March canoe accident victim recalled as standout athlete, businessman, environmentalist

Jeffrey Peter Young, who died March 15 in a boating accident on Long Island Sound, was remembered at a memorial service on Sunday, March 23, in New Jersey.

According to a posting in the StarLedger in New Jersey, Young was born on May 5, 1989, and grew up in North Caldwell, N.J. He graduated with honors from West Essex High School in 2007, where he was a four-year member and a captain of the varsity tennis team, winning three Iron Hills Conference Championships and an award for his “consistent display of badassness and eloquent mannerisms/behavior towards opponents.”

The young man’s life was cut short in March when he and a companion headed out onto Long Island Sound in a canoe March 15.

Connecticut’s Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police responded with Milford Police and Fire departments and the U.S. Coast Guard at about 2 p.m. that day to a report of an overturned canoe with two people on board. Young and a female were pulled from the Sound and taken to Milford Hospital. The female was treated for hypothermia and released. Young died at the hospital.

“Water temperatures [were] only in the upper 40s and lower 50s, which makes survivability from immersion far less due to the effects of hypothermia,” Fire Department Spokesman Greg Carman said at the time.

According to the published death notice, Young spent much of his childhood competing in tennis and swimming at Bradford Bath & Tennis Club, where he later worked summers as a lifeguard for three years.

In 2011, he earned a bachelor of science degree in marketing from Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Throughout those four years and beyond, he was a member of Sigma Pi Fraternity.

Upon graduation, Young helped market the start-up of Suburban Monk and pursued employment opportunities in Colorado, where he and his uncle rooted passionately for the Denver Broncos.

Young began working for Covanta in Morristown, N.J., in May 2012 and was promoted to account executive in December 2013. In his limited time at Covanta, he played an important role in signing an agreement with Turning Earth for one of the first commercial-scale organics recycling operations in the Northeast and was a guest speaker at Central Connecticut State University’s open president’s advisory meeting on environmental sustainability.

“Jeffrey spent his last five months living in Milford in a house on Long Island Sound in a room looking out to the sunrise,” his obituary notice states. “He spent his last day doing what he loved: hanging out with friends, playing football on the beach, and spending time on the water.”

He is survived by grandmother, Constance Young; parents, Peter and Robin Young; brother, Miles Young; uncles, Miles Hamm, Bill Young, and Roger Young; aunt, Catherine (Young) Davis, and many cousins.