Dr. Quen E. Young
July 17, 1930- June 22, 2020
Dr Quen Young passed away at age 89 on the morning of June 22, 2020 leaving a legacy of passion for life, excellence and love of family. He was an extremely social person who lived a full active life and inspired all those who knew him.
Quen was the middle of three children born in Gilroy, CA. Quen attended elementary, Jr. High and High school in school in Gilroy, CA. Starting from a very humble family and having his formative years be during the depression taught him his lifelong traits of outstanding work ethic, fiscally conservative and loyalty.
By the time Quen graduated high school, he was drafted to the army during the Korean war. As Quen later explained, while sharing his scholar father's chronicles on his Army years,"I chose to be stationed in Berlin instead of Hawaii because Germany is further away from Korea!" Quen served two years in Europe as a medical officer with the attendant privilege of the use of an Army ambulance. His European Escapade stories would delight his friends over coffee for the years to follow. After his honorable discharge, he enrolled under the G I Bill to San Jose State, where he met his bride, Suzanne. After he graduated from San Jose State, Quen attended the University of California San Francisco dental school. He was chosen to be part of the prestigious curriculum II and completed his training as a certified Orthodontist. At that time, Quen moved his family to the Westborough neighborhood of South San Francisco where he lived for the next 54 years.
After Quen graduated from UCSF Orthodontics in 1962, he started work as an associate. At that time he was one of the very few Asian orthodontists and discrimination was extreme. About three years later Quen established his own orthodontic practice in the then remote bedroom community of the Richmond District of San Francisco. He pioneered casual attire instead of the traditional white smock while serving his patients. He dared to use innovative procedures to tackle tough cases with outstanding success. In short time, Quen had established a well reputed and thriving orthodontic practice in San Francisco. Quen practiced for only 28 years and retired at the age of 60 after transitioning his son, Glen, into his practice.
Quen served on the SF Dental Society Board of Directors and was an advisor to the NEMS in its beginning. He was always willing to assist other dentists when they had questions about
orthodontic treatment and then later relocated and expanded his office to 20th Avenue at Geary Boulevard. Even long after retirement Quen regularly attended study clubs with fellow colleagues due to his social nature and expertise from experience.
One of Quen's passions was fishing. He was an avid and expert fisherman who explored the globe on his frequent adventures. When not releasing his catches, he often shared them at the Young Family Association annual banquets as well as with his monthly luncheons with his tennis buddies.
Quen took up snow skiing in his thirties and introduced his whole family to the sport. He frequently took the family on trips to Utah, Idaho and Lake Tahoe. After retiring he ventured further to France and Europe.
Being physically active his entire life, Quen took up tennis in his later years. As was customary to him, he helped organize and run a group of "young" elders who daily met for tennis and coffee afterwards. The tennis group became a big social outlet where he encouraged men and women to join in the fun. To ensure that he and his friends had something to sit on in between sets, Quen donated two metal benches which are still at the courts today.
Quen and Suzanne had 4 children, Glen, Karl, Michelle and Jennifer. He was devastated when he lost Karl at the young age of 24. He was a loving father who supported and educated his children. Quen could have afforded to live in any exclusive neighborhood with all the trappings, but he preferred to live modestly as an example to the children. He was proud of all his children's accomplishments.
Quen leaves behind his children and their spouses/partners: Glen and Helen of San Francisco, Michelle and Tim of Los Altos, Jennifer and Jesan of Sacramento. He also leaves behind 6 grandchildren: Lauren, Maximillian, Hope, Justin, Jason and Kaitlyn.
He also leaves dozens of cherished family members and lifelong friends who all loved him dearly.
Because of the pandemic, the family will likely schedule a remembrance at some point in the future. The family is grateful for the condolences. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations made in memory of Quen to the Chinatown YMCA (where Quen frequented as a child), 855 Sacramento St., SF 94108-2116, please include a note to inform them that the donation is in memory of Quen Young.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Jul. 4 to Jul. 7, 2020.