The don't make guys like William F. “Digger” Young Jr. anymore, friends said.
“He was the quintessential Butler boy,” said Slippery Rock District Judge Tim Shaffer.
Young, 81, of Butler died this morning at a friend's house in Valencia.
He was the Butler County coroner from 1970 to 2000, and was a longtime funeral director with the Young Funeral Home in Butler.
Robin Young Christy, his daughter and a director at the funeral home, said her father still was active in the funeral home up until his death.
Young was past president of the state Coroners Association.
He received his funeral license in 1955 and became a partner in the Young Funeral Home in West Sunbury. In 1970, he bought the former Atwell Funeral Home in Butler.
Bill McCarrier, a Butler County commissioner, spent a lot of time with Young while growing up in West Sunbury.
“I've known Digger virtually all my life. He was always like a big brother to me,” McCarrier said.
He said that Young probably gave away as much money as he made helping people and he would do it privately, not trying to get recognition.
Young was involved with the Shriner's organization, and he would often dress up as a clown on roller skates in parades. McCarrier said that Young skated in Shirners Hospitals around the world and even in Rockerfeller Plaza in New York.
His distinctive nickname, Digger, was chosen as his clown name. McCarrier said Young had the name for a long time, and came from his work in the funeral business.
Young was past president of the Butler County Funeral Director's Association and a member of the Western Pennsylvania and National funeral director's associations.