• "Our Condolences to the entire Young Family from the entire..."
    - Richard Miller
  • "We knew Dr. Young and family many years as we both attended..."
    - Bob & Judy Salmon
  • "As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's..."
  • "Our deepest sympathy to Lori, the sweet little Bichon that..."
    - Wanda Anderson
  • "One can only think of Frank Young in terms of superlatives:..."
    - Carolyn Gwadz
Service Information
Andrews Mortuary and Crematory Market Street Chapel - Wilmington
1617 Market St.
Wilmington, NC
Memorial service
Monday, Dec. 16, 2019
10:00 AM
Fourth Presbyterian Church
5500 River Rd.
Bethesda, MD
View Map
Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019
11:00 AM
Alexandria National Cemetery
1450 Wilkes Street
Alexandria, VA
View Map

YOUNG FRANK EDWARD YOUNG (Age 88) Frank, beloved husband of Leanne Hutchinson, as he wanted to be remembered first, died peacefully on Sunday, November 24, 2019, from an aggressive "high grade" lymphoma diagnosed just three days earlier. He was surrounded by his five children and their spouses along with nine grandchildren and a niece at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington, NC. Frank was born on September 1, 1931, in Mineola, NY to Erma Holmes and Frank Edward Young of Merrick, Long Island, NY. Frank began to apply himself academically only after being told during 8th grade that he was "not college material" and should plan for a vocational career. Around the same time his father gave him a microscope, which sparked a lifelong love of science. Two sixth-month recovery periods following removal of benign tibial tumors during his sophomore and junior years of high school forced Frank to struggle with adversity at an early age, through which he cultivated an unrivaled work ethic that endured virtually to the day he died. Active in church in his youth, Frank pursued medicine rather than a pastoral career after being advised that he could minister to more people as a doctor than as a pastor. Frank entered Union College in 1949 as a premed student and pursued his medical training at the State University of New York Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse, where he enrolled after his junior year at Union due to his father's sudden death. After obtaining his M.D. in 1956 he completed a one-year internship and a three-year residency in pathology at the University Hospitals in Cleveland, OH, during which time he entered graduate studies in the Department of Microbiology at Case Western Reserve University, where he obtained his Ph.D. in pathology in 1962. Frank's professional accomplishments were legion and too diversely numerous to capture. As an academic scientist at Case Western (1962-65), the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation in La Jolla, CA (1965-70) and the University of Rochester, NY (1970-84), Frank's pioneering research in genetics led to the discovery of a restriction endonuclease, BamH1, which laid the foundation for cloning and the advent of biotechnology, including development of cloning vectors and methods to join different pieces of DNA. He transitioned from scientist to administrator, first as dean of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and chairman of the executive hospital committee overseeing the Strong Memorial Hospital system, from 1979-84, and then as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, from 1984-89. In 1984 Frank was also comissioned, and later highly decorated, as a Rear Admiral in the US Public Health Service. As FDA commissioner, Frank accelerated the review process to make drugs available to desperately ill patients and ushered in a new era of biotechnology drug products. He subsequently led the National Disaster Medical System, in which capacity he coordinated the medical responses to disasters, including Hurricane Andrew and the Oklahoma City bombing. Frank retired from government service in 1996 at the age of 65 and became director of adult education and then an ordained pastor at the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, MD, during which time he co-taught a class for young married couples with his wife, Leanne. He began consulting with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to help fund a new theological seminary affiliated with the church. After retiring from the ministry in 2003, Frank became a full-time entrepreneur and consultant to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including roles as partner of Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, executive vice president (EVP), regulatory and medical at Braeburn Pharmaceuticals, and EVP regulatory affairs of Tissue Tech. He worked until the end of his life, having written on September 15, 2019, at age 88, "I think I'm still at the top of my game." Frank's most important legacy endures in his family and countless people around the world whose lives he touched. Family was always first in Frank's heart, and he never hesitated to interrupt a meeting for a phone call from family. Frank's work was the social nexus for his life-long ministry. He delighted in providing medical guidance, friendship, advice, and nourishment for the soul. He will be remembered for his unwavering faith, boundless optimism, eagerness to face the next challenge, and commitment to do what he thought was right irrespective of others' judgment. He will be sorely missed. Frank is survived by his children, Lorrie Young, Peggy Long and her husband, Nathan, Frank Young, Jr. and his wife, Sharon Payne, Jonathan Young and his wife, Nellie Wild, Deborah Rapp and her husband, Richard; grandchildren, Stephen, Benjamin, Alyssa, Sarah, Jordan, Jonathan, Abigail, Lindsay, Kristen, Jessie, Elizabeth, Anna, Nathaniel, Bella, Katie and Julia; and great-grandsons Tristan and Kaiden. Frank is predeceased by his wife, Leanne. They celebrated their Golden Anniversary on October 20, 2006. The darkest moment of Frank's life was the untimely death of Leanne on August 4, 2008 from metastatic melanoma. His family is grateful that he worked his way through unspeakable grief and gave the blessings of 11 additional years after he was separated from his life's love. A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, December 16, 2019, at 10 a.m., at the Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, MD. A reception will follow in the fellowship hall. Interment will take place on Tuesday, December 17, at 11 a.m., at the Alexandria National Cemetery, 1450 Wilkes Street, Alexandria, VA. Flowers may be delivered to Fourth Presbyterian Church on December 16, 7:00-8:30 a.m., 5500 River Rd., Bethesda, MD, 20816. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to: the Leanne & Frank Young Endowed Scholarship and Endowed Chair, Upstate Medical Alumni Foundation, Upstate Medical University, 750 East Adams Street, Setnor Academic Building, Suite 1510, Syracuse, NY 13210, in honor of the education that launched Frank's career; the Frank & Leanne Young Memorial, Fourth Presbyterian Church, 5500 River Rd., Bethesda, MD, 20816, in honor of Frank's life of faith; and the Frank Young Memorial, 2001 South 17th Street, Wilmington, NC 28401, New Hanover Medical Regional Medical Center Foundation, in honor of the outstanding care Frank received in his last days and Frank's final ministry to the hospital community, Love Through Eternity Romans 8:38-39Romans 8:38-39
Published in The Washington Post from Dec. 1 to Dec. 8, 2019
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