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James M. Young


James M. Young, “Jim” to his friends, passed away at age 63. Our hero was born in Pennsylvania, to James and Elizabeth Young. Jim’s lifelong love of cars, motorcycles and all things mechanical began at an early age when he would sit in his high chair on the front porch and tell his mother the makes and models of the cars driving by.

In 1963 his parents moved the family to Columbus, Ohio, and settled in Upper Arlington. In 1967, he began working at Presutti’s Villa Restaurant where he met the love of his life, Alfreda (the boss’s daughter). A few years later when they were preparing to set out on the Harley and elope -- blaze a new trail -- they were stopped by Alfreda’s mom when she discovered their plan. Their journey began when they took their parents with them to elope in 1973.

Jim’s career began in the automotive industry shortly after. Jim was the first to earn the prestigious ASE Master Technician Certification in Columbus Ohio, which he continued for over 25 years.

Once he was given the task of working in an exhibition bay, referred to as the glass house, so that customers could see the work being done by the best technician. His hard work and natural affinity for cars quickly earned him a reputation as the “go to guy” and it didn’t take long for the manufacturers to offer him his dream job.

Jim’s talent and ability earned him the opportunity to work in Germany to develop the Audi V8 for the American market.

Jim’s 28-year career with Volkswagen AG earned him many awards and his achievements are too many to list. In 1994, the company brought Jim and the family to Arizona, and they moved to Fountain Hills.

He enjoyed road trips, tinkering in the garage and his sometimes daily trips to the local Ace hardware to pick something up and visit with the guys who worked there.

He loved to both play guitar and listen to music; he recently had gotten a ukulele. He was a teacher and mentor to many and could often be found in the garage helping one of his children or their friends work on a car. He always put others first and would drop anything he was doing to help someone out.

Jim’s passion was his family, his home and he would rather be with his wife and children than anywhere else on earth. He loved being a father and set an exemplary example. He was a quiet, gentle loving man whose cup was half full when we were sure it was empty.

Shortly before his death he was blessed with a new baby granddaughter for his birthday. He is survived by his wife, Alfreda; children, Desiree Hickey (Kurtis), Jimmy Young (Kathy), and Santo Young (Angela); grandchildren, Michael Young, Nicholas Young, Kurby Hickey and Daphne Hickey, and Kylie Howard; mother, Elizabeth Young; brothers, Michael and Jeff (Mary); and sisters, Betty and Barb (Richard). He is preceded in death by his father, James R. Young.

A Catholic service will be held at Church of the Ascension, 12615 N. Fountain Hills Blvd., on Friday, Sept. 19, at 5 p.m. A Celebration of Life party will be immediately following at the American Legion, 16837 E Parkview Ave., where friends and family can visit. Jim requested a party to celebrate his wondrous life where we can all remember the good times. Refreshments will be served.