Doug Gatcke was born on December 3, 1934 in Kitchener, Ontario. In 1957, he received his diploma in sales and marketing from Ryerson. He worked as a salesman for a pharmaceutical company and then with Xerox. In 1970, after seven years with Xerox, Doug and his wife, Enid, purchased the Grand Central Hotel in Orangeville. Working countless hours, Doug renovated the hotel and quickly developed it into a successful hotel and restaurant.
Six years later, at the age of 40, Doug realized he wanted more time with his family and sold the hotel—it was a defining moment in the couple’s life and they moved to Butterfly Lake in Glen Orchard. Here Doug rekindled his love of woodworking and began carving burl bowls and creating marquetry. What first started as a hobby, quickly developed into a full-time job. He was a member of the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour and Muskoka Arts & Crafts where he was the president for four years and a long-time exhibitor at the Summer Show. In 1997, Doug was presented with a Lifetime Membership and had the Members’ Choice Award at the Spring Members’ Show named in his honour. One of his turned maple burl bowls was accepted into the Permanent Collection in 1992.
Another defining moment for Doug came on February 29, 1996, when he suffered a major stroke that would leave him completely debilitated. When Doug was transferred to the Shaver Rehabilitation Hospital in St. Catharines, he entered the hospital in a wheelchair but was determined to walk out upon his discharge. After 4 months of extensive therapy, Doug walked out of the hospital and returned to Muskoka. Realizing that they would be unable to live in Muskoka, they sold their home in 1997 and moved to Fonthill. On February 26, 2006, Doug passed away at the age of 71.