Bob Drouin: A Legacy of Generosity

Bob Drouin of Middletown loved a bargain, made a mean blueberry muffin, and was even was known to dress up as Santa from time to time. He shopped at Saver’s and rarely spent money on himself, but when it came to taking care of his community, Bob’s generosity was outstanding, even after he passed away.

Bob first got involved with United Way in the 1980s when he worked at The Hartford Insurance Group, said his sister Anita Hayn, who fondly remembers his signature blueberry muffins, which won awards in the United Way bake sales.

“I have a few trophies he won for making the most money with his blueberry muffins,” said Anita. “He had his own recipe.”

After he retired, Bob volunteered at the front desk at Middlesex Hospital, and was later hired as a coordinator for the hospital’s Life Alert program, installing the medical alert system in homes.

Bob balanced his roles as hospital employee and volunteer with an opportunity to serve as a Loaned Executive to Middlesex United Way, sponsored by Middlesex Hospital. Bob assisted with the annual Middlesex United Way campaign and could be seen working with various businesses in the community on behalf of Middlesex United Way, a role his sister says he loved. And though he would never admit it, “He was honored to be the Loaned Executive,” Anita said.

Anita remembers her big brother fondly. Not only were they family, but they were also colleagues at the hospital. Though they were close, Anita said she will never fully understand her brother’s ability to save the way he did, though she supposes it's because he grew up in the Depression Era.

“He was extremely frugal; I don’t know how he and I were brother and sister,” she said.

Bob passed away suddenly last June, but his legacy will live on through a planned gift to Middlesex United Way. Just four months before Bob’s passing, he completed a will that left $50,000 to the Middlesex United Way Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, the largest gift Middlesex United Way has ever received.

“Bob’s gift to the Middlesex United Way Endowment Fund will have a lasting impact on his friends and neighbors,” stated Cynthia Clegg, President & CEO of the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. “He appreciated the wonderful work of Middlesex United Way and recognized that to continue supporting the community, Middlesex United Way would need support for years to come as well. His decision to support the endowed fund provides for the future as well as today. We’re proud and honored to partner with Middlesex United Way to ensure the future of our region together.”

By making a gift to the endowment fund, Bob ensured his legacy would live on to effect positive change in Middlesex County for future generations. Bob joins about 30 other individuals who are members of the Middlesex United Way Red Feather Society, which recognizes those who have made a legacy gift or have informed Middlesex United Way of their intention to do so.

"People like Bob are the lifeblood of any thriving community," said Kevin Wilhelm, executive director of Middlesex United Way. "Bob was a caring man who quietly and effectively volunteered his time to change lives of people in Middlesex County.  I’m not at all surprised that Bob chose to continue his incredible compassion in such a generous way that will impact people for generations to come."

Bob also left money to several other charities, including Anita’s church, with which he was not even affiliated.

“He had his list of beneficiaries well thought out,” Anita said. “I think he liked places where people used money wisely. With Middlesex United Way, he had a front row seat.”

June is ‘Leave a Legacy Month’

There are many options for your legacy gift. Learn more about the Red Feather Society and Legacy Giving here.

We would be happy to talk to you about your wishes. Please call Kevin Wilhelm, executive director of Middlesex United Way, at 860-346-8695 or email him.