Rev. James R. Young, Sr.

September 17, 1946 ~ November 26, 2023 (age 77) 77 Years Old

Rev. James Young, Sr. Obituary

EPSOM - Rev. James R. Young, Sr., 77, of Epsom, entered into eternal life surrounded by his loving family on November 26, 2023, in the care of the Granite VNA Hospice House.

Born in Jackson, Mississippi, he was the son of the late Rev. Rufus King Young, Sr. and Essie Mae Adams Young. His family lived in Montgomery and Birmingham, AL and Hot Springs and Little Rock, AR before moving to North Little Rock. There, he attended Scipio Africanus Jones Junior & Senior High School, where he threw shot put on the track team and played football, the latter of which earned him the nickname “Tank.”

Rev. Jim, as he was affectionately known, received his Bachelor’s in History from Texas Southern University, where he attended on a full football scholarship.  He later received his Master of Divinity from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta and then his PhD in the Sociology of Religion and Social Ethics from Boston University.  To support his education, he drove a taxi in Boston for many years, and even decades later, he could still (mostly) navigate the city without a map.  While pursuing his doctorate, he met his beloved Dorene, and they later moved to Epsom in 1985.

Rev. Jim and Dorene soon became involved with New Rye Union Congregational Church, where Dorene had grown up attending services.  He served as Interim Pastor before being appointed Pastor in 1996.  He would go on to lead the congregation until his health forced him to retire in 2022.

Rev. Jim embraced the Epsom community.  He volunteered with the Scouts, ran New Rye Church’s dart booth at Old Home Day every August, and enjoyed performing in the town’s annual Odd Fellows variety shows.  He also coached Odyssey of the Mind and EYAA basketball while his kids attended Epsom Central School, and he was a member of Pembroke Academy’s Friends of Football, the booster club that first helped establish a football team at the school.  In addition to being an avid sports fan, Rev. Jim was a Jeopardy! fanatic and enjoyed doing crosswords and word searches.  His boisterous disposition was welcomed by all who turned to him for guidance, in the best and the worst of times. His smile and his laughter will be remembered fondly.

Rev. Jim was predeceased by his wife, Dorene Fraser (Wells) Young.

He is survived by his son James R. Young, Jr., his wife Cara, and their daughter Aurora of Worcester, MA, and his daughter Alicia Young and her fiancé Jeff Rawitsch of Arlington, MA. He was the brother of Essie “Emley” Norman and her late husband Richard of Atlanta, GA; the late Rufus Young, Jr. and his wife Elouise of Atlanta, GA; Ellen Fizer and her husband Tyrone of Brandywine, MD; and Allena Strong and her husband Leodis of Edmond, OK. Rev. Jim is also survived by a host of loving nieces and nephews.

Calling Hours will be held on Sunday, December 3rd from 1:00 to 3:00 PM in the Roan Family Funeral Home – Still Oaks Chapel, 1217 Suncook Valley Highway in Epsom.  A celebration of his life will be held in the spring at a time to be announced.  To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit

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December 3, 2023

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Roan Family Funeral Home - Still Oaks Chapel
1217 Suncook Valley Highway
Epsom, NH 03234


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