Edward R. Young, 72, who grew up as an orphan and became an officer of Omaha’s largest real estate company, died Tuesday at home from lung cancer.
Young, an Omaha native, and brothers Dennis and Ron went to the Omaha Home for Boys after their mother died. Their father died a few years later, when Edward was 11, son Gregg Young said. Ed Young graduated from Benson High School, earned a business degree at Omaha University and took various sales jobs.
In 1975, he and John Allen formed Allen Young & Associates to sell real estate. After a series of mergers, they became part of the 600-agent CBSHome Real Estate Co., purchased in 1998 by HomeServices of America, a part of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s MidAmerican Energy Holdings.
Young and Allen also ran a parallel real estate development company that created more than 20 Omaha neighborhoods with more than 6,000 homes, including Harvey Oaks, Autumn Ridge and Shadow Ridge. They continued the development work, separate from MidAmerican.
Young stayed with CBSHome four more years before retiring and spending winters in Arizona. He also was a partner in the Gorilla Systems car wash company, which was later sold. Young worked in business mostly with customers and friends, Allen said. “He understood a good deal anytime it presented itself.”
Young had an infectious laugh, and among his nicknames were “Fast Eddie,” possibly because he was born on the kitchen table at home, and “Fair Deal,” because of his business style. He was past president of the Omaha Area Board of Realtors and the Nebraska Realtors Association and state Realtor of the year in 1986.
As a partner, Allen said, “you couldn’t ask for any better,” and as a friend, Young was “the best.”
Gregg Young said his father urged him to get sales experience at an auto dealership, and now Gregg Young is president of a dealership that bears his name.
Ed Young was involved in Alcoholics Anonymous for more than 40 years, introducing many people to the program, his son said. He was an avid golfer, and his son plans to hold a golf tournament to raise money for the Omaha Home for Boys and the ARCH House, an alcoholism-related halfway house.
Edward Young also is survived by his wife, Diane; daughters Debbie Johnson of Cody, Wyo., and Beth Maser of Gering, Neb.; brother Dennis of Omaha; and nine grandchildren.
Family visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday at Christ the King Catholic Church, followed by a vigil service. Mass will be at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Patrick Catholic Church in the Elkhorn area, with a celebration of life from noon to 2 p.m. at Oak Hills Country Club.
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