Dr. David F. Young Jr. 94, of Ridgeland, MS was called home to be with the Lord on November 25, 2017 in Ridgeland, MS surrounded by his family. Visitation will be Wednesday, November 29, 2017 from 10-11 a.m. at Natchez Trace Funeral Home in Madison, MS. A Celebration of Life service will begin at 11:00 A.M. at Natchez Trace Funeral Home. A Graveside will be held later that day at 3:00 p.m. in Starkville, MS at Memorial Gardens Park located at 9036 Oktoc Rd, Starkville, MS 39759.
David was born on November 29, 1922 in McComb, MS to David Sr. & Flora Elizabeth Young. He was the first of six children of Mr. and Mrs. Young. David grew up in McComb where he attended Carter’s Creek High School where he excelled in track, running the 100, 220 and 400-yard dashes, and playing as wingback, fullback, and quarterback positions in football along with winning many 4-H awards. Upon graduation, he entered Southwest Junior College where he obtained a football scholarship and majored in pre-med. In March of 1943, he volunteered for the U.S. Navy Medical Corp where he served as a teacher for navy corpsmen. In 1944, he was transferred to the 5th Marine Division for a brief hitch until he returned to the Navy. David was transferred once again to the Gulf Coast attached to the 8th Naval Medical District serving on independent duty where he had many friends on the ships loading at Gulfport which were sunk by Germans submarines… some almost in sight of land where they loaded. It was on the romantic Mississippi Gulf Coast that he met the girl of his dreams, and the Love of all his life, Catherine (Kittye) Whalen. He met her quite by accident while taking secret orders to the Naval Base involving overseas shipment of war materials. Kittye was a secretary to Commander McKay at the base. In August of 1945, David received an honorable discharge from the Navy. His experience of working in the medical area of the Navy, let him know that was not his niche in life. In January of 1946 he entered Mississippi State University majoring in vocational agriculture which has been the steady beat of his career life. On March 30, 1946 he married the Love his life Mrs. Kittye and they honeymooned at the Pass Christian Hotel Mirmar. On May 5, 1949 they had their first child David III. On June 2, 1949 David Jr. received his Master’s degree from Mississippi State University. On June 6, 1949 the Youngs purchased their first new car, a shiny black 49 Pontiac and David began his first job as a district entomologist with the State Plant Board located in Tylertown, MS on this day. In 1952 he and his family moved to Leland where he remained with the Plant Board until August 31, 1955. The Young’s would be blessed again with the birth of there second son, Rob Young on March 19, 1955. Dr. Young started another chapter in his work life and, accepted the position as Assistant Extension Entomologist and in 1970 was promoted to the position as Leader, Extension Entomology. In his 28 years in Extension Entomology, he had strengthened not only Mississippi agricultural programs, but also the nation’s. Dr. Young has served in numerous national and regional leadership roles. He has served on 16 national committees such as the EPA’s National Advisory Committee on Pest Management, and National Cotton Council’s Boll Weevil Eradication Guidance Committee, plus other national, regional, and state committees. Dr. Young also held membership in several honorary societies- Alpha Tau Alpha, Epsilon Sigma Phi, Beta Beta Beta, and Gamma Sigma Delta. Over his life time he received many awards such as; MS State Alumni Association Faculty Achievement Award in 1970, Governor’s Outstanding Mississippian Award for coordinating the task force that conducted the South Mississippi Pilot Boll Weevil Eradication Program in 1973, The Distinguished Service Award in 1974 from the NACA, Achievement Award from the ESA in 1977, USDA’s Superior Service Award in 1981 and 1982, and was the Recipient of the “Progressive Farmer Man of the Year” Award for MS in 1981 and was commended by the MS Legislature in 1982 with a concurrent resolution recognizing his major contributions to the Mississippi agricultural industry. He was the only person to ever receive two USDA Superior Service Awards back to back. In 1983 he served as the executive vice president of the prestigious Mississippi Entomological Association and secretary-treasurer of the Association of Mississippi Agricultural Association (AMAO). Dr. Young bridged the gap between the researcher and the people of Mississippi by making the most recent research results available for practical use at the urban and farm level. His driving force was to serve the people of Mississippi. His greatest asset was the ability to get people to work together and toward a common goal. He believed that everyone needed recognition for a job well done and was always promoting his highly professional staff. More than anything else Dr. Young’s greatest achievement in life was raising his children with Mrs. Kittye and watching their grandchildren grow up.
He is preceded in passing by his parents, David Sr. & Flora Elizabeth Matthews Young, his two sons, Robert James Young and, David F. Young III, two brothers, L.G. Young, and Paul J. Young, one sister, Addie Beard.
Dr. David F. Young Jr. is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Kittye Young of Ridgeland, MS, two sisters, Jean Tynes of Tylertown, MS, and Martha Whittington and her husband Ken of Natchez, MS, two grandchildren Joshua D. Young of Madison, MS., and Amanda Polles and her husband John of Madison, MS., three great grandchildren., Harley Young, Cali Young, and John Carter Polles.
Rev. Robert Lane will officiate the service.
In Lieu of flowers the family wishes memorials be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Madison, 7717 Old Canton Rd, Madison, MS, 39110 Dr. (David F. Young Jr. Memorial)