Gary Edward Young — aka “GY” — passed away at the age of 51 much too soon…he passed in the arms of his wife on December 12, 2019. Gary was born in the same hospital he passed away in (one floor below) on November 5, 1968 to awok Eugene (Geno) and Deirdre Young.
Gary was a member of the Yurok Tribe and a descendent of the Yurok Wo’sey and the Hupa Me’dildin and Tsewenaldin Villages. He was preceded in death by his father, Eugene Young, grandparents Samuel Young and Ida Lewis, Norene Latham and Ward Tinker-Melendy. Also his great-grandparents Eugene Young and Eunice Montgomery and Edward Sr. and Matilda Marshall.
Gary was well known locally during his little league and high school years as a baseball pitcher and hitter. Gary’s teams broke the decades-long dominance of Redwood Empire and Arcata Little League and brought first Klamath Trinity LIttle League and then Hoopa High School into prominence as champions.
Gary started third base in Northcoast Sections as a 14-year-old freshman and earned notice in local papers. During his Little League and High School career he threw many no-hitters and several perfect games. Gary threw right and hit left…he won the triple crown for most home runs, runs batted in and highest batting average in H-DN three years. In High School Gary was scouted by the Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and recruited by Brigham Young and Washington State Cougars. His parents once went to a game in Weaverville where of all places, they were approached by two scouts, one from the Mariners and one from the Cubs who traveled there from the Los Angeles area to clock the pitches of the baby-faced kid from an Indian Reservation who threw 92 mph. Gary was offered a full ride scholarship by BYU and drafted in the 17th Round by the Seattle Mariners. Gary decided to attend BYU where as a 17 year old he made the starting lineup as a pitcher. Starting a game against New Mexico State he hurt his elbow. Long story short, due to lack of attention to the injury it atrophied and he required a “Tommy John” surgery and enrolled at Mt. San Jacinto College to be near rehab. There Gary was drafted twice by the Montreal Expos. Difficulties with the elbow continued and ultimately Gary opted not to undergo a 2nd surgery offered by the Expos. He returned home where he enjoyed hitting the heck out of softballs and fishing at Young’s Bar and at the mouth on the Klamath River.
Gary graduated from Humboldt State University as a school psychologist he worked throughout Humboldt and Del Norte County educational communities and north coast Children’s Services as a special needs coordinator. In this role he helped special needs children for the last 23 years to ensure they were provided with every opportunity to have healthy and successful lives.
Gary loved spending time with his family and friends, he loved fishing at the mouth of the Klamath River with his best friend Richard. He loved being at home where he loved to cook and watch sports and was an unwavering Giants, 49er and Golden State Warrior fan even when they weren’t so great. Gary’s kind heart, love of children, selflessness and commitment to helping others was quietly his calling throughout his life. Everyone who met him was taken by his kind spirit and humility. Gary was truly a gentle giant who touched the hearts and lives of all that knew him. He was a Yurok tribal member who took great pride in his culture and family. He was an exceptional father, grandfather, cousin, son and friend who was loved by all.
Gary is survived by his mother Deirdre Young, wife Ossie Young, and children Amanda Young-Phetsouphanh, Devin Young, Maya Young, Emily Young, and Lily Young, grandchildren Sam Young, Sophia Phetsouphanh, Alex Phetsouphanh, Emerald Young, Evelyn Young, and Eugene Young. He is survived by Aunts Mary Dawn Melendy Cunningham; Mary Britton (Roger), Rochelle Encinas, Wanda Benedict, Deb Dillion (Will), Faith and Joy Melendy, Laura Latham; uncles Mike Melendy (Darline), Patrick Melendy (Andrea), Jamie Melendy (Jackie), Jon Melendy (Ann), Kevin Latham (Sugar); Cousins Chance, Brenda, Devery, Timbo, Angie, Rob Roy Jr., Michele, Aimee, Jim-Bob, T.R., Marshall, Billy, Chris, Cher, Masi, Kimimula, Kevin, Josh, Megan, Chwa’kin, Warren, Rhonda, Mary, Yolanda, Jimmers, Gary, Bradley and Patrick.
Gary’s family will hold interment at Greenwood Cemetery in Arcata at 10 a.m., with a celebration of life at the family home, 2040 Lilac Lane, Eureka CA,95503 immediately after, on Saturday, January 4, 2020.
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