Obituary: Chapman (Chan) Young, III
February 25, 1937 – January 28, 2023
Chapman (Chan) Young, III died on January 28, 2023 of a brain tumor. He was born in Denver on February 25, 1937 to Mary Phipps and Chapman Young, Jr. He spent most of his childhood on Highlands Ranch south of Denver, attended Plum Creek Elementary School, and graduated from Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts. He then attended Cornell University where, after some late-bloomer side adventures, he eventually discovered – and applied his amazing mind to – the field of geology, and was a member of Phi Delta Theta. While at Cornell, he met Martha (Chris) Drake on a blind date, and they married in February 1960. Their first child (George) was born in Ithaca, NY, just before Chan earned a BS in geology.
The family moved to the San Francisco Peninsula where Chan attended Stanford University, earning a MS in materials science and a PhD in geophysics in 1966. Daughters Carie and Mary were born while Chan was a student at Stanford. After graduating, he worked for three years as an assistant professor at Stanford, then as a geophysicist at Science Applications in San Leandro, California. In 1971, Chan was offered a position as a geophysicist at Institut CERAC near Lausanne, Switzerland. He and the family lived in Lausanne for four years and enjoyed learning French, hiking, and downhill skiing in the alps, and traveling around Europe in their VW bus. The family then moved to Colorado, where Chan worked as a research professor at Colorado State University before opening the Fort Collins office of Science Applications. In 1979 the family moved to Steamboat Springs, where Chan and Chris lived for over 43 years. He founded his consulting business, CFI Technologies, at which he designed innovative foam-injection rock fracturing technology for tunneling and mining applications. He was passionate about developing this technology and traveled as a rock fracturing consultant to Canada, Italy, France, and Australia.
Chan was a man of many talents and interests. He enjoyed riding horseback on his family’s ranch, alpine and backcountry skiing, Nordic skate skiing, mountain biking, and skillfully doing any and all projects at home. During many winters he and Chris went on hut trips with friends. In the spring he, Chris, and family and friends chartered sailboats in the Caribbean, where adventures abounded. More recently he took expedition cruises with Chris, visiting Alaska, Scotland, Russia, the Galapagos, Antarctica, Greenland, and the British Isles.
Chan was very appreciative of all of the opportunities he had in life and always attributed his successes to good fortune and the help or guidance he received from others. He is remembered by family and friends as being fun-loving, adventuresome, silly, inventive, creative, brilliant, encyclopedic, kind, and generous. He is survived by Chris, his wife of 62 years; their 3 children, George (Cara), Carie (Bruce) Alexander, and Mary (Steve) Swanson; 12 grandchildren; 4 great grandchildren; and 5 younger siblings, Suzan Ray, and Michael, Gregory, Stephen, and Pamela Young. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are preferred to the American Brain Tumor Association, or the MD Anderson Center Glioblastoma Moon Shots Program.
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