Father Ronald E. Young, 1949-2011


By Msgr. Frank Henricksen

Whether it is just an old saying or classed as a cliché, it goes like this: “Gone but not forgotten.” Father Ron Young falls into that category and so remembered today.

Father is gone, a victim of a stroke last November and a recent recurrence which took his life on Jan. 11 at the age of 61.  He was serving in Sacramento Calif.

Father will be remembered for his 25 years of ministry in our diocese and serving parishes in Iowa City, Ottumwa, Eddyville, Charlotte, Villa Nova, Farmington, String Prairie and Clinton. Even a number of these parishes are gone, but not forgotten. His service in Clinton saw the beginning of Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish with the combination of the five individual parishes in that city.

His last diocesan assignment (lasting more than 10 years) included forming the consolidation of those five parishes, a task only recently completed with the building of the new parish church. Fr. Ron’s last visit to the diocese was his return for the dedication ceremony of the new church. It was a great reunion for him to know he had not been forgotten. Father had been gone since he left this pastorate in 1999 for a sabbatical. The sabbatical was extended to a leave for further study in California.


During the time gone from the diocese, Father earned a Doctor of Psychology in organization development. After graduating, he continued as an adjunct professor of the University of San Francisco and had served in the capacity of a consultant in his field. This included conducting seminars, many of which were for the state of California. Gone, but he never forgot his diocese and worked to finance his student loans, always with the hope of returning to the diocese to serve  in priestly ministry — which was still part of his life while residing in California  and ministering in parishes there.

As a native of the Des Moines Diocese, maybe Fr. Ron made a connection with us while attending the University of Iowa. No matter what reason brought him here, we are grateful for the 35 years he faithfully served as a priest of God. While he was away, he never forgot his connection with us and the people he met and served. May we never forget him — gone again, but home for good.

Requiescat in pace!

Obituary for Fr. Young

Father Ron Young, a priest of the Diocese of Davenport who was working in California, died Jan. 11 in Sacramento. He was 61.

Born in Creston, Iowa, he attended school in Prescott. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history in 1971. During his senior year in college he realized he could do more for others in the priesthood than as a lawyer, which he was preparing to become.

He completed his theological studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gerald O’Keefe on May 24, 1975, at St. Patrick Church in Corning.

Fr. Young served as associate pastor at St. Wenceslaus Parish in Iowa City from 1975-79 and St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Ottumwa from 1979-80 while also serving as administrator of St. Mary Parish in Eddyville. He was pastor of Assumption Parish in Charlotte and St. Patrick Parish in Villa Nova from 1980-81, then St. Boniface Parish in Farmington and St. Mary Parish in String Prairie from 1981-85. Fr. Young took a leave of absence from 1985-89 to join the campus ministry team at Loyola University in Chicago.

Upon his return he was pastor at St. Patrick and Sacred Heart parishes in Clinton until 1990 when he assumed pastorship of the newly formed Jesus Christ, Prince of Peace Parish in Clinton. He remained in Clinton until 1999 when he took a sabbatical and then went on leave to complete his Doctor of Psychology in organization development.

He has been an adjunct faculty member of the University of San Francisco since 2007 and served as a consultant in organizational management since 2009.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

A memorial Mass will be held Jan. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, Clinton.

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