Riverhead native Hallock Young, a home designer, builder and pilot, died at the Santa Cruz Healthcare Center in Santa Cruz, Calif., on Nov. 5, after complications from a stroke. He was 86 years old.
Hallock Young was a direct descendant of Southold founder the Rev. John Youngs. He was born Sept. 6, 1924, to Joyce and Franklin Young of Riverhead and was raised on the family potato farm, with frequent winter excursions to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he attended school as a child. He was the valedictorian of the Riverhead High School Class of 1941 at the age of 16.
He began a lifelong love affair with the sea when, as a child, he befriended Captain Bob Hart of the San Jacinto, the passenger vessel that took his family to Puerto Rico.
He studied journalism and engineering for two years at Rutgers University but enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 after the San Jacinto was attacked by Nazi submarines, killing Captain Hart. Mr. Young was in training as a pilot of “slingshot” planes, launched by catapult from aircraft carriers, when the war ended. He continued to fly small airplanes for much of his life.
Mr. Young ran a lumber mill in Vermont for the F. H. Young & Son Lumber Company of Baiting Hollow in the 1940s and 1950s. He married Chicago-born Clacia Curtis in Vermont in 1953 and adopted her son, Clayton Healy Young, who now lives in San Francisco. The couple settled in Reeves Park, Riverhead, a community he and his family’s lumber company helped to build. Mr. Young designed and built many homes on the East End in the 1960s and 1970s.
He was often seen in productions at North Fork Community Theatre in Mattituck during those years, including lead roles in “Man of La Mancha,” “The Price,” “Kiss Me Kate” and “A Man for All Seasons,” and he was also a painter and master storyteller.
In addition to Clayton, the couple raised four children in Riverhead: Jennifer Weissman-Young, now of Los Gatos, Calif., Christopher Young of Riverhead, Karen Young-O’Neill, now of County Tyrone, Ireland, and Sanford Young, who lives in Deerfield Beach, Fla.
When their children were grown, Mr. Young and his wife restored a wooden powerboat and cruised the eastern seaboard, making frequent trips to St. Lucia and to Cat Island in the Bahamas, where he built a house for friends. The couple moved briefly to Mobile, Ala., before settling in the Sonoma hills north of San Francisco in the late 1980s, where they were caretakers for a ranch and vineyard.
Mr. Young lost the love of his life in those hills when Clacia died in 1994. He continued to build and renovate houses, was the mastermind of madcap nautical adventures with his far-flung family and, at the time of his death, was building an airplane.
He had also designed a 76-foot schooner named The Impossible Dream and, as he told everyone, was planning a trip “with Clacia” to Ponape, Micronesia, just before his death.
He will be cremated and his ashes will be scattered over the Pacific Ocean.
Mr. Young is survived by all his children; six grandchildren, Elizabeth and Daniel Weissman of Los Gatos, Calif., Rivkah Young of Capitola, Calif., Nina Samborska Young of San Francisco, Beth Young and Shana Smith of Flanders; and three great-grandchildren, of Flanders.
This is a paid notice