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MATTOON -- E. David (Dave) Young Jr., 78, passed away on August 1, 2016, at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, after a very brave and hard fight with an extremely aggressive form of cancer.Dave was born April 3, 1938, here in Mattoon, to Alice and Emerson D. Young Sr. during a snow storm. His dad was worried that he wouldn’t make it to the hospital in time, but he did!!  While still in High School, Dave started working in the family business – Young’s Department Store, on Broadway, Mattoon. Then, after graduation from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Dave joined the United States Air Force, in 1961. He was first based at Andrews AFB, MD, as an Assistant Base Housing Officer. It was during that time that he served as part of the Honor Guard that greeted Air Force 1 when it brought John F. Kennedy’s body back from Dallas – a memory he never forgot.It was also while in Washington that he became a firm Redskins fan!! Dave then decided he’d rather view the world from the air than the ground, so he went to Flight School and became a reconnaissance navigator with Strategic Air Command. He served at several bases in the contiguous US, as well as Hawaii; Alaska; Okinawa, Japan; England and Germany. Whilst in Okinawa, he flew 134 combat missions over Vietnam. Among other medals, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross; 15 Air Medals; and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Device.In 1973, while based in Omaha, Nebraska, he flew a mission to England, where he met his future wife, Janet Walker (Jan). It was obviously a match made in heaven, since they were living 5,000 miles apart, and neither wanted to go on the blind date set up for them…43 years later, it’s still “a match made in heaven.” Dave then wangled a transfer to the USAF Base at RAF Mildenhall, in England, where he became  the Director of Reconnaissance Operations.He and Jan were married on 21 May, 1977, in the Base Chapel, at RAF Mildenhall. A year later, Dave was transferred to the USAF base at Ramstein, Germany, again as Director of Reconnaissance Operations. In 1981, after 20 years in the USAF, Major Young retired and returned to civilian life, in Mattoon.He discovered that the only department still viable, from the old Young’s Department Store, was the custom-made drapery department. So he separated that out and formed Young’s Decorator Shop – “everything for your window but that view.” Dave operated that business, still on Broadway, Mattoon, until 2010 when he retired completely.