Photo of John Young from the 1966 Karisma YearbookPicture of the John Young Family in 1995

   John Young
        1945 - 1996

John Young was born June 22, 1945 in Casper, WY, and died September 29, 1996 in Renton, WA.

He attended Northwest College in Kirkland from 1964-1966 where he met Mary Wirth.  After his second year at Northwest John joined the Army.  Over the next several months, John wrote to Mary asking her to marry him. While at Ft. Lewis, he developed walking pneumonia and spent three months at Madigan Hospital which resulted in his not being deployed to Viet Nam. Mary had laid a fleece before the Lord saying, "If John is able to stay at Ft. Lewis I will take it as a sign that we are to marry".  On August 18, 1967 John and Mary were married.  They had two children, and over the years they moved often as John changed jobs frequently. Their moves led them to different churches where both John and Mary kept busy volunteering wherever they were needed.

In the mid-70's John went through a season of personal struggle that resulted in the couple separating in 1978. Following their divorce, both John and Mary went through deep personal reflection and hours of counseling which led them to a place of being re-united. Describing this season of their lives, Mary wrote, "Through lots of prayer and support of Godly friends, my husband and I together began working on the issues we were both dealing with; first by going to The 12 Spiritual Steps studies, then becoming facilitators of them while we still worked them for ourselves.  My husband finally realized God’s call on his life and volunteered the last 13 years of his life at the Union Gospel mission in Seattle. They made him an “Honorary Chaplain” the last 8 years of his life, which meant that all of the street men had to talk to him before entering one of the programs.  In Sept. of 1996, my husband of 29 years died due to a diabetic heart. I had the joyful privilege of hearing and reading testimonies from the men he had connected with regarding God’s love, grace and mercy flowing through him; which helped the men to choose to live life in Jesus instead of a bottle or drugs."  

John's memorial service was held at the Union Gospel Mission in Seattle where he devoted much of his time the last 13 years of his life.