Long Grove Civic Leader, Neurologist Had Many Interests

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Zalusky Daily Herald Staff Writer

Dr. I. James Young was a giving man.

As a neurologist, he liberally gave time to his patients, even when the waiting room was stacked with them, his widow Helen remembers.

As a resident of Long Grove, he gave back to his community, serving on and ultimately chairing the plan commission, where he pushed for the creation of an artisan village friendly to glass blowers and woodworkers.

As a homeowner, he amassed 16 acres where he diligently worked, wearing his hardhat and riding his tractor, removing invasive buckthorn and planting oak and walnut trees.

And he gave time to his church, St. Mary in Buffalo Grove, where he served as a deacon.

But more than that, Young gave to his family. They included his wife, whom he took to the junior prom at New Trier High School in Winnetka.

The two married in 1953, a union that produced four children and 11 grandchildren.

"He said 'if you marry me, I'll always keep you Young,'" Helen Young said.

Young, 76, died Thursday at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, following a long battle with prostate cancer.

"He was kind of a Renaissance man," said his daughter Mary Konopka, who added his conversation was likely to wander through a variety of topics, touching on philosophy, art or poetry.

But his widow said he was also liked to work with his hands. Among his hobbies was woodworking. He would make furniture with the help of a friend, building desks and tables for family members.

Camy Gould, who served as secretary on the plan commission when Young chaired it, remembered him as "an absolute gentleman" who cared about Long Grove.

"He really would have loved to have seen the village of Long Grove become an artisan village. …