John Alvin Young of Decker, Montana started a new journey when he left this earthly home on November 6, 2012.
John was born in Chadron, Nebraska on October 26, 1925 to James and Margaret Young. John arrived in MT in 1927 following a long train ride from Nebraska after his mother's death. He attended grade school at Big Bend School then high school in Hardin, Montana. World War II called and John served in the Navy in the South Pacific from January 1944 – June 1946. He then attended college at Bozeman, Montana, winning the Bareback Bronc Riding Championship at the first Intercollegiate College Rodeo held in 1947.
John returned to his passion of ranching with his Uncle Charley, brothers and sister on the Young Ranch at the head of the Rosebud in Kirby, Montana. Following the death of his brother, Jesse, in 1966 he purchased the Decker side of the Young Ranch. He was skilled in range management, livestock production as well as mechanical ingenuity. John received a conservation award for converting many acres of sage brush into productive grass crops. John was also one of the first ranchers in Montana to introduce the practice of A.I. in beef cattle thus improving the quality of his herd. He obtained this training in Fort Collins, Colorado. John could fix any piece of equipment and get it to perform.
John married Florence Arzy on July 31, 1953. Together they developed a beautiful life of ranching and providing for their three children, Fabienne, Kenny and Gayle. Together they weathered the many storms known to Montana as well as the cattle market. They also harvested the joy of bountiful crops and cattle prices. John saw the positive side of challenges, misfortune and people. He was a good neighbor, eager to assist with chores or trouble. He loved to visit. He was devoted to his family, friends, community and country. He served on Boards of several organizations, faithfully for years, including; Big Bend Elementary School Board for 3 years, Big Horn Stock Growers for 30 years, Big Horn County Farm Bureau Board of Directors for 45 years, Big Horn County Planning Board for 25 years, Big Horn County ASC Board for 4 years, Big Horn County Electric Co-op for 38 years,
Powder River Regional Coal Team for 15 years, Montana State Farm Bureau for 8 years, Mountain West Insurance Board for 7 years, and Montana Beef Council for 2 years.
John and Florence were awarded the Outstanding Agricultural Leaders in 1997 from the State of Montana.
A highlight in John's recent history was the privilege of traveling on the Honor Flight to Washington, DC in October 2011. In his words, “It was awesome”. John enjoyed writing cowboy poetry, reading a good western novel and playing with his young horses. He twinkled with joy when he witnessed his colts performing for their acquired owners. John handled his last challenge in the same manner as all others. He didn't complain and considered those around him.
John is survived by his wife of 59 years, Florence, his children, grandchildren; Shawn, Warren, Megan, Jessie, Seth, Suzie, Grant, Alaina and 8 great grandchildren; Justin, Madison, Branden, Machaila, Austin, Miya, Jaxson and Camdyn, his sister LaRena Adsit. He is predeceased by his 3 sisters; Mary, Sarah and Adeline, 4 brothers; Joe, Charley, Jesse, and LaRue, many dear friends and neighbors.
John will be sorely missed by his family, friends and community. He was bigger than life and lived his belief that all hardship can be overcome. He was a problem solver maintaining a calm demeanor and positive attitude. He could easily be engaged in conversation about politics and agriculture.
A Memorial service will be held June 15, 2013. Memorial gifts may be made to the Big Horn County Museum, 1163 3rd Street East, Hardin, Montana, 59034.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.