Cancer survivor dies in crash

June 15, 2013

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Hood County resident Steven Douglas “Doug” Maples, who died Tuesday at age 42 as a result of a one-vehicle rollover accident in Fort Worth, was a cancer survivor who had an unusually wide variety of skills and interests ranging from computer savvy to writing to working with a jail ministry.

The graveside service for Maples, who had lived in Hood County about four years, is set for 10 a.m. today at Cleburne Memorial Cemetery.

Maples’ father, Steve Maples of Cleburne, said a motorist who had been behind Doug’s vehicle saw it gradually veer off the road, and suspected he may have either fallen asleep or had a heart attack. It occurred at about 6 a.m. on Northeast Loop 820, as Doug was driving to work.

Steve Boston, a supervisor at American International Group Inc. (AIG) in Fort Worth where Maples worked in technology support for the “help desk” for about the last year, said, “He was a treasured employee, and he found a way to smile even when times were tough. He would find a way to smile and make his colleagues smile. I was blessed to have known him.”

Maples said his son had been diagnosed with leukemia and was told by doctors he might not live beyond age 20.

“Two or three doctors gave him different times to live,” his father said.

But Doug proved the predictions to be in error after enduring chemotherapy, radiation treatments and a cultured bone marrow transplant, according to his father. His cancer went into remission in 2006.

Mr. Maples said he enjoyed going hunting and fishing with his son, who was concerned about preserving the environment and “loved trees, birds and wildlife.”

Doug had written one book, “A Long, Green Journey,” about putting together a cabin on his property in the Oak Trail Shores subdivision northwest of Granbury. It was published a couple of years ago by Outskirts Press, Mr. Maples said. His son had started writing a second book, his father said, which “was probably going to be a continuation of this one.”

As a freelance writer, Doug wrote numerous magazine and newspaper articles about Ann Richards during her campaign for governor of Texas, his father said. He also followed the now-deceased singing star Selena and had several stories about her published during her career.

Doug previously worked in a jail ministry in Johnson County through Cleburne’s Eastern Heights Church, where he was a member.

“Most any conversation, he would bring in the Bible – the word of God,” his father said.

Doug was a 1988 graduate of Cleburne High School, where he was an A-plus student. He earned a master’s degree in communication at UTA, where he spent time as a disc jockey for the campus radio station.

Doug’s mother, Elaine, lived with Steve in Cleburne. He is also survived by a brother, Chad, and grandfather, H.A. Bicknell.

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