John R. Young, who owned an envelope business and was a benefactor to musical arts groups, hospitals and schools, died of heart disease July 18 at Gilchrist Care in Towson. The Hunt Valley resident was 87.
Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, he was the son of Mary Agatha Lacko and John Patrick Yakubisin, who ran a corner grocery store. As a young man he worked in their business as a stock clerk and delivery boy. He was a 1951 graduate of the Staunton Military Academy and earned an engineering degree from the Johns Hopkins University. He also studied at the Harvard University School of Business.
Mr. Young went into the printing and packaging industry and was the owner and CEO of the Oles Envelope Corp. from 1978 to 2010. The business is located on East 25th Street near Waverly. He also owned Oles de Puerto Rico, an envelope manufacturing plant in Bayamón, Puerto Rico.
Mr. Young was a board member and former chair of the old Baltimore Opera Company and sat on the board of the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. He was also a donor to the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering in Remington.
“Jay was an old school gentleman,” said James Harp, artistic director of Maryland Opera. “He was integral in increasing the quality and number of performances of the Baltimore Opera. He was also instrumental in increasing the educational outreach to include all members of the community. His charm, humor and tact frequently diffused typically operatic situations too.”
He was a co-founder of the American Students’ Fund. He awarded more than $100,000 in scholarships to Baltimore students. The awards were based not on academic achievement, but on character and citizenship.
“He assisted students at some of the most challenged schools in Baltimore city and county,” said his wife, Carol Jean Lovette-Young.
He also gave to the Ben Carson Scholars Fund.
Mr. Young enjoyed playing cocktail piano music. He played golf and harvested vegetables from a home garden.
Plans for a celebration of life are pending.
Survivors include his wife of nearly 30 years, a retired piano instructor who also served at the Peabody Preparatory School; two sons, John “JT” Young of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Jacob Young of Hunt Valley; three daughters, Mary Elizabeth Young of Providence, Rhode Island, Victoria Young of Baltimore and Caroline Horne of Winchester, England; a sister, Alice Yakubisin of Eatontown, New Jersey; and eight grandchildren. His previous wife of 28 years, Anne V. Metzger, a singer, died in 1989.