Brion Douglas “Doug” Youngblood of Charlotte, NC passed away in the early hours on
Wednesday, December 22, 2021, ending his five-year battle with cancer. He is survived by his
brother Quay Youngblood (Cathy), nieces Katie Youngblood, Courtney Youngblood and Carmen
Castanet Betts, and nephews Brennon Youngblood and Paul Castanet. He was preceded in
death by his mother Martha Stoner Youngblood (d. 2008), his father William Lester
Youngblood, Sr.(d. 2012), and his brother William Lester Youngblood, Jr. (d. 2021).
Doug was born in Valdosta, GA, and was 7 years old when his family relocated to Charlotte. He
attended Steele Creek Elementary School, Quail Hollow Junior High and Olympic High School.
He went to Valdosta State College for 2 years, then graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in
accounting, where he became a passionate Tarheel. Many have called sitting next to him
during a Tarheel game a scary experience.
He was no stranger to the Steele Creek area, having built his home of 40 years off of
Youngblood Road, named after his grandfather whose farm was at the end of the road before
the Catawba River was dammed to become Lake Wylie.
Doug worked as an independent CPA for 35 years.
He was an advocate for children’s rights. He served at Boystown for 3 years and fostered
several boys. He encouraged his church, Central Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, to partner
with the YMCA for children’s after-school activities, and had hoped to see a playground built for
them on the church campus.
In 1996, the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Commission after an elongated period of study, determined and endorsed a Foundation (Partners for Parks Foundation, Inc.) for approval of the Board of County Commissioners. It was perceived that based on “lessons-learned” after the 1991 Park Merger w/the City of Charlotte that greater funding from corporations, private companies and individuals was needed to compete with other national park, recreation and open space initiatives (since “most” were Older City/Municipal only settings). “Public/Private Partnerships” would need to be achieved. Thus, Partners for Parks Foundation, Inc. was organized as a 501.c.3 non-profit Foundation was authorized after many months of studying other state and national park foundation models from across NC and the US.
Three committed former Chairpersons of the MCPRC: Brad Davis, Joe Cogdell and Doug
Youngblood worked tirelessly and led the effort to implement the best practices of other models
and to draft the bylaws and procedures for the newly formed Foundation. Their hard work has
been realized through upgrades and improvements that have been made to park and recreation
facilities in Mecklenburg County and surrounding regional departments of recreation and parks.
Doug remained on the Partners for Parks Foundation, Inc. serving in many different leadership
capacities until his recent death. His 26 years of service included working with Brad Davis,
Partners for Parks Foundation, Inc. on the County’s original master plan for the Little Sugar Creek Greenway……a highlight of Mecklenburg County’s stellar and renowned system of parks, greenways and recreation facilities.
Doug was always focused on children and the importance of PLAY, especially those in the therapeutic recreation community; and later (after the 1991 Park Merger with the City of Charlotte: its economically disadvantaged neighborhoods). Doug was elected by his peers on the County’s Park & Recreation Commission as the FIRST Chair of the newly merged Park & Recreation system, which was tasked with serving all citizens’ Countywide.
Working with Alvin Woods, a peer-associate of Partners for Parks Foundation, Inc. They were able to bring the 2015 US Paralympics' Time Trials to Charlotte. This was the largest Paralympics Time Trial in history; and, the first time that the Paralympics held all of its time trails in one location.
Doug was adamantly committed to PLAY and it’s positive, lasting impacts on youth. He served for many years as part of the US Play Coalition and its alignment beneath Clemson University’s parks & recreation leadership. He was instrumental in establishing the FIRST Regional PLAY Coalition in 2019 – “Partners for PLAY” - as a sub-group of the local Partners for Parks Foundation, Inc.
Doug served many years as a Trustee of the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) including serving as Treasurer for several terms. He also was a “founding” member of the National Association of Parks Foundation (NAPF) again, serving as Treasurer of this National Foundation. Additionally, at the national-level, he served on the board of the National Foundation for Sustainable Parks; again, using his accounting skills, as Treasurer.
In recent years Doug has been an extremely active member of “Friends of North Carolina State Parks, Inc.”. He again rose in the ranks to Treasurer. Additionally, Doug remained committed to making local-area citizens aware of the vast opportunities for educational and volunteer involvement with the North Carolina’s many different natural parks, their locations and outdoor offerings.
Doug's mission in life was to advocate for parks and recreation, whether local, statewide or national. His intention, as a citizen and civic leader, was to always bring the best practices possible to Mecklenburg County and its merged, Metropolitan Park & Recreation System.
While recovering from his amputations, Doug daydreamed of visiting all the US National Parks. It took a lot to defeat Doug; in the face of adversity he would always say, “I’m not going to sit here and cry about this; I’m just going make the best of it and keep on going.” You fought a good fight, Doug. Thanks be to God, you are now whole again and free from sorrow and pain forever.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Central Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, 9401 South Tryon St., Charlotte NC on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 at 11:00 a.m. The family will receive visitors at the church at 10:00 a.m. Immediately following the service, interment will take place at Pleasant Hill Church Cemetery, 15000 York Rd., Charlotte NC. All in attendance are asked to wear a mask. Thank you.
Contributions in Doug’s memory may be made to:
Partners for Parks, PO Box 32365, Charlotte NC 28232
Central Steele Creek Presbyterian Church, 9401 South Tryon St., Charlotte NC 28273
A charity of the donor’s choice