Obituary: Kenneth E. Young, Jr., 78, Leicester


Kenneth E. Young Jr., 78, of Leicester, passed away peacefully on January 16th at his home, surrounded by his family and an abundance of love. Born in Brattleboro, Vermont on August 5, 1945, he was the son of Kenneth E. Young, Sr. and Beverly Shepard Fisher. His childhood was spent living in the Middlebury area and while he was in his early teens, his family moved to Brandon. As a teen, Ken, or Sonny as family and friends called him, worked at Rivers’ Store, pumped gas at Kenny Mohan’s, milked cows at the Nickerson farm, and handled lumber at Dutton’s Sawmill. He served his country in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany driving trucks, earned his GED and an honorable discharge. Once home, Ken was employed at Old Fox Chemical Company in Brandon, where he worked his way up over seventeen years from laborer to plant manager in the commercial fertilizer industry. In the spring of 1983, while manager at Old Fox, he met Anne Ballentine, a recent implant (flatlander from Cape Cod) when she came looking for organic fertilizer. He looked at his secretary, rolled his eyes, and said under his breath: “Another organic freak…” 

“Mr. Chemical” married “Miss Bonemeal” on April 14, 1984. In 1985, they purchased land in Leicester on which they built Foxcroft Farm and a life together. They drove school buses, opened their home to foster children, raised sheep, beef, and pigs, grew crops, milked cows, had Belgian draft horses, gave horse-drawn wagon and sleigh rides, built barns, and moved an old schoolhouse to establish a home for their family. 

Ken’s commitment and contributions to the local community were demonstrated in a number of ways. As manager at Old Fox, he sponsored the Old Fox Little League Team and attended all of the games with his two oldest sons. He drove a school bus for twenty years, earning the name “Chief” from his passengers and providing them with consistent structure and a caring heart. Ken served on the Selectboard for the Town of Leicester for ten years, where he contributed a true Vermonter perspective, a conservative approach to spending, and support to the hardworking road crew. From 2000-2017, Ken worked with his wife, Anne, on their farm to support the Harvest Program, where he exhibited a strong male role model and father figure to the hundreds of youth that participated in the farm and community-service program. 

As a high-school student at the old Brandon High, Ken had no interest in learning U.S. History, and subsequently quit school when realizing that he needed to pass the class in order to graduate. His interest sparked though in his retirement, and he educated himself through watching documentaries and national news. Ken was a patriot and loved his country. He became a passionate conservative and was eager to share his perspective. In recent years, his love for his country in which he was raised and had served to support, continued to grow. He had empathy for Donald Trump, even though the two had very different backgrounds and lifestyles. Ken would state: “The only thing different between me and Donald Trump is billions of dollars.” That being said, he fully supported, with a selfless hope, Make America Great Again and remained loyal to that cause. 

Throughout his retirement, Ken worked to maintain the farm property, renovated the barns to include a seasonal rental space and storage rental units, and spent days on his tractors and bucket loader. In between his duties on the farm, he would spend time at Ken Mohan’s Service Center, sharing news, stories, and perspectives with friends. 

Ken loved his family and he cared deeply for his friends. He was resilient, resourceful, hardworking, clever, strong, loyal, kind, and had a great deal of common sense. He loved family gatherings, to tell stories and to laugh, and family members loved to share in his joy. Ken leaves behind his wife, Anne, his four children: Brent (Sotheary) of Brandon; Troy of Pittsford; Amy (Mike) of Leicester; and Adam (Ebbie) of Pawcatuck CT, all of whom he was so very proud of, as well as eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He is survived by two brothers: Herb (Nancy) Fisher of Brandon and Gary Fisher (Nancy) of Pittsford; two sisters: Kathy (Mark) Lancaster of Columbus, NJ and Cheryl Young of Browns Mills, NJ; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind two very special lifelong friends: Philip (Sonny) Carrara and Kenny (Burger) Mohan. He was predeceased by his mother, Beverly, his father, Kenneth (Bud), his stepfather, Herb Fisher, his sister, Sandi Sanderson, and Katherine Bertrand, who was like a second mom to him. 

In lieu of flowers, donations in his name can be made to Brandon Area Rescue Squad at 1338 Franklin Street, Brandon VT 05733 or Brandon Senior Citizens’ Center Inc. at 1591 Forest Dale Road, Brandon, VT 05733. 

A Celebration of Life will be held on May 18th at 1:00 pm at their home, Foxcroft Farm. 

Share this story:
Back to Top