“He made me smile every day,” Gerossie said.
Young’s history in Derry spanned more than four decades. He lived in the converted barn-style house and cultivated a 2-acre haven of exotic lilies, grasses and peonies that he would sell along the road.
People would stop to chat with him about his gardens.
Young was well versed in many subjects, a friend said. He was also a talented metal artist and displayed his artwork outside his home.
He never drove and depended on friends to take him on errands.
Rita Olszewski said her friend of 30 years had a zest for life and wanted to share his interests with as many people as possible. Just a simple conversation about a certain flower could generate an amazing amount of information, she said.
“I learned some good lessons from him,” Olszewski said. “He was amazing to talk to and he loved to laugh. It gave him that spark.”
The two shared a love of flowers and gardens. Olszewski said many of Young’s flowers grow at her Chester home.
She said Young wanted to make people happy and enjoy life.
“He lived the way we all should live,” she said. “There was a lot of wisdom in that house.”
Stavrou said she wished she had stopped to meet Young.
“We will all remember him for a long time,” she said. “For me, he gave me happiness with every smile and wave.”