Mr. Maurice Edward (“Gus”) Young, 88, died Sunday morning, December 24–Christmas Eve–2017 at Carillon Assisted Living Center of Hillsborough.
Gus was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania in 1928, and raised by his grandparents, aunts, and uncles from the age of three. He attended a local two-room schoolhouse before entering Bellefonte High School and graduating in 1945.
He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in July of 1946 and served until January, 1948. That fall, he entered the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill where he studied business, played for the Tar Heel football team, and participated in the campus ROTC program. There, he also met his wife-to-be in 1950, Jacqueline Crawford (“Jackie”) Young, who was also attending UNC, one year behind Gus. Gus graduated from UNC in 1952 and worked for a finance company while Jackie finished school, graduating in 1953.
Gus entered the U.S. Air Force in May, 1954 and married Jackie that November, before the couple relocated to Caribou, Maine, where Gus was stationed as a Second Lieutenant at Loring Air Force Base.
Gus left the Air Force in May, 1956 to return to Chapel Hill with his wife and earn a Master’s Degree in Education at UNC. Upon completion of his studies in 1957, Mr. Young accepted a position as a high school teacher and coach (track, football, soccer, and swimming) at Hornell High School in Hornell, New York. Gus and Jackie’s first son Randy was born in October, 1960 in Hornell.
In 1961, the family relocated to Louisville, North Carolina, where Gus taught biology and health and coached football, wrestling, and track and field at Southwest Forsyth and West Forsyth High School in Clemmons, NC. Shortly after the birth of their second son, Steve Young, in January, 1965, the family moved to Springfield, Massachusetts, where Gus took courses toward a Doctorate in Physical Education at Springfield College. Gus left Springfield College in 1969, however, accepting a job teaching physical education at Agawam Junior High School, in Agawam, Massachusetts—a position he held until his retirement in 1987.
Over the course of his career in Agawam, Gus also head-coached the Agawam Junior High freshman football team through the mid-1980’s. He coached Agawam High School wrestling for one year, resurrecting a long-idle program, he assistant coached track and field (1972 – 1980) and was the head coach of the high school varsity cross-country and track and field programs (1980-1987). Both sons both attended and graduated from Dartmouth College in the 1980’s as did close family friend Ted Fleming. The Youngs were members of the Agawam Congregational Church in Agawam.
Upon his retirement, Mr. Young moved back to Chapel Hill, NC with his wife. Over the course of the next 30 years, he enjoyed an active lifestyle, taking in Tar Heel basketball and football games with Jackie and his sons, who had also both moved to Chapel Hill, where Steve earned a Master’s in Educational Counseling from UNC (1992). He and Jackie were members of the University Baptist Church. He enjoyed golfing with his sons, caring for his grandchildren and, later, cheering them on as they participated in sports and musical performances, and, often, leaving his Carrboro, North Carolina home for the quiet pleasure of an afternoon drive or a lunch date with Jackie.
Through his teaching and coaching, “Coach Young” earned a reputation as a humble man of principles and character, whose lessons went far beyond the classroom, the gymnasium, the track, or the playing field. Soft-spoken and even-tempered but clever and quick-witted, he will be fondly remembered as a positive and empowering influence in the lives of thousands he taught, coached, and befriended.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jacqueline Crawford Young, of Chapel Hill; son Randy B. Young and his wife, Kelly Young; son Stephen C. Young and his wife, Lesley Young (all of Chapel Hill, NC); grandchildren Alexa Leigh Young (22) and Harrison John Young (20). Mr. Young is also survived by Theodore Fleming, and his wife, Kathy, of Simsbury, Connecticut.
A memorial service celebrating Maurice's Life will be (was) held on Saturday, January 6, 2017 at 2:00 pm at University Baptist Church in Chapel Hill, NC.