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William Berkeley Young

Died: December 15, 2010

William Berkeley Young, 68, of Southport, NC, formerly of Roxbury, CT, died Dec. 15, 2010, at his home from a heart attack.

William was born Oct. 25, 1942, in Alton, Ill., son of the late Karl Young Jr. and Cynthia (Berkeley) (Noland) Young. He graduated from Washington High School and Yale College, where he completed the Naval ROTC program. During his school years he drove a delivery truck for Railway Express in New Haven and was a conductor for the Chicago Transit Authority.

As a young man growing up in Roxbury, William pumped gas at Washington Supply in Washington Depot, caddied at the Washington Golf Club and cared for dogs at Southdown Kennel in Roxbury, including Marilyn Monroe’s basset hound, Hugo. After Yale he became a U.S. Navy fighter pilot and deployed to Vietnam on the USS Bonne Homme Richard, where he completed more than 100 carrier landings and was awarded two Air Medals for aerial combat missions. Bill retired from the Naval Reserve with the rank of commander. After his active military service ended, Mr. Young worked as a commercial pilot and computer programmer and also earned an M.B.A. from Northeastern University.

He pursued his lifelong interest in railroads and trolley cars by volunteering at several museums around the country, where he specialized in the construction of tracks.

His expertise in this area led to his being hired to construct track and supervise the trolley scene in the movie Ironweed, which was filmed in Albany, NY, using a vintage trolley car borrowed from the Branford Trolley Museum. He was also an avid barbershop singer and marathon runner. Bill leaves a brother, Douglas Young, of Boulder, CO; four sisters, Ann LaFiandra, of Middlebury, VT, Elizabeth Young, of Houston, Mary Young, of Arlington, MA, and Lucy Young, of Stanley, NC; and seven nieces and nephews.

John Stiefel remembers:

Bill, you were one of my two best friends in college. I will miss you.

Jonathan Price remembers:

Bill Young lived down the hall from me and my two roommates in Calhoun, and three of us would play Hearts endlessly around midnight after we had convinced ourselves our homework was done. There was always lively comment and innuendo about the order of play and who had which cards and who was going to “Shoot the Moon.” The art clock in Bill’s room was noteworthy also for the fact that every number on it was a 5. Bill was known for his interest in and knowledge of trains and trolleys, far more massive than anything I knew on any subject.