Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 13, 2021
John Frederick Douglass
September 25, 1925 - January 9, 2021
Born in Washington, DC on September 25, 1925 to Bertha
and Harry Douglass.
He was predeceased by his parents and an older brother
William Thomas. John grew up in Washington, DC where
he attended McKinley Tech High School. (1943)
He was recognized early on for his artistic abilities and was offered a scholarship to an art
school. The Washington Post proclaimed him "Boy of the Year" when he was about 10 years
old. John attended Trinity College and joined the Navy in 1943 to use his talents in photography.
He was the first photographer on an aircraft carrier to cover the invasion of Japan. He was
stationed in Okinawa and was set to follow the bombers into Japan....but the war was over the
After the war, he used the G.I. Bill to attend George Washington University and studied Art at
the Corkran Gallery; this is where he met his wife of 65 years, Jacquelyn Leatherbury of Shady
Side. He was quite a catch, voted the best-looking man on campus.
They spent early summers in Florida - both as waterski instructors in Boca Raton, and they
performed at the famous Weeki Wachee tourist attraction. He also swam with Namu, one of the
first killer whales in captivity.
After college, John and Jackie settled in Jackie's hometown in Shady Side, MD. John was a
man of many talents and had a great sense of humor: At one time, he had a trash disposal
business, and when people would ask how's business, he would say "picking up!" He also had
a garage where he salvaged cars. John had a wonderful singing voice and played stand-up
bass. John and Jackie were the artistic talent behind Parrish Creek Artists in Shady Side and
the owners of Leatherbury Point Marina at Woods Wharf in Shady Side.
John designed and drew the cancellation stamp for the postal service in 1988, commemorating
the 100th anniversary of the naming of the quaint peninsula, Shady Side, he now called home.
John and Jackie collaborated on many art projects, including the famous Peterson's
Guidebooks for fish, birds, and shells, including a coloring book. Visitors to BWI Airport in
Baltimore may have seen their highly acclaimed project - the giant, three-dimensional
stained-glass blue crab sculpture. Through all of it, John created an extensive library of art
including book illustrations, sculptures, and beautiful original art.
John is survived by his wife Jackie; he will be sorely missed by his many friends and
acquaintances all over the world.
Relatives and friends may call at the Hardesty Funeral Home, P.A., 905 Galesville Road,
Galesville, MD 20765 on Wednesday from 2 to 4 p.m.
A graveside service will be held on Thursday January 14, 2021 at 2 p.m. at the Woodfield
Cemetery, Galesville, MD.
Online condolences may be placed at www.hardestyfuneralhome.com