Jeffery Lawrence Young, 45, massage therapist

December 09, 1997|By Robert Hilson Jr. | Robert Hilson Jr.,SUN STAFF

Jeffery Lawrence Young, massage therapist and massage instructor in Baltimore for nearly a decade, died Dec. 2 of an aneurysm while attending a conference for massage therapists in Salt Lake City.

Mr. Young, 45, of Roland Park gave massages to countless athletes and entertainers who visited Baltimore -- from Olympian Jackie Joyner-Kersee to the late Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev.

He was a longtime teacher at Baltimore School of Massage in Woodlawn, teaching as many as five classes a week, and was president of the state chapter of the American Message Therapy Association since 1992. While there, he helped the national membership grow from 100 to more than 1,000.

"It [massage] was a strenuous job, but he made it look easy," said Diane Greer, assistant to the administrator at Baltimore School of Massage. "He was a real down-to-earth person who taught with a human touch."

While at the school, he developed a sports massage class where he taught massage strokes, rhythm, body/mind relationship of athletes, pre-event and post-event massage and stretching.

"This was an elective the entire student body wanted to take, again mainly because Jeff was the one teaching it," Ms. Greer said. "His love for sports filled the room with knowledge, pride and passion."

A Baltimore native, Mr. Young graduated from Lutheran High School of Baltimore in 1969. He joined the Army in 1977 and completed two tours of duty in South Korea before he was discharged in 1984.

He returned to Baltimore and worked as a courier before enrolling in Baltimore School of Massage, from which he graduated in 1988. He took numerous classes and workshops that specialized in sports and deep massage therapy.

The son of Claude "Buddy" Young, a former Baltimore Colt and National Football League official, Jeffery Young had hopes of working as a therapist for the Olympic team when he became a massage therapist. He also wanted to work for a professional sports team.

"He was always around athletes growing up and I think that's what he wanted to get into," said his mother, Geraldine T. Young of Baltimore. "He saw the need for therapists in the treatment of injuries for professional athletes."

For the past several years, Mr. Young worked with the Cycle Across Maryland Tour, a yearly five-day bicycle event in which entrants ride throughout the state. Mr. Young gave riders massages at the end of the day.

"He liked the idea of trying to help people," Ms. Greer said. "He was a gregarious person who liked sports."

Services are scheduled for noon Thursday at Douglas Memorial Community Church, 1325 Madison Ave.

In addition to his mother, he is survived by a brother, Zollie Young of Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.

Donations may be made to the Camp Farthest Out program at Douglas Memorial Community Church or a memorial fund in his name at the Baltimore School of Massage, 6401 Dogwood Road, Baltimore 21207.

Pub Date: 12/09/97

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