Doug Mataconis

His final resting place pays tribute to his love of OTB and the Yankees.

A member of Doug’s extended family reached out with this message:

It has been a long and complicated year since Doug passed away. We will finally be putting his remains in their final resting place at the Holy Ghost Cemetery in Olyphant PA later this month. Doug will be buried along with his parents Ronald and Jeanmarie.

Since the OTB community was an important (VERY IMPORTANT) part of Doug’s life I wanted to share with you that we chose to include the OTB community on his grave marker.

Thanks again to you and entire OTB community for their support for Doug over the years.

It’s a lovely gesture, indeed.

As I noted in his obituary, despite our long association I really didn’t know Doug well at all. As it turned out, that was true of the few close friends and family he still had left. But I think it’s fair to say that writing here and interacting with all of you was an integral part of his life if not often its highlight.

As much as we want to tell ourselves that online isn’t real life, it can, for many, be a pretty good substitute. And, for those who are particularly introverted, it can often be better.

FILED UNDER: Obituaries, OTB History,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Not the IT Dept. says:

    How much can any of us say we know anyone all that well? Maybe we’re only fooling ourselves that we do.

    At any rate, a very nice grave marker. May his memory be a blessing on his family who cared about him so much.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    He is missed.

    As much as we want to tell ourselves that online isn’t real life, it can, for many, be a pretty good substitute. And, for those who are particularly introverted, it can often be better.

    This introvert can attest. I have friends in the physical world that I don’t get to see near enough but that is due more to the fact that I live so far away from them and have in my later years become quite the homebody.

  3. Kathy says:

    I won’t claim to have known Doug at all. But I miss him.

  4. Chris Smith says:

    I was barely an acquaintance, and live just a few miles from where he was. Would that I could have known him better, as his general brilliance shone through.

    Rest in peace, Doug.

  5. DK says:

    Very sweet. Touching.

  6. Moosebreath says:

    I know how much we all miss him. Such a shame.

  7. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Awesome way for the family to honor Doug and his passions. RIP

  8. Franklin says:

    If you look at the great OTB community that we have here, it attests to the impact that Doug had on most of us. It is fitting that it is memorialized in this fashion, and I appreciate that his extended family made that choice. Thank you!

  9. Michael Reynolds says:

    I wonder how this affects James and Steven. At some point I became aware that people were tattooing things from my books on their bodies and I realized people were taking me much more seriously than I take myself. Doug’s family just tattooed OTB on this headstone. That’ll be there for a long, long time. Does that weigh on our hosts at all?

  10. Jon says:

    Rest in power, buddy. And his memory has already become a blessing.

  11. JohnSF says:

    RIP, Doug.

  12. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    It would depend on how people interpret OTB.

    I’m glad Doug has such a nice memorial.

  13. Beth says:

    That’s beautiful.

  14. Andy says:

    Wow, a year goes by fast. I do miss Doug and his posts, and that’s a really nice touch to put the logo on his gravestone.

    I hope he and his family have found some peace. Thanks for sharing this James.

  15. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    See, James, you guys do have an impact on others’ lives. As my maritime friends say in memoriam, “Fair winds and a following sea, Doug.” Thanks for sharing this, and blessings and peace to his remaining family and friends.

  16. Skookum says:

    Glad to be part of the OTB friendship that graces Doug’s resting place.

  17. Mister Bluster says:

    Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good, too.
    Yogi Berra, New York Yankees

    RIP Doug

  18. Gustopher says:

    He was a good guy. He is missed.

  19. Ol' Nat says:

    I’m glad he was here for us and we for him. :.-) Thanks for the update!

  20. CSK says:

    Next month will be the first anniversary of Teve‘s (Steve Story) death. He, too, is greatly missed by all here.

  21. James Joyner says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’m not sure it’ll mean much to people looking at it but OTB was certainly a huge part of Doug’s last decade. I don’t think this is going to start a trend. Mostly, I think it’s just his people trying to do right by him.

  22. Matt Bernius says:

    I am happy to read that Doug’s family are close to closing this chapter. And it’s such a thoughtful gesture from his family. I find myself from time-to-time wondering how he would write about the day’s events (especially when I’m considering drafting a post).

