Steve Young, 71, of Woodland Park, formerly of Montclair, died on March 3, 2019. 

Mr. Young was born on Sept. 9, 1947, in Spokane, Wash. He and his family moved around the western U.S. a good deal in his early years, eventually ending up in Santa Fe, N.M.

New Mexico became Mr. Young's home state – he lived there through high school, where he met his future wife Karen. Upon graduating from high school, Mr. Young attended Eastern New Mexico University to study music. To further his music studies, he transferred to Berklee College of Music in Boston, and he and Karen relocated to the Boston area. They settled in Arlington, Mass., and their only child, Oliver, was born in 1975.

Although he did not complete his studies at Berklee, Mr. Young became active in the Boston music scene. He would teach both elementary school courses and classes at Berklee. At the same time, he would have additional gigs at shows passing through town or venues hosting concert series such as the Cape Cod Melody Tent. During his time as an active musician, Mr. Young became involved with the local chapter of the musician’s union, Local 9-535 of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM).

Steve eventually became a full-time officer of Local 9-535, serving as the president, while also getting involved on a national level with the AFM. After residing in Arlington for 20 years, they moved to Montclair in 1995 when Mr. Young became president of the AFM. His tenure as president came to an end after a couple terms and Mr. Young was then involved with the Nai Ni Chen dance company for a short time. Drawing upon his past union experience with the AFM, he obtained a position at the Council of New Jersey State Locals, AFT/AFL-CIO (CNJSCL). He relocated from Montclair to Woodland Park upon Karen’s passing in 2016 and enjoyed the Four Seasons community where he lived, making new acquaintances with those in his building. Mr. Young was serving as the executive director of the CNJSCL at the time of his sudden passing.

Even after his formal music career ended, Steve had a lifelong love of both classical and jazz music. Although he liked the Boston and metro New York areas, New Mexico always felt like his true home – he often spoke fondly of growing up there to those on the East Coast. He visited New Mexico frequently and Mexican food was his absolute favorite. Being one of the first purchasers of a personal computer in the 1980s, he enjoyed tinkering with them in his spare time. Through his wife Karen, he developed an interest in nature and wildlife. He loved the tight knit neighborhood in Montclair where he and Karen settled upon moving down to northern New Jersey – he always looked forward to poker games with the same group of neighborhood guys. Weekly visits to play with his granddaughter was a favorite activity.

Mr. Young was predeceased by his wife Karen. He is survived by his son Oliver, daughter-in-law Gina and granddaughter Audrey. He is also survived by his companion Martha Learner.  For online condolences visit

A memorial visitation will be offered from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at the Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home, 76 Park St., Montclair. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 9 at the same location.