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Laguna Beach builder, civic leader David Young dead at 96

July 14, 2009|By Sharbie Higuchi

One of Laguna Beach's most prominent citizens, David Young, has died of natural causes. He had celebrated his 96th birthday this spring on May 3rd. In addition to his stature in Laguna's business community, Young was also an outspoken advocate for the local arts scene, and Laguna's Festival of Arts, in particular.

Until his retirement, he was the driving force behind the family's construction business, Young Building Corp., which was responsible for the construction of such well-known Laguna landmarks as the Wells Fargo and Bank of America buildings. Among his many honors, David Young was a recipient of the designation as Builder of the Year from the National Association of Home Builders. Upon his retirement, he turned over operation of the company to his son Robin Young and grandson Michael Young, who represents the fourth and fifth generations of Youngs to have worked in the family business, begun by Young's grandfather in 1884.

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     David Young was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1913. After receiving a degree in civil engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, Young joined his father's construction business. During World War II, he worked for Douglas Aircraft. In 1945, David and his wife Mary paid their first visit to Laguna Beach and immediately knew it was the place where they wanted to live and raise their family. All four of the Youngs' children graduated from Laguna Beach High School: Nelly Bly, Suzy, Robin and Peter who died in an accident while attending California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. In honor of Peter, the Young family endowed a scholarship program at Cal Poly which still provides financial assistance to students.

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