Tom Young passed away in his sleep on Monday evening, November 30, 2015 after being surrounded by his beloved family all afternoon. Tom was born in Watertown, South Dakota on April 19, 1921. After graduating from Watertown High School, he attended the University of Minnesota, but while in college, he was called into duty to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps where he proudly attained the rank of Captain. While stationed in Tientsin, China, (now called and spelled, Tianjin), as Tom put it, “I met a cute, Russian girl who became, Ita Young”. After completing his military duty in China, it was back to college, graduation and marriage to Ita, to whom he was married to for 58 years. Tom started a successful broadcasting career in the Midwest in both radio and television in the 1950’s and 1960’s, during which time he served as President of the Iowa Broadcasters Association. In 1970, he bought KVON AM radio station in Napa, CA, and five years later created and put KVYN FM radio station on the air, also in the Napa Valley. He ran both radio stations through the mid 90’s. He also served on the California Broadcasters Association Board, as well as the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) board.
Tom enjoyed his career in broadcasting so much that he considered it as a hobby rather than a job. Although broadcasting may have been his main hobby, Tom’s other hobbies included playing tennis with a lot of close and dear friends. Later in life, he enjoyed golf and attending live musical performances in the Napa Valley. Tom also helped create, run and own the Solano Athletic Clubs in Fairfield. Tom enjoyed being involved in Napa community activities and had wonderful memories of being the presidents of the Queen of the Valley Hospital Foundation, and the Napa Valley Tennis Association, and being named Napa Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year,” The Salvation Army, “Outstanding Member Award,” The Napa Valley College Foundation, “Volunteer of the Year Award,” and the Justin-Siena Association “Man of the Year.” Perhaps the service organization Tom was most devoted to, was Rotary International. Tom was a Rotarian for 55 years, and served as president of 3 different Rotary clubs. Tom was a devoted member of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church.
Tom loved his community and enjoyed serving as emcee of numerous community events. He will be remembered for his spontaneous wit, sense of humor and gregarious personality. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Selma Young, his wife, Ita Young, and his sister, Virginia Servio. Tom was loved and will be dearly missed by his two sons and their wives, Judge Ron Young (Linda) and Barry Young (Lu), and his daughter, Tracy (Young) Jones and her husband (David). Tom was also loved and will be dearly missed by his grandsons: Jeffrey Young, Scott Young, Scott’s wife, Justine, and Brett Jones, and granddaughters: Erin (Young) Kelsey, Erin’s husband, Matt, and Kate Jones.
A celebration of Tom’s life will be held at Silverado Country Club in Napa on Saturday, December 19, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Napa Valley College Foundation//Tom and Ita Young Scholarship. Memories and words of sympathy may be shared with the family online at www.tulocaycemetery.org
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