Remembering the late Steve Young

Friends and family shared stories about Steve Young, the former director of Campus Recreation Services.

Friends, family, and coworkers shared photos and memories of Steve Young, who died after a five-year battle with brain cancer. | TSIPORA HACKER TTN

More than 100 people including family members, friends, and employees gathered together in Mitten Hall Monday to honor the late Steve Young, a longtime Temple employee.

Young died last Wednesday after a five-year battle with brain cancer.

Young, the former Campus Recreation Director, was remembered as a beloved father, husband and mentor to students and employees, many of whom shared their memories at the memorial.

John Doman, Campus Recreation Associate Director, was among those who spoke. Doman told a story about Young that exemplified who he was as a person.

Doman and Young were at a conference one time where the keynote speaker broke a board like a martial artist when talking about resilience and perseverance.

“He asked for a volunteer, and Steve jumped out of his seat and broke one of the boards as if he’s done it a million times,” Doman said. Young later told him, ‘Doman, here’s advice: If you ever get asked for a volunteer, be the first one to go.’”

Doman remembered when Scott Graham, a graduate extern for campus recreation, had his apartment broken into and all of his cash stolen. When Graham came into work, Steve had gotten people to donate money and put in a card for him.

“He was always trying to look out for us,” Doman said. “I wouldn’t be in the position I am if there was no Steve Young.”

Bill Wilkinson had known Young for almost 30 years after meeting him in the late 80s while both were working in student affairs. Wilkinson described Young as “one of the good guys,” and said that there was “little he couldn’t do.”

Wilkinson remembered when Young had gotten upset after the doctor had given him the bad news that there were no signs of improvement. Young reacted in a way that surprised Wilkinson: he wasn’t bothered by the news, but simply couldn’t stand seeing his wife, Marianne upset.

“I can take all of this, but I can’t take Marianne being upset,” he told Wilkinson.

Young was “brave” and a “fighter,” said David Leach, senior athletic director at Princeton University and a former colleague of Young’s. Leach considered Young a “surrogate father, big brother, boss, mentor and friend,” he added.

Steve was known to some as ‘SY’, some ‘SEY’ and even ‘Old School,’ as nicknamed by Eric Nickel, a colleague in NIRSA. “When ‘Old School’ talked, people listened,” Nickel said.

Young lived by integrity, Doman said.

He told Doman “integrity matters,” and being guided by integrity throughout your daily interactions with people can turn “the good and ordinary, [into] the great and extraordinary.”

Young was selfless, humble and caring, Wilkinson said.

“Faced with incredible hardship – he was mostly concerned with his family,” he added.

“We will miss you, Steve, and forever remember you and hold you in our hearts,” Leach said. “May you rest in peace. Amen.”

Tsipora Hacker can be reached at

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