Michael Young of Vero Beach, Florida passed peacefully April 21st in his home surrounded by the love and focus of family and friends both near and far. Michael was predeceased by his wife Diane of 53 years whom he met and married in Lavallette, NJ. Mike lived a storied life of dedication, mentorship and leadership in matters of both family and business.
Mike Young’s business career began in 1962 at Jersey Shore Savings. The story goes that he took the teller job because it paid twenty five cents an hour more than a job at the local grocery store. He was also working weekend concessions at the Seaside Heights boardwalk during this period. He credits an early mentor, Gertrude McCandless, executive vice president of Jersey Shore Savings and Loan, with pushing him to complete college. When asked about his upcoming class schedule, Mike indicated he would not be taking classes this semester due to budget concerns with his growing family. Ms. McCandless indicated that he would not be able to continue working at the thrift unless he continued his education. She loaned him the $500 tuition and said “Pay me back when you can.” Mike completed his education, made good on the loan and paid Ms. McCandless’ form of leadership and mentorship forward to both family and business colleagues throughout his life and career.
Mike quickly rose from teller to senior vice president by the age of 22. In 1969 he joined Larson Mortgage Company where he credits Robert Larson as another influential mentor in his career. Mr. Larson taught Mike the value of rewarding employees with an interest in a businesses’ profits. In 1982 Mike led an employee organized buyout of Larson Mortgage Company. In 1984 Mike’s management team bought Centennial Savings and Loan forming Cenlar Federal Savings Bank. Cenlar was the first federally chartered employee owned thrift. Mike’s leadership and perseverance through the late 1980s and 1990s is a testament to his thoughtfulness and ability to include others in the solution. Today Cenlar focuses on mortgage subservicing and continues to be an employee owned entity now employing more than 3000 in seven states.
Throughout his career, Mike served his industry on numerous boards and organizations both within New Jersey and nationally. In 2012 Mike served as Chairman of the national Mortgage Bankers Association, using his 50 years of industry experience to help the industry recover from the 2008 financial crisis. His immediate and extended family enjoyed a lovely 2011 Fall weekend in Chicago celebrating Mike’s leadership and storied career during his MBA induction ceremony.
Mike’s capacity for business organization was matched equally with his capacity for recreational organization. Mike moved his family to Hunterdon County, NJ in 1970 ultimately settling in Tewksbury. Mike led many touch football games, neighborhood saltwater fishing charters, and wiffle ball/basketball/volleyball tournaments not to mention the Tewksbury tractor races. He organized and hosted many extended family reunions (50+ people) at his house along with his annual “improvised plywood table” Thanksgiving weekends. Mike and Diane loved to host others and have them feel welcome in their home. In 1986 the couple bought a beach house in Lavallette and their epic hosting endeavours continued. Mike bought a 25’ fishing boat in 1986 and his weekends were tasked with leading offshore expeditions for friends, family and colleagues to the Hudson Canyon in pursuit of big fish, mammal sightings and offshore excitement. Mike relished in the task of organizing a team to take on shared journeys and adventure and then celebrating the outcome later with his family and friends at his home.
Mike is survived by his partner of four years Stephanie, his four children, their spouses and seven grandchildren that will sorely miss the nightly summer trips to the ice cream parlor and the unique repertoire of grandfather jokes every morning. He leaves five siblings and their spouses and his ten nieces and nephews and their growing families. He will be missed dearly by both family, friends and colleagues but the memory of his positive impact on so many lives provides comfort and joy to those who knew him.
Whether organizing employee led buyouts, saltwater fishing expeditions, touch football games or family reunions, Mike enjoyed the process and providing mentorship and guidance to others along the way. His nephew put it succinctly well when he wrote, “Uncle Mike was an incredible role model for me growing up. I learned through his example that aside from hard work, the weekends were always key in celebrating family time and adventure”
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The service from Millennium was outstanding. Rachel was sweet, personable and very comforting. It was important to me that my dad was kept locally where I knew where he would be. Very nice facility, state of the art and quality of my fathers remains were so refined compared to my mothers years ago. I highly recommend this place for an affordable choice for your loved one. Thank you for making an already stressful event easy. With high regards, the Esposito and Keith Family.
Millennium Cremation provided a fantastic service to our family at a difficult time. Our beloved mother passed away in Vero Beach and the rest of the family was in other parts of the country. Due to the Covid health crisis, none of us could get to Vero Beach in person. That's where Millennium took over. They helped us manage everything, coordinated with a cemetery in Maine, managed the obituaries, expedited all the paperwork, and even delivered an important document locally that saved us days. Funeral director Rachel was a godsend, and she made it clear what she was going to do, and what we needed to do. If you know what you want, Millennium is highly recommended, and the savings versus the full service mortuaries is significant.