Patch sincerely thanks Karl Auwaerter, James March and Lenore Ringer Prezioso for writing this article.
A beloved husband, father, teacher, coach and friend; this year’s honor of grand marshal for the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade is given posthumously to a Bayport Blue Point favorite son, Doug Monsell.
A departure for the Chamber of Commerce, however, in the wake of his sudden loss and penchant for his beloved parade it seemed only natural. After all Doug possessed some of the most sought after qualities that a Grand Marshal should have; a life spent entrenched in the community that you love, service to others and of course loving “our” parade.
Karl Auwaerter of Bayport Flower House, lifelong friend said, “In ways that truly become apparent only after his absence, the 2013 Grand Marshal embodies the essence of this community.”
Doug’s reach was far and deep. Before Doug was taken from this earth by a rare form of liver disease, he made his presence felt where ever he went. Growing up in Bayport with his Mom and sister, Doug made his way through the Bayport-Blue Point School system and graduated in 1983. From here he went off to New England to study economics and work his way into the business world.
His young adult life was filled with different jobs as he searched for his passion. There was no job Doug wouldn’t do. He always rolled up his sleeves and helped out where needed.
Throughout his journey he always enjoyed being around people. Doug was known on occasion to tell you what he believed in…and often quite passionately. With this in mind and in his mid-thirties he finally found a way to marry those two qualities…teaching!
He enrolled in Dowling’s Master’s Degree in Education and set his sights on becoming a business teacher in the BBP School district. In typical Doug fashion he met his goals and became legendary amongst students and colleagues for his passion and commitment.
He helped found the School to Business partnership, which connected the students to the local business community most notably through the Shadow Day program. This program allowed students the opportunity to learn about careers by working in local businesses for a day.
With Doug’s leadership and drive he put together an award winning DECA team (Distributive Education Clubs of America). In his efforts to do what he loved, Doug was also the successful coach of Junior Varsity Boys Golf teams and Junior Varsity and Varsity Girls Golf teams at BBPHS. Of course you could also find him managing the school store, providing security at sporting events and of course eating- opps sorry- selling hot dogs at the concession stand.
Doug’s real passion was for his family and friends. His wife, Lauren, and his two girls, Jenna and Karli, were the center of his world. The strength they gave Doug allowed him to give so much to our community.
It is only appropriate that Doug be named a Grand Marshal of this Saint Patrick’s parade, as he put in twenty plus years of driving floats, handing out flowers, marshalling (note the two ll spelling…less glamorous but very important to the parade) the parade line up and route.
He enjoyed the sense of belonging to a community that the parade imparts. His girls always joined in too…which made Doug’s famous smile come out as he realized that his loves- family and community- were part of his life.
Doug was referred to by many of his friends as “Doug the slug” Anyone who knew him would say the slug comment did little to describe the real Doug.
His good friend Jim March said, “In the course of a single day I have watched him teach a full day’s class load, perform four hours worth of landscaping in two, run home - clean up - hug his girls, then head out to man the late shift behind the bar. And repeat the entire process the very next day on less than six hours sleep never skipping a beat. With all that going on he still managed to reach out to friends and family on a regular basis.”
Those who knew Doug can only imagine what he would have come to be; it was still early in his teaching and coaching career, and he had already quite an impact on everything and every person he came in contact with.
Grand Marshals spend a great deal of their life working toward this auspicious honor even if they do so without thinking about it. When you pursue your life with the kind of joy and passion Doug did, it makes the audition easy and getting the part that much sweeter. This great guy with a gregarious smile and cutting wit was working toward this honor because he felt the kind of pride that goes along with this kind of honor something almost palpable.
Since his passing a conversation about Doug is usually one part tears and three parts laughter, all the people that loved him separately have come formed a sort of alliance to honor him which says a lot about how he lived his life. Doug’s wife Lauren said, “I have been so honored by the outpouring of this community and I am truly elated for Doug to receive this honor, I think it’s fabulous!
Doug will be there with us as “his beautiful girls” step out in his honor.
So for this Saint Patrick’s Day parade we honor and celebrate a great guy who was always present and in the moment, had time for others and worked for a greater good.
Doug Monsell, 2013 Bayport-Blue Point Chamber of Commerce Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal. I’m sure his Irish eyes are smiling…