Warren Alvin Young died peacefully on February 17, 2020 in Salina, Kansas at the age of 99.
Warren was born on January 20th, 1921 in Salina, Kansas to Charles Peter Young and Nellie E. Anderson Young. His father, Charles, was a carpenter who built homes and commercial spaces throughout Salina and Western Kansas. The financial crash of 1929 impacted the demand for new construction, so the Young family turned their hand to farming on a 100-acre plot near Hedville, Kansas. The family continued to farm successfully throughout the 1930’s despite the difficulties of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl era.
Warren graduated from Bavaria High School in the spring of 1939. During his high school years he enjoyed singing, basketball, baseball, tennis, and 4-H Club. In the fall of 1939, he enrolled in Kansas Wesleyan University; but dropped out after three semesters to join the war effort in California with his cousin Royal Anderson, who was employed at Lockheed Corporation building aircraft for the U.S. Air force. After six weeks of aircraft school Warren was employed at Lockheed as a skin fitter on the P-38 fighter at the 3-G’s plant in San Fernando.
On December 7, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, prompting Warren to enlist in the Army Air Corp and reported to Merced Air Force Base on April 1st, 1942. He had an interest in cadet pilot’s training, but being color-blind, could not pass the pilot training test. Instead, he chose to complete his certification as an aircraft tech, where he learned engine overhaul, electrical systems, and hydraulic systems, propeller drives and how to be part of an air crew.
Warren was deployed to Pearl Harbor in the Spring of 1944, where he witnessed the destruction of the ships bombed in 1941. From Hawaii, his B-24 Liberator crew was ordered West to perform photo reconnaissance missions covering Johnson Island, Kwajalein, Guam, Philippines and Okinawa. When arriving on Okinawa the fighting with the Japanese was still going on in the middle of the island around Ishikawa and the Northern end of the 80-mile long island. Warren remained on Okinawa through the surrender of Imperial Japan on August 15th, 1945.
After four years of military service, Warren returned to Salina in 1946 to complete his college education at Kansas Wesleyan University. During his post-war stint at K.W.U., he was very involved with the Philharmonic Choir, where he became reacquainted with Laureen Fish. Eventually they fell in love and married on October 5th, 1946.
The couples’ first son, Royce, was born the 13th of January 1949, the same year Warren graduated from Kansas Wesleyan with a degree in Business Administration. Fresh out of college, he was employed by Sears Roebuck and Company as a management trainee. Shortly thereafter, their second son, Lee, was born April 3rd, 1950. Their third son, Kevin, was born February 12th, 1958.
Warren worked for Sears for over thirty years, while Laureen, a registered nurse, worked as a nursing instructor at the Asbury Hospital School of Nursing. He managed many departments in the Salina Sears stores, and eventually managed a territory out of Kansas City in commercial sales. In their free time, they enjoyed traveling around the United States with their three sons in their camper.
In addition to love for his family, Warren was dedicated to serving others through his strong convictions and Christian faith. He and Laureen routinely volunteered at Red Bird Mission in Kentucky to assist people living in chronic poverty in Appalachia . The couple were very active in supporting Kansas Wesleyan University, where Warren served on the Board of Trustees from 1988 to 1995. As a skilled carpenter, Warren was also heavily involved with Habitat for Humanity and helped build over 26 homes in Saline County. He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Salina and participated in multiple local charities.
Warren is survived by his children Royce (Donna), Lee (Christine), and Kevin (Rhonda), his grandchildren Travis, Erica, Jessica, and Jilly, and his great-grandchildren Liam, Aidan, and Kaiya. He is preceded in death by his wife, Laureen.
Warren Alvin Young will be greatly missed by his family and the people whose lives’ he impacted. A funeral service will be held at 10:00AM, Thursday, February 20th at First United Methodist Church in Salina, followed by a graveside service at Roselawn Cemetery. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Warren’s life. There will be Visitation from 4 until 8:00 pm Wednesday evening at the Ryan Mortuary where the family will receive friends from 4 until 6 pm.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations in care of Ryan Mortuary to the First United Methodist Church, Kansas Wesleyan University Nursing scholarships, Red Bird Mission or Habitat for Humanity. For more information go to www.ryanmortuary.com