August 2022

Dear YMCA of the Foothills Family, August is National Wellness Month, a month that focuses on self-care best practices and routines that help reduce stress and worry in our lives! Your Y is placing itself at the cutting edge of “Communal Holistic Wellbeing” as we look to provide additional pathways to a person’s spiritual, mental, social, and physical health. We are doing so with our partners in this space from Glendale Healthier Community Coalition and through innovative and “non-traditional” programs and services like Caregivers Night Out, Hearts for Siblings and our Chaplain Program. We are aware that holistic health and wellbeing comes in all forms and fashions, and as an organization dedicated to Healthy Living we will continue to pour resources and passion into this vital work.

I wanted to celebrate the long and impactful life of Jack Samuelson, who went home to be with the Lord earlier this month. Mr. Samuelson was one of the “Founding Fathers” for our YMCA and was intimately involved in every detail upon our inception in 1958. Mr. Samuelson served as the Chairman of the Board of the YMCA and also oversaw our multiple capital project expansions through 1995. Aside from his volunteerism for our Y, Mr. Samuelson co-founded Samuelson Brothers in 1946 to engage in general construction, incorporating in 1957. Mr. Samuelson was the President and Chairman of the Board from incorporation to the present. Samuelson Brothers sold its construction business in 1979, and ongoing development activities have continued under Samuelson Properties. Current operations continue in industrial and commercial real estate in major cities in the western states, with headquarters in Los Angeles and partnerships in key cities.

Mr. Samuelson was born in Los Angeles and graduated from Occidental College in 1947 after attending Naval Officers School at Cornell University and service as a naval gunnery officer in World War II. He was a recipient of numerous awards and honors for business, civic, and philanthropic activities among them appointed to the Royal Order of Saint John by Queen Elizabeth. He continued to be active on many Boards, including Occidental College, Southern California Presbyterian Homes, and American Health Care Properties. He is survived by current YMCA Board Members Reid Samuelson (son), and Todd Samuelson (grandson) among countless children and grandchildren. Thank you Mr. Samuelson for all you have done for our Y and greater community. Your impact and vision will always be remembered by our Y.