Cover photo for Douglas Joseph Railey, Jr.'s Obituary
Douglas Joseph Railey, Jr. Profile Photo

Douglas Joseph Railey, Jr.

May 29, 1954 — June 7, 2024

Huntsville

Douglas Joseph Railey, Jr.

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Douglas Joseph Railey, Jr.– Huntsville, AL - Colonel Douglas Joseph Railey, Jr. (USAF, Retired), 70, passed away Friday, June, 7, 2024, at his home in Huntsville, AL. He overcame many obstacles and accomplished so very much in his life.  He was born in New Orleans, LA; a 1971 Missouri Boy’s State graduate and a 1977 graduate of Louisiana State University.  He loved his LSU Tigers and was so proud of their 2007 and 2019 National Championships as well as the New Orleans Saints and their Super Bowl XLIV victory. 


During his junior year in the Air Force ROTC program at LSU, at the age of 20, he was diagnosed with cancer and disenrolled from the program. After months of radiation and chemotherapy, he recovered; stayed in remission and fought hard to get back into the program but was denied with a letter telling him he would never be able to serve on active duty in the Air Force. After graduation from LSU, he went to work for Roadway Express, a major trucking company.  While working as a dock foreman in Lafayette, LA he met the love of his life, Bobbie and they were married in 1979.  He was subsequently promoted to the Thibodaux, LA Terminal Manager position, and at that time was the youngest in the company.  His terminal was consistently #1 in the district during his tenure.  While in Thibodaux, Doug earned his Private Pilot’s License as well as his Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) for Scuba Diving.  


In 1980 he went to work as a manager for his father’s company, Video Spectrum in New Orleans. Still longing to be in the Air Force, in 1981, he wrote a letter to the Secretary of the Air Force asking for a waiver so he could be commissioned on active duty.  Unbelievably, he was granted that waiver and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in October 1982—having his dad (Lt Col, USAF Ret) and wife Bobbie pin on his gold bars was a proud moment in his life. During his distinguished Air Force career with 14 relocations, Doug was selected as the Air Force Outstanding Transportation Officer of the Year as well as the Numbered Air Force Logistics Plans Officer of the Year. He was Defense (DAWIA) certified Level III in Program Management and Acquisition Life Cycle Logistics. He held numerous key Air Force leadership positions and served in several highly visible critical weapon systems.  He commanded twice, the first time as a Logistics Support Squadron Commander for C-17s/C-141s at Joint Base Lewis-McChord AFB, WA. In addition, he was the Deputy System Program Director for the E-8 Joint STARS at Hanscom AFB, MA and subsequently the Director of Sustainment for the F-22A fighter aircraft at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH.  While stationed at Wright-Patterson, AFB, Doug pinned on the rank of Colonel.  He then completed his Air Force career back at Hanscom AFB, MA as the Group Commander/System Program Director for the E-3 AWACS program. Doug was a Life Member of the Air Force Association; the Military Officer’s Association of America; and held a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Southern California and a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies from Air University.


After his retirement from the Air Force in October 2008, Doug worked as a Vice President for an INC 500/5000 company, leading over 285+ employees and managing multi-million dollar contracts with the U.S. Air Force and Missile Defense Agency at Redstone Arsenal, AL.  Doug is survived by his wife of 45 years, Bobbie, his best friend and life partner; his incredible son whom he was so very proud of, Trevor; brother, Richard; sisters, Catherine and Susan.  He was predeceased by his father, Lieutenant Colonel Douglas J. Railey, Sr. (USAF, Retired), his mother, Virginia L. Railey and his beautiful daughter, Nakell whom he missed each and every day with a huge hole in his heart. The world has lost a truly incredible and wonderful man. We take serenity in the fact that he touched so many with care and compassion and made a difference their lives—he is someone you hope to meet in heaven.  Doug loved the saying “The nicest place to be is in someone’s thoughts, the safest place to be is in someone’s prayers, and the very best place of all to be…is in the hands of God.” It is gratifying to know that he is now with our Lord and Savior. 

  


Relatives and friends are invited to attend the Memorial Mass at the LAKE LAWN METAIRIE FUNERAL HOME CHAPEL, 5100 Ponchartrain Blvd, (Metairie Cemetery) on June, 27, 2024 at 10:00AM.   Interment will follow with full military honors at Metairie Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asks for donations to be made in his name to the American Cancer Society (www.https://www.cancer.org/) whose mission is so important to finding a cure for this terrible disease. Arrangements are being organized by the Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home.  Please view and sign the Family Guestbook at http://www.lakelawnmetairie.com.

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