Remembering YSU physics and astronomy professor: Warren Young

Pictured left to right: Former Youngstown State University President Cynthia Anderson, Patrick Durrell and Warren Young gather together to pose for a picture.

By Jessica Stamp

Warren Young, founder of the Ward Beecher Planetarium and retired physics and astronomy professor, died Wednesday, Feb. 16. He was 84.

Young had been at YSU since 1962 and taught in the department of physics and astronomy for almost 60 years before deciding to retire in 2005. From there, he continued to teach as an extended teaching svc and emeritus faculty and taught part-time until 2019.  

He founded the Ward Beecher Planetarium in 1966 and was the director for 25 years. 

Young grew up in Massillon, Ohio, and earned a bachelor of science in physics from Case Western Reserve University and a Ph.D. in astronomy from The Ohio State University.

Patrick Durrell, director of the Ward Beecher Planetarium and professor of physics and astronomy, was mentored by Young to become the next director. 

“[Young] sort of mentored me, because when I got here, I became the next director of the Planetarium,” Durrell said. “I was kind of following in his footsteps, which is kind of … big shoes to fill.”

Durrell described Young as a humorous person who loved telling jokes.

“He always had a laugh,” Durrell said. “He was a really good guy and got along with everybody … a very likable character, fun professor.”

Durrell said Young is going to be deeply missed by the YSU community and stated he has contributed much over the years.

“He really left a mark on the planetarium and field of astronomy here at YSU,” Durrell said. “It’s now up to the rest of us to sort of continue the standard he forged.”