Donald R. Young Jr., Ph.D.
October 29, 1925 - March 24, 2021
Donald Rudolph Young, Jr., Ph.D. died peacefully on March 24, 2021. He was the son of Donald R. Young, D.D.S., and Rose Weiss Young of Chicago, IL, born on October 29, 1925. During the depression, the family moved to Panama where the senior Donald Young practiced dentistry. While there, Donald became an accomplished equestrian. Returning to Chicago, he enrolled in and graduated from Lake Forest Academy. As WWII began, Don served in the U.S. Navy as a pilot, starting a life-long love of flying. After the war, Donald graduated from Loyola University with his B.S. and enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, where he graduated with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Physiology. He went on to do post-graduate work in Alaska near the Arctic Circle.
Eventually, Don worked at NASA, Orly Field. During his time there, he published over 60 journal articles on his research. He was invited to lecture in London, Sweden, and other European countries. He also taught Aeronautics at Stanford University. His final assignment was working on Osteoporosis studies for the Astronauts. Don's last article was published as a critique at age 92. Retiring from NASA, he became a Marine Surveyor and Insurance Adjuster, which he enjoyed.
During his lifetime, he excelled in many sporting activities, including scuba diving to a depth of 240 feet; flying many of his own planes and getting a commercial license, and owning many boats. He singlehandedly sailed with only instruments to Tahiti in a 29-foot sailboat. Don was able to tame a runaway camel in Egypt. He also enjoyed traveling with his wife on two safaris, one to Botswana, Africa, and to Tiger Tops, Nepal. There were family barge trips in France, and journeys to Singapore, Bali, Thailand, Turkey, Cape Town, Africa, Egypt, and many other locales. Don also raced model T cars for many years. At 85, he learned to play jazz piano. He was a truly gifted man who had a zest for life.
Don is survived by his wife and friend, Francesca June Dugan, his daughter, Donna Blanc of Santa Barbara, Mary Elizabeth Bondu (Francois) of Paris, his grandchildren Alice Bondu of Paris, Charles Bondu of London, Morteza Erfani (Shayma, M.D.) of Potomac, MD. Nieces Lola Vollen, M.D. of Berkeley, Cessie Vollen of Chicago; nephews Jeffrey Vollen of Chicago, and Donald Vollen of Zurich.
The family thanks Forest Hill Skilled Nursing Facility, and Dr. Richard King for their kindness to Don. View the online memorial for Donald R. Young Jr., Ph.D.