Rodney Lee “Patrick” Young (1937-2020), a veteran Washington science writer, died Monday night after a long illness and a bout with the coronavirus. He had a career that ranged from covering the initial space launches to writing about a Civil War Eagle Hero from his home state of Wisconsin.
Patrick was born October 19, 1937 in Ladysmith, Wisconsin, the son of Rodney, an elected judge, and Janice. After graduating from the University of Colorado he began his professional newspaper career in the Washington Bureau of United Press International in the early 1960’s, starting as a dictationist, and working his way up to local desk editor and then developing his specialty as a science and medical writer.
After a stint in the Navy during the Vietnam war, Patrick returned to Washington where he worked for several publications, including as the editor in chief of Science News magazine.
Patrick won several awards for his writing. Of all the wide range of science subjects he wrote about, including the Three Mile Island nuclear tragedy, he took the most delight in covering the manned space launches at Cape Kennedy starting in 1969 and into the 1970’s, and reading his book Old Abe the Eagle Hero, to children – particularly at the elementary schools of his grandchildren.
In his younger days he wrote and composed country music for his guitar. Patrick also was a good photographer.
Patrick was a long-time resident of Laurel, Maryland. He is survived by his wife, Leah, his daughter Justine, and his grandchildren Lucas, Lauren and Colin; his sister Janilee Allen and his sister Kathy Lucas. He will be missed by his family and many friends.
A small family service will be held at the Donaldson Funeral Home, P.A. in Laurel, MD on Sunday, January 10, at 2:00 pm; Livestreaming of the event may be accessed by clicking HERE. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Save the Bay or the National Center for Science Education.
To send flowers to Rodney's family, please visit our floral store.
Chesapeake Bay Foundation
6 Herndon Avenue, Annapolis MD 21043
National Center for Science Education
1904 Franklin Street, Suite 600, Oakland CA 94612