James L. Young, Jr. (Jim) passed away peacefully on November 21, 2022. Born on October 26, 1931, he had just celebrated his 91st birthday. The son of Dorothy and James. L Young, Sr., Jim grew up alongside his younger brother, Joe, in Parkville, Missouri, though he spent part of his high school years in St. Louis, Missouri when James Sr.’s job took the family there. A military enthusiast, Jim spent a summer in the Merchant Marines and joined the Air Force ROTC when in college at the University of Missouri. Thereafter, Jim served as a radar control officer in Germany during the Korean War and as part of the United States’ post WWII occupation. He was promoted from Lieutenant to Captain while serving in the reserves prior to his honorable discharge.
After his active military service, Jim relocated to Kansas City, and met Mary Louise Fuller, a beautiful artist who was working as an art teacher after graduating from the University of Kansas. Despite the MU Tigers-KU Jayhawks rivalry, Jim and Mary Lou fell in love, married, and had three children. During this time, Jim started his own real estate and land development business, having learned much from his family experience in farming and from associates Carson Cowherd, Max Dean, and Maxine Artley, with whom he’d worked on the Park Plaza development in Kansas City North. Jim’s crowning achievement in business was developing The Coves residential area, off of Barry Road in Kansas City, with a family-friendly 10-acre lake, swimming pool, and clubhouse that has hosted all manner of celebrations over the years. The Coves spirit was extended with the development of its sister, Coves North. Jim was an active member and leader in Kansas City’s Home Builders Association and the National Association of Home Builders, working on important policies such as the Homeowners Warranty and equitable home loan practices.
After Jim’s first wife died in 1976, he married Donna Davis, who had two grown children. Jim and Donna were principals in the initial redevelopment of the Union Hill residential area, just south of Kansas City’s Crown Center. With difficult real estate conditions in the 1980s, Jim exited that project and relocated to Florida where he continued to work in real estate appraisal. Jim moved back to Kansas City after the death of his second wife to be near family. There, he was an active and proud member of VFW Post 7356, in Parkville, volunteering his time and services until his health began to fail.
Jim leaves behind his children, James L. Young III (Sherri), Elizabeth (who recently lost her beloved husband Lwood), and Nancy (Kristine), and their children and grandchildren, as well as stepchildren Karen and Scott. A celebration of life will be planned for March 2023. In lieu of flowers, please be kind to one another.