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In deep sorrow

It’s never good news when the telephone rings early in the morning. Today it was grim.

Fire broke out at 4 a.m. today at a house in the Roland Park neighborhood, the home of Steve Young, a deputy chief of The Sun’s copy desk, and his family. You can see the report, updated as we get fresh information, at

Steve’s 11-year-old daughter died, and his 16-year-old son is on life support. Steve himself has been listed in critical condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

His colleagues on the copy desk and elsewhere in the newsroom, as well as colleagues who have moved on to other endeavors, are devastated that this staggering misfortune has overtaken a friend we have worked alongside for nearly 10 years.

If it is your practice to say prayers, it would be kind of you to utter them for Steve and his family.



Posted by John McIntyre at 12:48 PM | | Comments (44)


How horrible. Our most heart-felt thoughts and prayers are of course with Steve and his family.

Steve is a great guy. His dedication to his craft is exceeded only by his concern for his family. I say this as someone who once covered for him while he rushed from the office to be with one of his children.

This terrible tragedy has hit very close to home for us in Providence, RI. Mrs. Young's sister is an employee in our medical practice and she learned of the terrible news this morning when she arrived for work - she then left immediately for Baltimore.

Wer are deeply saddened for the whole family and extend our prayers and support to all.

Chavon Thompson in the attorney general's office in the Maryland Department of the Environment, where Nancy Young is an assistant attorney general, has called to express interest in setting up a fund to which people can contribute toward the family's financial needs. Expect more details to be forthcoming.

From our copy desk to yours, our deepest condolences and fondest prayers.

Abby young, the girl who died, was on my soccer team at calvert. We heard the news today, and we shocked. We heard that the son and the father had passed away also. I am so sorry for Mrs.Young's loss.

Information we've received this afternoon through a friend of the family indicates that Steve, though injured, has a good chance of receovery.

We're still awaiting official news.

My prayers and thoughts are with Steve and his family.

As a former colleague of Steve, I remember how proud he was of his children. He'd often share stories about them and photos from camp. They are the most beautiful kids and he is a most wonderful father. Not to mention a great mentor and friend.

Don't know the them but how absolutely tragic. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Your copy desk comrades at the Philly Inquirer extend our deepest sympathies to Steve and his family and to The Sun newsroom. I was deeply shocked and saddened when I read the news on the Web site. John, please let us know if there's anything we can do.

God Bless the Young family. They will be in my prayers.

As a former reporter for The Sun, and as a mother, I send my deepest condolences to Steve and Nancy. My family will continue to keep theirs in our thoughts and prayers.

I can say without reservation that the Calvert School community is reeling with shock and grief over this morning's tragic news. My children have attended school there with Steve and Nancy's children, Laura, Carrie, Matt, and Abby. They have all been students with such energy, promise and talent. I am stunned at the magnitude of this event. I send my heart-felt prayers for healing and strength for what lies ahead.

Tonight's vigil was deeply moving, with a crowd of hundreds turning out. The outpouring from family and friends, many of them teenagers and preteens, was overwhelming.

Nancy's many friends and colleagues at the Attorney General's Office are heartbroken for her. She and her family will have all of our support in the trying times ahead.

It was with heavy hearts that we reported on the fire today.

For a time, all of us at WMAR stopped thinking about gathering information for a story and thought about the Young family, our friends at the Sun and our own loved ones.

We send our prayers.

I work closely with Steve quite a bit as one of the people who get to layout and design the front page or the Maryland front page of The Sun. We talk every night we are working, especially Sundays when he is the copy chief. One thing I know about him in the 3 years we've been colleagues and friends, his children are the world to him. All four of them.
This tragedy is unbelievable and my heart goes out to the family.

As the daughter of an ex-Sun man, I know how close the Sun family is. You, your colleagues and the Youngs are in my thoughts and prayers.

As a Pittsburgher working in a Baltimore newsroom, my upbringing is often a point of negative discussion.
So I was deligted one day when Steve stopped by my desk at The Sun to ask about some of city's more notable stops.
His children would soon be taking a road trip to Pittsburgh, he said, and he wanted them to have an authentic experience, complete with one of those "greasy, piece-of-shit sandwiches" from Primanti Bros.
(Yes, as many of you know, Steve is often colorful with the English language).
I have nothing but respect for Steve, who loves his family and wanted his children to experience everything good life has to offer -- even if it's as simple as a greasy sandwich in the 'burgh.

My heart aches over this horrible news. Steve was one of the first people I met at The Sun when I started out there on the copy desk several years ago, and I knew right away he was a cut above the standard newspaper editor. He has been a mentor and a friend to a generation of young Sun copy editors, always willing to share his institutional knowledge of Baltimore with those of us who needed it most, always available for advice on whatever issues were troubling us, and always quick to share an interesting story about his wonderful children. My thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.

I've worked with Steve eight years, and know how very proud he is of his children. I recall his stories, beginning with Abby, as a 3-year-old "scamp," waking him up by singing "Who Let the Dogs Out." And how Steve sat through preschool with Matthew, who would cry every time his father tried to leave. Nancy and Steve are exceptionally devoted parents. My prayers for this lovely family join all rest of yours...

I live around the corner from the Young family. Although I do not know them personally, my heart goes out to the family. I will keep them in my thoughts and prayers.

From a fellow Maryland copy editor, my thoughts are with Steve and his family. There are just no words for a tragedy like this.

My thoughts are with Steve and Nancy and the rest of their family as they face the difficult days ahead. My heart aches for them.

