The Obit For Bud Younger

James Paul Younger

Published in the East Valley Tribune on 7/6/2008.

James Paul "Bud" Younger passed away peacefully on July 3, 2008 in Tempe, Arizona. Bud will be sadly missed but lovingly remembered.

He was born January 26, 1924 in Sioux City, Iowa to Florence and Owen Younger. He had fond memories of his years growing up with his brother "Poody," and his cousins, with whom he remained close throughout his life.

He attended Sioux City Central High School, where he was actively involved in sports, starring in football, playing basketball, and running track. Summers he played baseball, and he was signed to a professional contract upon graduation from high school.

Bud was part of the "Greatest Generation," helping to liberate Europe during World War II. His time spent in France, Austria, and Germany spurred his interest in history, and was instrumental in his becoming a social studies teacher, in addition to his career as a professional ball player and high school coach.

Upon his discharge from the army, Bud settled in Northern California, where he played football at Marin Junior College and met his lifelong love, Betty. They were married on Dec. 14, 1946, in Mill Valley, California.

After their marriage, Bud's baseball career took them to Quebec, Canada, as well as other places across the country. In 1948 Bud and Betty settled in Arizona. In addition to his summers playing professional baseball, Bud coached at Arizona State College in Tempe (now Arizona State University), and earned bachelors and masters degrees there.

After two years coaching in Casa Grande, Arizona he spent 30 years at Tempe High School, teaching social studies and physical education. His greatest passion was coaching. As the varsity baseball coach and as an assistant coach in the football and basketball programs, he encouraged and influenced many young athletes, helping prepare them for life beyond sports.

Bud enjoyed many wonderful years of retirement, including travel with Betty and family. Trips to exotic places in China, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand brought them many memorable experiences. "Bomps" adored his grandchildren, and always looked forward to watching them participate in sports events, dance recitals, plays, and other activities as they grew into adulthood.

He frequently commented about how proud he was of each of them. Being an avid sports fan, Bud followed the ASU Sun Devils and Arizona Diamondbcks closely, enjoying many games at the ballpark with son Rook. Bud and Betty enjoyed spending relaxing times at their summer home in the mountains of Northern Arizona, which Bud continued to visit with his family after Betty's unexpected passing in 2006.

Bud was an active and hard-working member of his church, always willing to help to further the Lord's work. His faith in God was strong and never faltered.

Bud is survived by his loving family: his children Vickie (Gary) Venturo and James P. Jr. 'Rook' (Debbie) Younger; and his cherished grandchildren Tori (Brent) Havins, Paul Venturo, Marcus Venturo, and Kelyn Younger. Bud's generosity, kind heart, and insightful wisdom impacted the lives of many.

Services to celebrate Bud's life will be held on Wednesday, July 9 at 10:00a.m. at Creighton United Methodist Church, 4900 E. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85018.

A reception will follow the services. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made in Bud's name to Creighton United Methodist Church, at the above address, for the church's Memorial Fund. Sign the Guest Book at