The newspaper industry lost someone loyal to the cause on Aug. 30. That is the day Nancy June (Christian) Young departed this life and took her place in Heaven.
Nancy was a special lady and a dear friend. I met her in the mid-1990s, and loved her character, her spirit and her dedication to the profession of journalism.
Our professional paths crossed a few times over the years, and I had the opportunity to work alongside her on two occasions. Even when we weren’t working together, we would visit every once in a while about work, people we knew in the industry, and challenges we were facing, professionally and personally.
I always loved visiting with Nancy. She amassed more than 40 years of newspaper experience between her own projects and work with the Borger News-Herald and the Pampa News. She was a wealth of information and a great inspiration to fellow journalists.
What many people may not know is that Nancy was an integral part of a special print project the News-Press did back in 2015 in Hutchinson County. Since she called Stinnett home her entire life, she was the obvious choice for the project, and she rose to the task with the same desire, dedication and ethics as any other project/job she’d been a part of.
Aside from this project, Nancy and I worked together at the Borger News-Herald in 2004. I transferred from Borger to Guymon, Oklahoma, in 2003 to assume my first job as a publisher. Nancy left the Pampa News, where she had been since the early 1990s, to return to Borger in 2003. I returned to Borger in 2004 in the role of publisher, and Nancy had just been promoted to managing editor.
We worked together through some really trying times, and she was always there to lend advice or a helping hand, if necessary. For that, I owe her a debt of gratitude.
The most fitting tribute I can think of is to share the story of her life. Please read on (includes excerpts from her recent obituary):
Nancy, who was 76 at the time of her passing, was a lifelong Stinnett resident. She was born in Amarillo to Paul and June (Kelly) Christian.
She was a 1961 graduate of Stinnett High School. She was a twirler for the Stinnett Rattler Band all four years of high school.
Upon graduation, she attended Kilgore College, which is where she served as a member of the Kilgore Rangerettes.
Nancy worked in the newspaper industry for 40-plus years in various capacities including reporter, editor and owner/operator. She worked at both the Borger News-Herald and Pampa News. She served as the editor of the Stinnett Herald during the 1970s and 1980s before taking the job as a reporter at the Borger News-Herald. In the early 1990s, she left Borger to go to work for the Pampa News. She left Pampa in 2003 to return to Borger. She was named managing editor of the Borger News-Herald in 2004 and remained there until her retirement in 2006.
After “retirement”, Nancy began an online newspaper called Hutchinson County Highlights, and she latched on to Facebook and saw it as another means of keeping information in front of people.
Nancy was also active outside the world of journalism. She was a part of the Stinnett Ex-Student Association and the Hutchinson County Museum.
In addition, she also appeared in a motion picture. Yes, Nancy, who was a young child, and her aunt appeared as extras in the 1950 movie “The Sundowners”. The movie, according to her obituary, featured several scenes shot on Main Street and the tax office in Stinnett.
Nancy was preceded in death by her husband John Jacob Young, as well as her parents.
Left to mourn the loss of Nancy are her two daughters, two sons, a brother, a sister, two sisters-in-law, an aunt, eight grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and countless friends.
A memorial service was held in her honor on Sept. 5 at St. Ann Catholic Church in Stinnett.
God bless the family as they mourn the loss of Nancy. There are many of Nancy’s friends and colleagues who are also mourning her loss, yet so proud and honored to have had our lives blessed by her presence.
Rest in Peace, dear Nancy.