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Former WSU College of Agriculture Administrator Dies

PULLMAN, Wash. — Leonard W. Young, 97, a former administrator in what is now Washington State University’s College of Agriculture and Home Economics died Tuesday (March 6) at Pullman Memorial Hospital.

Young came to Pullman in 1936 from Pine Bluffs, Wyo., where he had been a high school teacher, to become assistant to the dean of the College of Agriculture. During his career, he held several administrative positions in the college, including experiment station editor. From 1949 until his retirement in 1968 he was assistant to the director for agricultural research.

His history of WSU’s Agricultural Experiment Station, issued in 1965 on the 75th anniversary of the station, continues to be a valuable resource on the accomplishments of the university’s agricultural researchers.

An early color movie film Young made of farmers harvesting wheat with horse-drawn combines was displayed at the World’s Fair in Vancouver, B.C.

After World War II, he served as director of civil defense on campus. Among other things, he was in charge of stockpiling enough supplies and food to feed 40,000 people for two weeks in case the need ever arose. Whitman County asked him to serve as county civil defense director after he retired. It was a part-time job for about five years.

In 1999, he and his wife Edna established a scholarship fund at WSU for students majoring in agriculture.

He was a 50-year member of Kiwanis, past president of the Pullman Memorial Hospital Foundation and a 70-year member of Pi Kappa Alpha. He also served as director and later president of the Pullman Community Concert Association.

Young is survived by his widow Edna, daughter Barbara Young Grutzmacher, who resides in Pullman with her husband Charles, two grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.

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