Our Founders

William R. Young Jr.

William YoungWilliam R. (Bill) Young Jr. was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1916. His family moved to Chicago where he completed high school and then graduated from Northwestern University where he had been on the varsity swim team. He enlisted in the Army in 1941, and spent the war island hopping in the Pacific as a Captain in the Fifth Army Air Corps, fulfilling the duties of quartermaster.  Bill returned to civilian life in 1946, joining Marshall Field Department store in Chicago as a shoe buyer. After marrying Marilyn Field in 1947, they returned to her hometown of Owensboro where he worked for his father-in-law, C. E. Field, at Field Packing Company, eventually retiring as the company’s second President in 1982.

Bill took an active role in Owensboro civic life. He was president of the board of Brescia College, on the board of the Wendell Foster Center, Chairman of the Owensboro-Daviess County Hospital and the Chamber of Commerce, among others. He was a founding father of Leadership Owensboro and continued to serve the organization even in his retirement.  Bill was an active Rotarian.  He was a past member of the board of directors of the American Meat Institute and former president of the Kentucky Meat Processors Association.  In 1979, the Kentucky Pork Producers Association presented its Outstanding Service Award to Young.  And in 1982, the American Meat Institute gave him its Community Relations Award. Bill died in 1984 of complications due to a heart attack less than two years after retirement.

Marilyn Field Young

Marilyn YoungMarilyn Field Young was born in Owensboro in 1925 to Charles and Mildred Field.  She attended college at Hollins College and Washington University in St. Louis.  Marilyn was an active member of Immaculate Catholic Church and served as a director at Field Packing Company.  She served on the board of trustees of Brescia College for many years, where she received the doctor of humane letters degree in 1985.  A year after her husband died, she created the William R. Young Jr. Lecture Series at Brescia in his memory.   As a founding member of RiverPark Center, together with her sisters Nancy F. Wilson, Joanne Field Weller and Virginia F. Newton, she established the Field Founders Room which is utilized for board meetings and small receptions.  Marilyn was a Rotarian and a board member of Leadership Owensboro.  She was active with many civic and charitable organizations and served as President of the Junior League of Owensboro.  Known for her tireless efforts and quiet leadership on behalf of others, her death in 1998 was a loss for the entire community.

Marilyn and Bill Young were devoted community members and active philanthropists throughout their lives.  The Youngs were survived by a son, William R. Young III, who remained an active participant in the charitable giving of the family for many years.  The Marilyn and William Young Charitable Foundation serves as a continuum of the giving that this generous couple began during their lifetime, giving to needs, large and small, in discreet ways that did not demand recognition.