Late Southington YMCA executive director to be honored at picnic, memorial service

Published on Monday, 8 July 2019 16:54


SOUTHINGTON - The local YMCA and family members of late former YMCA Executive Director Doug McLeod have organized a memorial service and picnic July 20 in his memory.

The service is open to family, friends and Y members looking to celebrate McLeod’s life. It will be held from 11 to 11:30 a.m., followed by a picnic, at the YMCA Camp Sloper Memorial Forest at 1000 East St.

Mark Pooler, current CEO of the Southington-Cheshire Community YMCA, said that McLeod is remembered for many qualities that shaped him into a community leader.

“Friends and former colleagues described him as compassionate, charismatic, genuine, thoughtful, committed, faithful, a visionary, a risk taker, a mentor, a leader, and most importantly; a friend,” said Pooler.

Pooler said McLeod was a “major contributor” to building the foundation for the YMCA as it is known today.

“Doug’s leadership style helped mentor many young Y professionals and allowed them to follow a career path of service to others,” said Pooler. “Doug McLeod has been one of the most influential leaders in the history of our YMCA. On one of my last visits with him at his home in Florida last summer just before he passed, he shared some of his philosophy on leadership with me. These are lessons that I and many others have tried to incorporate in our daily work: Be honest, be kind, allow your people to make mistakes, love everyone, don’t give up on people and have fun.”

McLeod died Sept. 26 2018, at age 84, surrounded by family members. He was the director of the South Shore, New Haven and Southington YMCAs during his 34-year career.

According to his obituary, McLeod was known for his “leadership style that encompassed caring, respect, integrity and humor.” He mentored dozens of young YMCA professionals and “contributed greatly” to the New Haven and Southington communities. He retired to St. Augustine, Florida in 1992, where he continued his love of travel and community service.

McLeod was previously inducted into the YMCA Camp Sloper Hall of Fame and was recognized as a “living legend” by the Southington YMCA.

McLeod was also an active member of the Rotary Club of Southington, where he served as president and was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow. He was also the president and the archivist of the Florida chapter of the Association of YMCA Retirees and a past president of the St. Augustine Shores Civic Association.

McLeod volunteered at the St. Augustine Historical Research Library and the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and Beyond The Gates Ministry at Bayview Care Center.

To attend the memorial service and picnic, visit to RSVP.

Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or

Posted in The Bristol Press, Southington Herald on Monday, 8 July 2019 16:54. Updated: Monday, 8 July 2019 16:57.