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My Father's Captivity: Alfred R. Young Obituary

Alfred R. Young
(June 5, 1919 - February 9, 2012)
Alfred Ramsey Young was born June 5, 1919, in a small settlement known as Box, in the hill country of Oklahoma.  His parents were Samuel Peter Young and Olla Beulah Cole.

He was raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where his father was a career police officer.  In 1937, he graduated from Central High School, where he had been a member of the marching band.  Upon graduation, he received a music scholarship, but declined it because the full amount needed for a college education was wanting.  He worked, instead, in the oil fields.

In 1939, Alfred enlisted in the US Army Air Corps, and was stationed at Clark Field, Philippine Islands.  He survived the Dec. 8, 1941 attack at Clark, and, until the Philippines were surrendered in May 1942, manned a machine gun post in the jungles of Mindanao.  He was interned as a prisoner of war on Mindanao, and was later sent by hellship to Bilibid Prison in Manila.  From there he endured another hellship voyage to Japan.  Until liberation in August 1945, he endured forced labor, disease, starvation, physical and psychological abuse, and the Allied bombing of Tokyo and Yokohama.  It was during his captivity that a fellow prisoner gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon.

Alfred remained in the Air Force after the war, flying as a bombardier, radar operator, and navigator on B29s.  He transferred to the military's nuclear weapons program, and, in 1959, retired as a Chief Warrant Officer.  For the next 11 years, he worked in specialized and increasingly responsible positions for the Department of the Navy, Department of the Army, and the Department of Defense.

He married M. Maxine Hodson on May 1, 1946.  Their first child, a daughter, Shona Lea, died shortly after birth.  Their son, Al R. Young, of Orem, and his wife Nancy are the parents of Ashton, Elspeth, and Tanner.  Four of Alfred's seven brothers and sisters are deceased.  A younger brother, James S. Young, resides in Tulsa.  Alfred's younger sister, Ruby L. Cummings, and youngest brother, Owen D. Young, reside in Dallas.

In 1956, Alfred and Maxine were baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Alfred's long and faithful service in the Church was characterized by devotion to his Priesthood duty as the consummate expression of faith, hope, and charity.  He saw every calling in which he served (including stake executive secretary, twice as branch president, priesthood quorum leader, assistant ward clerk, etc.) as an opportunity to minister to individuals.  Until his health deteriorated in his 92nd year, he served diligently as a home teacher and sought to encourage and help everyone who came within the circle of his reach.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am, Tuesday, February 14, 2012, at the Aspen 2nd Ward meeting house at 1485 N. 800 West, Orem, Utah.  A viewing will be held at 10:00 am at the same location.  Interment will take place at the Orem City Cemetery, with military rites provided by the VFW.

Tags: 2012, News

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