    @CSK for remind us about Teve’s anniversary as well.

    Years ago, I read a piece on what constitutes a “community” and it emphasized the point that, for as important as it is to celebrate the good times together, a community is also defined by how it mourns and remembers those who have passed.

  23. Mu Yixiao says:

    1) Is somebody cutting onions? Somebody’s cutting onions. Who’s cutting onions?

    2) Doug was the reason I ended up here. His views reflected my own, but were much more informed.

    3) I wonder what genealogists in 100 years will make of the OTB logo on that tombstone. 🙂

  24. Jax says:

    @CSK: Teve is a much missed member of the commentariat. I remember always being amazed at all the things he had at least a working knowledge of, you just never knew what subject was gonna catch everyone’s attention in the Open Forum’s with him around!

    Doug is who brought me here, too, same story as everyone else….I was looking for a conservative viewpoint that wasn’t batshit crazy. And that was even before the Trump years.

  25. EddieInCA says:

    As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been very fortunate to meet several OTB’ers. One, maybe more, are on my list for this year (looking at you Kurtz)

    I met Doug in DC about six years ago. It took us a long time to set it up as Doug was very reticent about meeting anyone from the group. But a friend of a friend helped set it all up and he finally agreed. He was aloof and guarded the whole time but was genuine and, obviously, very smart. I was taken by how much more passionate he was about his centrism than he seemed to show online, where he often came across as just oppositional – to everything. We enjoyed dinner and drinks and went our separate ways, me being the better for it. We texted a times after that but most of our interactions were via this site.

    His death hit me hard because I remembered him saying at that dinner, in the most resigned voice ever, “Life just sometimes sucks”. Wasn’t what he said but how he said it. He seemed in tat Monet, just very tired and over everything. His tone always stuck with me.

    Kudos to his family. It’s a lovely gesture and one I’m certain Doug would have appreciated. He made clear he loved this community.

  26. Jax says:

    @EddieInCA: I’ve always wondered if Trump getting elected affected his mental state more than he let on.

    I’ve hated Trump since the 90’s, long before it was cool, I cannot even imagine how difficult a time it must have been for Republicans/conservatives with actual principles (that hadn’t been suckered into the Fox News kool-aid or decided the money/power angle was worth kissing Trump’s ass).

  27. Rick Almeida says:

    Thanks for sharing this, James.

    The stone is a lovely memorial, but mostly a reminder of how many people are taken from us much toonsoon.

  28. EddieInCA says:


    I’ve hated Trump since the 90’s, long before it was cool,

    As someone who lived in NYC during a large part of the 90’s, I know of what you speak. I have too many friends/acquaintances who told me stories about how shifty and unethical Trump was when it came to paying vendors, reneging on deals, and suing anyone who would look at him wrong.

    He has always been a vile, venal, sad, little man.

  29. @Michael Reynolds: It is striking and somewhat humbling, to be honest. I never met Doug in person. We exchanged some private messages over the years and I know that he valued his time at OTB. I was, and still am, saddened by his untimely death and by whatever it was that was troubling him in those last years.

  30. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    somewhat humbling

    You might not expect it but that was exactly my completely unoriginal reaction to being honored.

  31. Blue Galangal says:

    Thank you for sharing, Dr. Joyner. It’s a comfort for me to see it — I hope it’s a comfort to his family.

  32. Skookum says:

    Doug was an enigma, and if OTB is an enigma to those who view his tombstone, then so be it.

  33. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Alas, seeing this only rekindles the bitterness of his premature loss.

  34. Chip Daniels says:

    His writing and passion will be missed. As a fellow introvert, I can understand someone who keeps their boundaries carefully managed.

  35. Hal_10000 says:

    RIP, Doug. I didn’t know him personally but he was always engaging here and on Twitter. I’ve missed his voice ever since he had take that leave of absence.

  36. Scott says:

    I too have missed Doug’s perspective on events. It was always interesting and thought-provoking. An online community is a new and odd creature, conversing with people you don’t know and yet know a little, each side controlling the terms of the relationship.