Many a young copy editor (myself included) has gone to Steve in or near tears over the years. He'll tell you, in more colorful language, that whoever is upsetting you is a jerk, and he'll tell you how to solve the problem on your own. But he'll also tell you that by the time you get to the parking lot, you should forget everything that happened at work because it's just not important. He claims that's what he does, too, but then when you start working in the slot, he takes your page proofs home to read every story and mark up every page to help you improve.

I don't have the words to express how tragic this is, but the whole family is constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

Steve Young is the kind of editor and parent that I someday hope to be. He has taught me well and inspired me. My heart aches for the Young family's loss. Steve, Nancy and the children are in my thoughts and prayers.

It breaks my heart to hear what has befallen my old hiking and singing friend, the kindhearted and intelligent Steve.

I met Abbey, Steve's lovely daughter, while visiting Steve last year. What a shock it is to have lost her.

Nancy, Mr and Mrs Young (and Steve, when you're well enough to read) deepest sympathies and my tears are with you and your family. I wish you strength and love as you face this incomprehensible loss.

- Middy

I had the privilege of working with Steve on the Sun's copy desk, for a short while only, unfortunately. But he made a huge impression, as an editor and as a truly nice guy. I have a hard time comprehending a tragedy like this, and as a father, my heart aches for Steve and his family. They will be in my thoughts and prayers, and so will his friends and colleagues at The Sun.

My prayers are with the Young Family and I pray for healing and strength for the family. God Bless.

May God be with the Youngs and those beautiful angels that they've lost. My sincerest condolences and prayers that the family will find the strength to deal with this tragic loss.

I just would like to send my condolences to everyone in the family, mainly to the parents of the kids. I'll always keep yall in my prayers. May God Bless You !

Steve's reputation at The Sun as a copy editor has long been unsurpassed, and I've learned firsthand about his skills and dedication as the news and sports copy desks have begun merging operations in the past few months. Steve has been a huge help chipping in on busy Saturday nights by slotting sports stories on deadline and organizing the proofing of sports pages by his news colleagues. He's a true team player.

As the father of a 16- and a 12-year-old, I can only begin to imagine his pain and heartbreak. I gave my children big hugs the other day after learning of the news. My 16-year-old, not the hugging type, thought it a bit over the top till I later told him why, but so be it.

How does one deal with this type of unimaginable tragedy? I can only pray for the entire Young family to have the strength to get through each day without their beloved Abbie and Matt and to find solace that these children are at peace.

To the entire Young family - we are praying for all of you in this time of unbelievable tragedy and loss. Please know that so many hold you in your hearts.

Steve is a great person and an even greater supervisor who pushes you to do better. He especially stood out when I started at the Sun. He would call the new copy editors on Sunday before the shift and ask us how we were doing and whether we had any concerns. On one of those meetings, he gave us a Bible-sized book on Maryland history to read and familiarize ourselves after we mentioned at a meeting that we were working on getting to know the area better. The night before this tragedy, he was giving a couple of us tips on how to drive on icy roads, with his usual funny quips. I pray that his family gets the strength to pull through this.

We are praying...many of us. We simply do not know what else to dol

I met Steve when I was a student intern on the Maryland copy desk last summer. He is a great journalist, and I learned a lot from him. He always took the time to make sure I understood why things were changed and how to improve, and it helped me grow tremendously.
My heart goes out to him and his family as they try to make sense of this tragedy.

Our children attend a school where the Young's cousins have many friends. Our community of parents and children send our heartfelt condolences for all you're having to endure.

Two special angels are together up in heaven watching over the Young family as they move through this awful tragedy. May God wrap you in his arms as he has Abigail and Matthew.

I am a co-worker of Mrs. Young's sister. We were all shocked and saddened when we heard the news. The entire Young family is in our prayers during this difficult time. May all the good memories bring you some comfort.

My prayers for the two beautiful angels and for the heart broken parents and siblings. My tearful boy, Abby's age, informed us about the cancellation of a mixer at Calvert and the reason for that. There are just not enough words for a tragedy of such magnitude. God bless!

I was simply looking for copy-editing resources when I came across articles about the Young family's tragedy. Although I don't know them, my heart goes out to them--as I'm sure is the case with countless others. The survivors are in my prayers, as are Abby and Matt. I'm sure there are many eloquent words out there, but it really comes down to I'm sorry. I'm just so sorry.

I am so sorry. My newsroom colleagues were about all that kept me going when my daughter was killed in a car wreck in 1999. They were the first at the door late that night, the first at our house in the morning, and they showed up and stood by the dozens on the damp grass the day Jolie was buried. We hadn't intended to have a formal "funeral," but there they were, so many good, kind people. Comrades in arms. I can see your coworkers love you and they will try their best to help you live through this. God bless them, and God bless you and your family. No one should have to endure this loss. My prayers are with you.

it's two years later, and we still love and miss you matt. we'll never forget you.

It will be 3 years since the passing of our dear friend Abby Young. We miss Abby so much and think of her often. Her memory lives on in our hearts and we will never forget her true wit and sense of humor! Forever friends.
Diane Olsson

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About John McIntyre
John McIntyre, mild-mannered editor for a great metropolitan newspaper, has fussed over writers’ work, to sporadic expressions of gratitude, for thirty years. He is The Sun’s night content production manager and former head of its copy desk. He also teaches editing at Loyola University Maryland. A former president of the American Copy Editors Society, a native of Kentucky, a graduate of Michigan State and Syracuse, and a moderate prescriptivist, he writes about language, journalism, and arbitrarily chosen topics. If you are inspired by a spirit of contradiction, comment on the posts or write to him at
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