In Memory of George Atkinson

Posted: Dec. 29, 2021 Donate


George Atkinson lived and personified the YMCA lifestyle, in spirit, mind, and body.

His passion for athletics and fitness started as an all-star for the Hingham High School track team in the 1960s and blossomed into a full career and a calling. After completing college and returning home to coach at his high school alma mater, George served the students of Northeastern University as a professor of Recreational and Leisure Studies. His research led him into the fields of orienteering, the interconnectedness of outdoor exercise and environmentalism, and early adoption of the importance of guarding against obesity in children.

George, above all, understood and believed in the power of caring for all members of the family, especially his own. He was a loving husband and father who shared his love of outdoor adventures — skiing, biking, hiking, and running — with his family. George was even quoted in a 1992 Boston Globe article on the importance of family fitness, especially for children.

A longtime community leader at the South Shore YMCA, George joined the Y’s Executive Board of Directors in 1981 and served until his retirement from the Board in 2019. George served as Board President from 1991 to 1993 and most recently served on the Strategic Planning Committee, helping to build a vision for our Y’s future. He was a mentor to many, and shared his knowledge and talents nationally, serving on the YMCA of the USA Committee for Membership Standards – Northeast Region for many years.

George Atkinson was a generous donor and vital member of the South Shore YMCA family, creating pathways to health for his family, for himself, and for all people on the South Shore. Your donation in his memory today will keep George’s spirit alive, allowing every person the chance to find a better life and better health at the Y. To donate to the South Shore YMCA in memory of George Atkinson, visit

Donations can also be mailed to South Shore YMCA Att: Development 79 Coddington St. Quincy, MA 02169.

Please contact Mary Orne, VP of Development for the South Shore YMCA at or 781.264.9453 with any questions.


Donate to the South Shore YMCA in memory of George Atkinson.