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Heartsill Henry Young
Wednesday, February 2, 2011 • Posted February 2, 2011

Heartsill Henry Young was born on Texas Independence Day, March 2, 1917, in San Augustine, Texas, to Robert Hall Young and Bertha Love Heartsill Young. He grew up and attended school in San Augustine, graduating as valedictorian in 1933 at the age of 16. Heartsill spent one semester at Texas A&M, and one semester at the University of Colorado, before enrolling at the University of Texas, where he earned a degree in journalism in 1938.

After returning home to San Augustine, Heartsill began a job with the National Youth Administration. While there, he met Fay Grote, who was working as Area Supervisor for the WPA Library Program. It had to be love at first sight, because they met in October of 1940 and were married January 19, 1941 in her hometown of Fredericksburg.

Heartsill and Fay left San Augustine and moved to Fort Worth, where their first son, John Henry Young, was born in November, 1941. When World War II came, he enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and was a Communications Officer on the troop transport the USS Freestone. His service was in the Pacific, and his ship delivered troops to Okinawa. After the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, he went ashore in Nagasaki and saw first hand the total destruction of that city, which had a lasting effect on him. A second son, David Allen Young, was born in December 1944, while Heartsill was overseas.

Heartsill worked for several years in various business positions before taking an aptitude test that showed he was well suited to librarianship. While Fay worked to support the family, he entered the graduate school of Library Science at UT, and received his M.S. in 1953. He later pursued a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, completing all requirements for his degree except the dissertation, which he chose not to undertake because he did not want to compromise another 2 or 3 years of life with his family.

A career in librarianship suited Heartsill perfectly. He taught courses in the UT Library School on two occasions; he was Assistant Librarian for Technical Services and then Assistant Librarian for Public Services; for the last 10 years at UT he was Assistant Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Services. He also devoted much time to professional activities and was well respected, liked and honored in his field. He was President of the Texas Library Association and the Southwestern Library Association and served for a number of years as editor of the Texas Library Journal. He organized and co-chaired the First Texas Governor’s Conference on Libraries, an important step toward achieving statewide library systems in Texas, and he helped author the Texas Library Systems Act in 1969. He was named Texas Librarian of the Year in 1970. In 2002, the Texas Library Association celebrated 100 years of service by selecting and honoring 100 "giants" who had made a significant contribution to library services, and Heartsill was one of the honorees.

After retiring from UT, Heartsill and Fay moved to Mason in 1988, and he found a perfect opportunity to share his experience and knowledge of libraries with the opening of the M. Bevan Eckert Memorial Library. He provided much technical know-how and contributed thousands of hours of volunteer service, which resulted in his being named by the Mason Chamber of Commerce as Citizen of the Year in 1990. He continued working almost daily at the library until 2004.

Family was first and foremost with Heartsill, and for many years the family spent almost all holidays in San Augustine with his extended East Texas family members. He firmly believed that children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were the greatest rewards life had to offer, and he was dearly loved by all of them.

Heartsill was preceded in death by Fay in December, 2006. He was also preceded in death by four sisters, Margaret Phillips, Nannie Lou Young, Francis McCoy, and Sallie Garrett Parker. He is survived by sons David and wife Barbara of Mason, and son John and wife Barbara of San Benito, Texas, grandchildren Aimee McMillan and husband Scott of Plano, and Travis Young and wife Jen, also of Plano, three great-grandchildren, Kate and Cameron McMillan, and Alexander Young, sister Ellen Love Burrows of Austin, sister-in-law Jean Pugh of San Antonio, and by a number of nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Mason. Burial will follow in Gooch Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers will be Travis Young, Scott McMillan, Bill Gossett, Charles Reichenau, Bill Brollier, and Cody Martin. Visitation with the family will be on Thursday, February 3 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at Mason Funeral Home.

Suggested memorials are to the Mason County Memorial Library Endowment, Inc. (c/o Jan Appleby) or to Steady Steps.

Condolences may be sent to the family on-line at

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Mason Funeral Home.

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