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William Kelly Young


1933 - 2009 | Obituary Condolences
William Kelly Young, 75, died peacefully Monday, April 13, 2009, at a local hospital surrounded by his family.
Funeral: 11 a.m. Thursday at Holy Family Catholic Church. Interment: Greenwood Memorial Park.
Memorials: The family suggests donations be made to The Glass House, Box 26506, Benbrook, Texas 76126; Recovery Resource Council, 2700 Airport Freeway, Fort Worth, Texas 76111; or The Energy Exhibit, in care of The Fort Worth Museum of Science & History, 1501 Montgomery St., Fort Worth, Texas 76107.
William Kelly Young was born Oct. 14, 1933, in Fort Worth, the fourth son of Marshall and Margaret Kelly Young. The family resided in Breckenridge where Marshall was a partner with Charles Roeser and Tol Pendleton in the oil business. They participated in the discovery of many wells in West Texas, including the renowned Cook Ranch in Albany. Upon Margaret's death from cancer in 1936, the family moved to Fort Worth, where Marshall subsequently married Frances Fry, and a fifth son, Frank, was born into the Young family.
Kelly attended North Hi Mount Elementary, Stripling Middle School and Arlington Heights High School, class of 1951, where he played football and was elected senior class president. He worked summers in the oil field for his father and W.A. "Monty" Moncrief. He followed his brother, George, to Washington and Lee University in Virginia, where he held the distinction of being expelled and reinstated three times. Following a two-year tour with the Army as a radar technician, he graduated from W&L in 1958 with a degree in geology. He was a member of the Sigma and Phi Delta Theta fraternities. Kelly then moved to Aspen, Colo., for a brief period where he played piano and guitar and worked as a ski instructor. Known for his ability to play by ear and for his wonderful singing voice, Kelly often could be found at the piano surrounded by friends and family, playing requests.
In 1959, Kelly joined his father full time at Marshall R. Young Drilling Co., formerly Roeser and Pendleton. The family partnered with Moncrief Oil and Kelly was responsible for securing the leases and funding for many prospects, culminating with the discovery of the famous Jay Field in Florida. Upon his father's death in 1976, Kelly and his brothers successfully operated the family company, and it continues today with a primary focus in the Barnett Shale. While there were many dry holes, Kelly's leadership was well regarded within the local oil and gas community and he was recognized as a true wildcatter. Often beginning a sentence with "What do I know but..." Kelly would proceed to describe a situation and craft the solution, and most of the time he was correct.
Kelly was generous in the Fort Worth community, supporting numerous organizations both financially and with his leadership. He served on the boards of Continental National Bank, the Lena Pope Home, the Recovery Resource Council and many others. He was most proud to serve as an old timer of The Glass House, of which he served as president for many years. As a friend of Bill W. for over 25 years, Kelly worked daily to help others with their recovery. Most recently he served as chairman of the Texas State Convention 2007 in Fort Worth. Other memberships include Steeplechase, The Exchange Club, Fort Worth Wildcatters, River Crest Country Club and the Fort Worth Club.
His hobbies included collecting Americana and Texana folk art, of which he became recognized as an authority in several areas. He enjoyed raising cutting horses on his ranch in Weatherford, spending most weekends there until his illness. Known as "Noodle" on the golf course, he could also be counted on for a dominoes game and he took many trips to Las Vegas, Nev., to play Texas hold 'em. During his lifetime, he traveled the world with family and friends and was as comfortable sitting with dignitaries as he was with his friends at the Westside Cafe.
His family wishes to thank Drs. Albert McDowell, John Burk, and Mark Redrow of Fort Worth and Drs. Joan Schiller and Eugene Frenkel of UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and the care givers of Home Instead for their compassionate care during Kelly's illness.
Kelly was preceded in death by his parents, Margaret and Marshall Young; stepmother, Frances Young Bird; and brothers, Carroll "Buddy," Frank and Marshall R. Young Jr.
Survivors: His daughters, Shannon Young Ray and husband, Breck, and Alison Young and husband, Clif Wright; sons, William Kelly Young Jr., and Hunter Young and wife, Amy; grandchildren, Breck Jr., Peter, Carson, Taylor and Megan Ray, EvaClaire and Henry Wright, and Evelyn and Eleanor Young; brother, George M. Young and wife, Diane, and their children, Margie Lilly, Kelly Ann Ewin, George M. Young Jr., Sherman Young and Marshall Young; 17 great-nieces and great-nephews; cousins, Pope Kelly of Madison, Miss., and Robert Young of Vancouver, Canada; godchildren, Annette Williamson and CeCe French Miles; and the employees of Marshall R. Young Oil Co.
Published in Star-Telegram from Apr. 15 to Apr. 16, 2009
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