking up your heels in heaven.

Ron Campbell

Posted at 11:01am
Doug was a great friend. We met when he took my Pen and Ink art class. He was my oldest student at 86 years old and he was the best (in my opinion) in the class. The younger adults were amazed at his art. We kept in touch when he went to assisted living. He liked it there because he was around people and I think many were impressed by him. He was very aware of the world as it came to him, well anchored in reality. I loved sitting out front at the assisted living unit and talking to him. I saw many pictures of his children and their children that he had drawn. He was so proud of his family... Rest in peace, Doug!

Mark Agner

Posted at 10:24am
I was very sad when I heard that Doug had passed . He was an incredible person that had many attractive qualities ! I first met him at the ballfields when Blake was in little league baseball . His personality , and storytelling was second to none ! I am smiling now as I remember some of his stories . One of my favorites was how he was able to travel all around the world with Dana for no cost by agreeing to give up their seats , being bumped to the next available flight and getting complimentary tickets ! He loved to tell all the places he had been by doing this , almost as much as I enjoyed hearing how he had done it ! His artistic abilities were very admirable as well . He offered to paint the wall of the Northside High School wrestling room for me and I was able to watch him work from a ladder as I stood on the floor . He was gifted at being able to see the larger scale that the project required . I was able to hear some of his stories in the days he spent on that ladder , and each time I look at that wall I will remember him and what an incredible person he was . He would accept no payment from me and truly seemed happy to do this for the school . I will always consider him a personal role model for myself for the dedication he had to his family , his generous outgoing spirit , his artistic talents , and his sense of humor . To Kim and the Thornburg family , please know that I share your grief at such a difficult time . I am confident that the world is a much better place because of the time Doug spent here . His family and artistic legacy will continue here on earth while he reunites with his wife in heaven and sees what he can get in to there !! Mark Agner Roanoke Virginia

Marlene Morgenstern RN

Posted at 08:54pm
To the family of Doug Kayton:
My sincerest condolences in the recent death of Doug, whose obituary I came across quite by accident while browsing the Roanoke Times tonight. I have been a nurse at the Salem VA Medical Center for 33 years and just retired a month ago. I have always greatly admired the murals Doug and Jeanette painted on the walls of Building 7. They are a charming array of pastoral scenes, with farm animals, trees, marine animals, all four seasons and especially the emblems of each of the branches of the military. Countless veterans, families and staff members have enjoyed that artwork over many years. They have left a wonderful legacy for all to experience.

David Bridges

Posted at 08:15pm
I am sorry to hear of Doug's passing. I will always remember him for being a neighbor and great friend.
I often think of Doug and Jeanette whenever I am at the beach House in Kill Devil Hills.

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