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Book lover enhanced quality of life in hometown

| Thursday, July 11, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Nancy Young contributed to many events and projects in her hometown of Ligonier.

“Her love and devotion to bettering this community was unparalleled,” said her friend of 30 years, Julie Donovan.

Nancy L. Young, of Ligonier died Monday, July 8, 2013 at Excela Health Latrobe Area Hospital. She was 77.

Mrs. Young attended Wilkinsburg High School. After graduating, she took secretarial courses at Robert Morris University and later worked as an executive secretary for Rockwell Manufacturing in Pittsburgh.

Daughter Laurie McGinnis of Acme defined her mother as a “community-minded person” who “always did anything to promote business” in Ligonier.

When she moved to Ligonier with her family, she dedicated herself to doing work that enhanced the community. She served on the board of directors for the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce and co-founded the merchants committee. She helped coordinate the Antiques on the Diamond sale, scarecrow contest and merchant trick-or-treat and assisted in decorating the Diamond and lampposts with flower baskets.

She and her husband of 57 years, Wyatt Young, owned and operated the Drummer Boy Bookstore in Ligonier from 1984 to 2003. She hosted book signings with authors — David McCullough and Jim O'Brien were among the most prominent — and coordinated American Girl tea parties.

Mrs. Young had an “excellent literary mind,” according to Donovan, vice president of public relations for Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau.

“A friend told me that she predicted the Harry Potter books were going to be phenomenal, and they were,” she said. “She had a knack for knowing — like the American Girl series — what the public was going to respond to.”

Mrs. Young and her husband attended yard and estate sales to look for rare titles for their store. They traveled to Miami, Chicago and Las Vegas for book conventions, where Mrs. Young loved meeting authors, according to her son, Douglas Young of South Park.

In addition to her husband, son and daughter, she is survived by three grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and a sister, Lois Furlan of Gibsonia.

Visitors will be received from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday in J. Paul McCracken Funeral Chapel, Inc., 144 E. Main St., Ligonier. A service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday in Heritage United Methodist Church.

Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to Action For Animals, 386 Route 217, Latrobe, PA 15650.

Nicole Chynoweth is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2862 or nchynoweth@tribweb.com.

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