Ernlé William Dyer Young
1932 - 2021
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Ernlé William Dyer Young

Ernlé William Dyer Young reached the end of his earthly Incredible Journey on February 14, 2021, surrounded by love in his own home. His journey began in Johannesburg, South Africa, born to Peggy and Weldon Young on December 14, 1932. He met the love of his life when he was nineteen and she was thirteen, and they embarked on a lifelong adventure together. He will be deeply missed by his wife, Margaret and his healing dog Tuppy, his daughter Heather and her husband Peter, his son Andrew and his wife Mara and their daughters Alex and Christi, his daughter Jenny and her husband Gino and their daughter Andriana and sons Daniel, Michael and Nicholas, his son Timothy and his wife Eryn and their son Levon, and his nephews Gavin and Robin. He leaves behind a large extended family and a wide circle of loving friends.

Ernlé expressed his talents in many ways over the years, as a printer, theologian, Methodist minister, anti-apartheid activist, biomedical ethicist and professor. He was a fiercely independent thinker with a deep sense of social justice and a restlessness about the status quo. Coupled with his generous spirit and big heart, this assured that he "comforted the afflicted and afflicted the comfortable." His curiosity and courage took him all over the world and into many interesting situations, including clashes with the apartheid government of South Africa, ultimately leading to his immigration to California and his rewarding career as a professor at Stanford University where he co-founded the Center for Biomedical Ethics, served as Associate Dean of Memorial Church and led the Stanford University Hospital Chaplaincy Department. He culminated his career overseeing ethical conduct of research at NASA Ames Research Center, then retired to Talent Oregon in 2013.

Ernlé was an avid runner, tennis player, backpacker, and pianist, who loved sipping scotch in his hot tub. He and Margaret opened their home to family, friends, and people in need, always extending gracious and warm hospitality. His creativity found expression in his lifelong woodworking avocation and his family and friends are surrounded by his beautiful labors of love. As he always asked that his epitaph would read, we will remember that "Whatever he did, he did with passion." Condolences may be offered in his honor to the Sierra Club.


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Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Feb. 18 to Feb. 19, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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3 entries
February 23, 2021
As a beneficiary of his work started Stanford Healthcare chaplaincy program, I am forever indebted to your loved one. May his memories and legacies continue to bring comfort, peace and solace to many.
Taqwa Surapati
February 22, 2021
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Dan and Judy Dugan
February 19, 2021
An incredible person leaving a marvelous family and many friends and admirers.. condolences to you all. Gorgeous memories and love will be the defining characteristics of your mourning. Ernie was an extraordinary person.
Claire Fagin p
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