Donald Young |

Donald Young

The man largely responsible for Penn Valley looking the way it does has died.

Donald W. Young died Oct. 12. He was 75.

A service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Hooper and Weaver Mortuary, 459 Hollow Way, Nevada City. A reception will follow at DayBreak Cafe, 17464 Penn Valley Drive, Penn Valley. Interment will be Oct. 23 in Valley City, N.D.

In 1975, after a real estate career in Southern California, Mr. Young moved to Penn Valley and bought 100 acres of pastureland. Over the next decades, he developed the land into a shopping center with 30,000 square feet of cafes and retail space that has come to form the village center along Penn Valley Drive.

His project included street lighting and a dependable water system for the shopping center and nearby mobile home park.

In August 2008, Mr. Young donated 5 acres, valued then at $477,000, on Spenceville Road to the Penn Valley Community Foundation for the construction of the community center.

Mr. Young also supported numerous nonprofit organizations in western Nevada County, mentored boys and girls, and sponsored a scholarship for Nevada Union High School seniors showing outstanding patriotism and honesty.

He was born Feb. 4, 1935, in Valley City, N.D., to Henry and Amanda Young. He graduated high school in Valley City and attended some college.

Mr. Young entered the U.S. Navy and served in Japan. He then settled in Reseda, Calif., in the San Fernando Valley, where he began his real estate career.

He moved to Penn Valley in 1975 and continued his real estate development.

Mr. Young loved his work and loved to travel, visiting 32 countries.

He is survived by his wife, Jackie; daughter Tammy (Thomas) Martin of Reno, Nev.; sister, Alice (Warren) Wilkinson of Pendleton, Ore.; nephew, Gary (Carol) Wilkinson of Pendleton; nieces, Karen Nevins of Pendleton and Patsy Gilday of Vancouver, Wash.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Stanford University Medical Center Cardiology Department and the Penn Valley Foundation.

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