Douglas Jansen Young

July 13, 1946 - October 28, 2020


Douglas Jansen Young, loving husband and father of two, passed away in Billings at age 74 on Wednesday, October 28, 2020. He was born in Portland, OR on July 13, 1946 to Phyllis and George Young. His family later moved to Bainbridge Island, WA, where he enthusiastically swam in the chilly waters of Puget Sound. Doug was Bainbridge Island High School student body president 1963-64, and was rumored to have scaled the Battle Point Park water tower to paint his graduating class year. Doug attended two universities before enlisting in the Army. He served in Vietnam as a Platoon Sergeant from 1967 to 1970.

After returning home to Washington State, he graduated with a B.A. in Economics from the University of Puget Sound in 1971. Doug took a gap year and flew to Germany, bought a VW van and drove it to India. He went on to receive an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 1978, and taught as a Professor of Economics at Montana State University for 33 years. His areas of specialization were public finance, international economics and alcohol policy. Doug’s ability to summarize, demystify, and entertain helped thousands of students and friends to appreciate the Dismal Science. While teaching as a Visiting Professor at Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh in 1987, he met Laura Hendrickson in the Squirrel Hill Café. He picked her up for their first date to go cross country skiing with two dogs in a pickup truck. They were married on August 16, 1987 and Doug moved back to Bozeman with Laura. There, they raised two daughters, Allison and Nicole (Nikki).

Doug loved traveling and adventuring with his family. He was a visiting professor and Fulbright Scholar in Botswana, Morocco, Egypt, China, and India. He also enjoyed hiking, skiing, Book Club, and camping with his family in their pop-up trailer. He returned to Bainbridge Island annually with his family to swim, visit relatives, and get together with his Cub Scout buddies, the Maywood Gang. In retirement, Doug served many roles within Wonderlust, the lifelong learning organization, as a Council member and President (twice), instructor, on the Friends of Wonderlust Board, Reception bartender, and so much more. He served on the Christus Collegium Board and was an active member of the Bozeman United Methodist Church.

Above all, Doug was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. He was known for his sense of humor, unabashedly loud laughter, and his kindness and respect for others. His children looked up to him and loved him deeply. Doug was preceded in death by his father, George, and his mother, Phyllis. He is survived by his wife Laura, his two children, Allison ( Jeremy) and Nikki, his grandson Reuben, his two sisters, Dallas and Melissa, and several cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A celebration of life will be planned on Bainbridge Island on a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a gift to the Doug Young Memorial Scholarship, attention MSUAF, POB 172750, Bozeman, MT 59717.

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