Richard Young (conservationist)

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Richard Young
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Richard N Young

(1924-10-27)October 27, 1924
Aurora, Illinois, USA
DiedMarch 13, 2011(2011-03-13) (aged 86)
Rush-Copley Medical Center, Aurora, IL
Cause of deathAlzheimer's
Other namesDick Young
CitizenshipUnited States
  • Marine
  • Conservationist
  • Naturalist
  • Author
Spouse(s)Charlene Schultz
  • Dwight Young (father)
  • Esther Sprague Young (mother)

Richard N Young (October 27th, 1924 – March 13th, 2011), also known as Dick Young, was a notable conservationist and naturalist in the Illinois Fox Valley area.

Early Life

Born in Aurora, IL on October 27th, 1924, Richard N. Young was the third son born to his parents, Dwight and Esther Sprague Young.[1] During his youth, Richard was first a Boy Scout and then later, an Eagle Scout.[1] Richard Young attended North Central College in Naperville, IL, obtaining a biological science degree.[1]


He served as a Marine, fighting in the battle of Iwo Jima, and took part inraising the flag on Iwo Jima, the first flag on Mount Suribachi, an achievement later eclipsed by the famous image of the second flag raising. Wounded during his service, he was awarded a purple heart for his service.[1]

He worked most of his life as a contractor and stone mason; building the Oswego Fire Station and the former Traughber Junior High in Oswego, IL. In 1958, Richard Young built his family's second home.[1] This home on Route 34 in Oswego, IL has a sod roof, also known as a green roof.[2]

He is also the author of the book "Kane County Wild Plants & Natural Areas," published in 1986.[3]

While serving as the Kane County Environmental Director, he hired James F. Phillips, another noted environmentalist in the area, as a field inspector for the Environmental Department of Kane County.[3] Later in his career, he co-founded and was the director of the Kendall County Forest Preserve District.

The Richard Young Forest Preserve in Yorkville, IL, lies adjacent to the Lyon Forest Preserve. Together these preserves make a 177 acre, 2.88 mile trail system that has been named in his honor.[4]

Personal Life

In 1948 Richard Young married Charlene Schultz at the First Presbyterian Church in Oswego, IL.[1] They had four children.[1]

Richard Young suffered from Alzheimer's[3] and died on Sunday, March 13th, 2011 at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, IL.[2] He was buried with full military honors at Lincoln Memorial Park in Aurora, IL.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 pastor-phil-sheets-shares-his-eulogy-for-dick-young
  2. 2.0 2.1 [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 [2]
  4. Richard-Young-Forest-Preserve