It is with great sadness that we announce the passing Michael Steven Young, known to a few former Lincoln County High School students and football players as Coach Young. Michael and his wife, Janet Alexander, moved to Pioche in December 2001 and never regretted for one moment their move to the middle of “nowhere Nevada” as Janet loved to call Pioche. To Michael, it was a little bit of Heaven!
Michael was raised in Detroit/ Dearborn, Michigan. During his last couple of years at Michigan State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Art (1973), Michael worked as a “bouncer” at a local bar in East Lansing. One night, while attempting to stop a fight at the bar, he was shot in the left leg, shattering his femur. After recovering from this ordeal, and dealing with the very cold winters of Michigan, he decided to move as far south in the USA as he could get and moved to Key West, Florida.
In 1974 he was hired by the Key West Police Department where he served from 1974 to 1977. The way Michael liked to tell it, he had never really thought about being a police officer, but after he was shot he said “The next time someone points a gun at me, I’m going to be able to shoot back.” He joined the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department in Key West in 1977 and was there until 1990. During his tenure with the Sheriff’s Department, he served in road patrol, was promoted to Corporal Supervisor in 1979, Promoted to the Detective Division in 1980, became the Chief Inspector of Internal Affairs in 1982, and in 1989 was assigned to the Big Pine Key Criminal Division & Environmental Task Force.
Michael decided to run for Sheriff of Monroe County, but in order to make that run, he had to give up his employment with the Sheriff’s Office. The head boss didn’t like competition among his ranks! Michael lost that election by less than a thousand votes, but it might have been the best thing to ever happen to him because he made the decision it was time to leave Key West and find a place to retire. He chose Las Vegas which is where he met Janet. Janet had lived off-and-on in the State of Nevada since 1956, and loved taking weekend trips around the State to show Michael the beauty of our deserts and mountains.
Janet was the Executive Secretary to the General Manager of the Royal Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas when she met Michael. Michael had obtained his Nevada substitute teacher’s license and worked when he was called, which back in the late 1990’s was quite often in Las Vegas. As Michael had never really known much about the West, Janet showed Michael all the beauty Nevada has to offer. And that is how they came to Pioche. After seeing so much of our beautiful Nevada, Michael thought it would be a great idea if he and Janet bought some property that one day they could retire and move to, so they could get out of the “Big City” rat race. That’s when they found their little piece of Heaven in Pioche.
Michael and Janet were able to move permanently to Pioche in December of 2001. Janet continued to work remotely for the owner of the Royal Hotel and Michael would substitute teach when called by any one of the Lincoln County Schools, although his favorite school was Lincoln County High School in Panaca. He was able to teach his favorite subject, art, and more importantly, he was the Assistant Defense coach for the Lincoln County Lynx in 2003 and 2004, when the Lynx brought home the State Championship title. Michael was very proud of those kids!!!!!!
Michael enjoyed his retirement, his life with Janet, and the peace that comes with living in small town Nevada. He will be missed, especially by Janet and the folks in Lincoln County who knew him. Per his request, no services will be held. May he rest in peace; may his soul be welcomed by our Lord.