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Donald T. Young

Obituary for Donald T. Young

February 20, 1935 - October 5, 2019
Wakefield, Massachusetts | Age 84


Donald T. Young, age 84, a lifelong resident of Wakefield and a veteran newspaper photographer, died on Saturday, October 5.

Mr. Young was a graduate of Wakefield High School, Class of 1955; Franklin Technical Institution, Boston, Class of 1956 (majoring in photography); and New England School of Art, Boston, Class of 1959 (majoring in commercial art and design).

Mr. Young was employed early in his career as a commercial artist by the Mead Packaging Co. of Lawrence, MA, a designer and manufacturer of packaging for national companies.

Mr. Young began his career as a professional photographer in his sophomore year at WHS. For more than half a century, he served as a photojournalist for a multitude of news outlets, including the Wakefield Daily Item, Daily Times Chronicle, Boston Herald-Traveler, Associated Press and United Press International wire services, covering breaking news events locally and regionally, including the professional sports scene.

Mr. Young also served as a civilian photographer for many local, area and state police agencies, with his evidence photographs assisting with auto-accident, fire and arson and other crime-scene investigations.

He captured some of his most dramatic and widely-published photos during a bullet-punctured standoff beside police in Natick, the capture of a man who shot to death seven co-workers in Wakefield, and his single-handed capture of an armed bank robber on Rte. 93 in Medford. His pictures have been used worldwide.

Don was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in journalism for his 1968 photo sequence of the dramatic capture of three bank robbers in Lynnfield. The rare nomination to the Columbia School of Journalism in New York was for "an example of distinguished journalistic achievement" while representing the Boston- Herald Traveler and the Wakefield Daily Item. It was also an example of Don's daily commitment to publicize the somewhat unappreciated job of the police officer and firefighter.

After 53 years of capturing countless thousands of images, he retired in June of 2005.

His happiest and most treasured moment was when he wed his beautiful and courageous wife, Jane at a mountain-side retreat in New Hampshire with whom he shared a world of dreams come true, only to lose her three years later to a rare heart disease.

Don also shared a love and appreciation of the wilderness during his many years of hiking, backpacking, and canoeing the trails and waterways of New England's backcountry, as well as a secluded summer log home and the precious times spent with his "extended" family, including five grandchildren, all of whom he cherished as their "Papa."

He was a member of Wakefield Boy Scout Troop 701 for several years, serving as its assistant Scout Master, Trip Leader, and Merritt Badge Counselor.

Being one of the founding members, Don also enjoyed meeting monthly at a Chinese restaurant with a group of professional working and retired photo journalists appropriately named "The Old Farts of the North Shore."

Mr. Young was the devoted husband of the late Jane Bernabeo Young; the brother of the late L. Murray Young; and the son of the late Gladys R. and W. Lawrence ("Laurie") Young, all of Wakefield.

Donald is survived by his stepdaughter, Gina M. Gebhard and her husband Leonard, their daughters Gianna, Talia, and Vanessa, all of Wakefield; and by his stepson, Dana P. Bernabeo and his wife Helen and their sons, Joseph Bernabeo of Wakefield and Ryan Devaney and his wife Samantha of Amesbury, all of whom he treasured dearly.

He is also survived by his cousin, Clifford B. Olsen and his wife Suzanne of Yarmouth, ME and longtime friend, Andrew W. McClean of Washington State. He was predeceased by his cousin Robert Howe and his wife Anne L. of Lowell, MA.

Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Saturday from 12-3pm. His Funeral Service will be held at the First Parish Congregational Church, 1 Church St., Wakefield on Sunday at 2pm.

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McDonald Funeral Home

19 Yale Avenue
Wakefield, MA 01880
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