WILLSBORO — Harris Raymond Young, 88, of Maple Street, Willsboro, died Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, at Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown, N.Y., with his loving caregiver staff of the Horace Nye Home by his side.
He was born in Willsboro, Sept. 4, 1924, the son of Deloid and Edna (Frenier) Young.
Harris married Ruth (Rodenhuis) Young his Island Girl on Sept. 15, 1947 in Willsboro, in the rectory office of St. Philip Catholic Church. They were married for over 64 years.
As a graduate of Willsboro Central School, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corp on March 26, 1943. After serving as a pilot in the Pacific, he was honorably discharged on September 29, 1946. He was awarded the Army Occupation Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic/Pacific Service Medal and the WWII Victory Medal. He was an active member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves from 1946 to 1968, retiring at the rank of Lt. Colonel.
He owned and operated the Riverside Restaurant in Willsboro from 1946 to 1959. In April 1956 he became employed as a Counselor for New York State Division of Veterans Affairs in Essex County for 25 years, retiring in May 1981. He was a member of the Keeseville VFW Post 1505 and the American Legion, William Nolan Post 405 in Willsboro. He was a past commander of the William Nolan Post 405 and a past commander of the Essex County American Legion. As a 66 year member of the American Legion, he was one of the men instrumental in organizing the annual Willsboro Memorial Day Service for 50 years in order to honor and remember deceased veterans of all wars. That annual event still continues. During his career as a Veteran Counselor, he also served as a board member of the American Red Cross Northern Essex/Clinton Chapter.
After the Georgia Pacific Paper Mill in Willsboro was closed, Harris and other businessmen of Willsboro joined together to form Willsboro Industries, Inc. in order to purchase the former paper mill property and resell a portion to Tambrands, Inc., thus returning a second major industry to Willsboro for almost 20 years. Harris was a Willsboro Town Justice/Councilman from 1976 to 1980 and the Willsboro Town Justice from 1980 to 1987 when the State of New York required the two positions split. During Harris retirement years, he enjoyed golf and sold real estate for Covered Bridge Realty. He considered the Lake Champlain area Gods Country and was anxious to introduce and share it with others who fell in love with it. In earlier years he was a past President of the Buena Vista Park Association and a Past President of the Willsboro Golf Club. He also was a member and a Board Member of Willsboro Property Owners Association. Another interest over his lifetime included serving as chairman of the Willsboro Democratic Party. His interest in politics developed after a run for the Essex County Sheriff in the early 1950's. He came very close to winning and garnered more votes than any prior County Democrat Candidate.