WILLSBORO — Harris Raymond Young, 88, of Maple Street, Willsboro, died Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown, N.Y., with his loving caregiver staff of the Horace Nye Home by his side.
He was born in Willsboro, Sept. 4, 1924, the son of Deloid and Edna (Frenier) Young.
Harris married Ruth (Rodenhuis) Young his Island Girl on Sept. 15, 1947 in Willsboro, in the rectory office of St. Philip Catholic Church. They were married for over 64 years.
As a graduate of Willsboro Central School, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corp on March 26, 1943. After serving as a pilot in the Pacific, he was honorably discharged on September 29, 1946. He was awarded the Army Occupation Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic/Pacific Service Medal and the WWII Victory Medal. He was an active member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves from 1946 to 1968, retiring at the rank of Lt. Colonel.
He owned and operated the Riverside Restaurant in Willsboro from 1946 to 1959. In April 1956 he became employed as a Counselor for New York State Division of Veterans Affairs in Essex County for 25 years, retiring in May 1981. He was a member of the Keeseville VFW Post 1505 and the American Legion, William Nolan Post 405 in Willsboro. He was a past commander of the William Nolan Post 405 and a past commander of the Essex County American Legion. As a 66 year member of the American Legion, he was one of the men instrumental in organizing the annual Willsboro Memorial Day Service for 50 years in order to honor and remember deceased veterans of all wars. That annual event still continues. During his career as a Veteran Counselor, he also served as a board member of the American Red Cross Northern Essex/Clinton Chapter.
After the Georgia Pacific Paper Mill in Willsboro was closed, Harris and other businessmen of Willsboro joined together to form Willsboro Industries, Inc. in order to purchase the former paper mill property and resell a portion to Tambrands, Inc., thus returning a second major industry to Willsboro for almost 20 years. Harris was a Willsboro Town Justice/Councilman from 1976 to 1980 and the Willsboro Town Justice from 1980 to 1987 when the State of New York required the two positions split. During Harris retirement years, he enjoyed golf and sold real estate for Covered Bridge Realty. He considered the Lake Champlain area Gods Country and was anxious to introduce and share it with others who fell in love with it. In earlier years he was a past President of the Buena Vista Park Association and a Past President of the Willsboro Golf Club. He also was a member and a Board Member of Willsboro Property Owners Association. Another interest over his lifetime included serving as chairman of the Willsboro Democratic Party. His interest in politics developed after a run for the Essex County Sheriff in the early 1950's. He came very close to winning and garnered more votes than any prior County Democrat Candidate.
He was a member and a past Grand Knight of the Willsboro Knights of Columbus. He was a former trustee of Willsboros St. Philips of Jesus Catholic Church.
He is survived by his daughter, Barbara Ann Paye and her husband Bradley L. Paye of Willsboro; his son, Douglas Randy Young and his wife Carol Jean (Yutronich) Young of Willsboro; grandchildren, Rebecca Lynn Palmer and her partner Melissa Maki of Willsboro, Kymberli Lynn Young of Willsboro, Kyle Douglas Young and his wife Tammy (Smith) Young of Keeseville, Kristen Marie Young of Sanford, N.C., and Kevin Matthew Young of San Diego, Calif.; great-grandchildren, Makayla Alexis and Logan Kyle Young of Keeseville and Myles Orion Douglas Young of Willsboro; sisters, Joyce Young Blanchard of Willsboro and Jean Young of Clifton Park; brother, Wayne Young and his wife Irene of Talbot, Tenn.; brother-in-law, Kenneth Rodenhouse of St. Petersburg, Fla.; sister-in-law, Ellen Rodenhuis of St. Petersburg, Fla.; several nieces and nephews in N.Y., N.H., Conn. and Fla.; and dear friends, Edward Hatch, Donald Shambo and Rev. Chilton McPheeters of Willsboro.
He was predeceased by his parents; and his wife, Ruth; and brothers-in-law, Roger Blanchard, Ralph Carpenter, Stuart Cullum; and sisters-in-law, Ramona Young Swan and Masako Rodenhouse and nephew, Gary Proctor.
The family would like to sincerely thank all the staff at the Horace Nye Home for their dedication, love and care to Harris these past 11 plus years. Simply put, they have been amazing.
His family and the Veterans Harris served over the years were very important to Harris. His earlier efforts on behalf of the Veterans he served have brought much joy to his family as the family members of those Veterans have recounted to Harris family all he did for their loved one. As we remember Harris, may we hold all Veterans and active military members in our thoughts and prayers for all their sacrifice. When you could finally get Harris to sit down and relax for a moment, he and Ruth could be seen swinging out front of their camp and enjoying his family's presence and activities there and the beauty of all there was to behold at Camp Golden Rock on Willsboro Bay.
In 2010 Harris was nominated and selected for the Willsboro Central School District Wall of Distinction, whose requirements are that a WCS graduate be selected for his contributions to society, and/or his outstanding career, and/or his participation and leadership in community activities.
There will be no calling hours. A memorial and military service will be held on July 27, 2013, and further arrangements will be announced beforehand.
In lieu of flowers, if you would like to make a donation in Harris memory, the family has identified the Horace Nye Home Activity Fund at PO Box 127, Elizabethtown, NY 12932 or The Wounded Warriors Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.
Arrangements are in the care of the Hamilton Funeral Home, 294 Mannix Road, Peru. To light an online candle and offer condolences in the memory of Harris Young please visit www.hamiltonfuneralhome.com