We Remember Nathan C. Young

Nathan Young, recent El Centro College graduate, son, co-worker, classmate, uncle, brother and friend, died in an automobile accident in Irving on Saturday, September 23, 2017. He will forever be remembered for his infectious positive attitude, his famous bright smile, and his can-do spirit that inspired those around him. Nathan was also a graduate of the Texas ProStart program. In lieu of flowers, the family of Nathan Young suggests contributions in Nathan's memory to the Nathan Young Texas ProStart Culinary Arts Endowment, a scholarship that supports ProStart students continuing their education at El Centro College.


September 27 | 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Lucas Funeral Home - Keller
1601 S. Main
Keller, TX, US, 76248


September 28 | 10:30 a.m.

Alliance Communtiy Fellowship
2185 Golden Hieghts Road
Fort Worth, TX, US, 76177

Memories of Nathan

Nathan made me smile every day. His smile is what I remember most...it was never ending. He called me Miss Debbi & asked me once if that was unprofessional given my position. I told him there was nothing he could do that was unprofessional & that he was the reason I do what I do. I loved him & can hardly breathe knowing he is gone. I asked him earlier this year if he would be willing to star in a video about Texas ProStart. He said....with a huge smile... Texas ProStart saved my life...whatever you & the program needs. It is important.

Nathan was always there for us. He believed in what we do. He was an amazing human being & I will love him my whole life long. Rest in peace my friend.

- Debbi Toh, Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation

As you proceed on your journey through life, certain people you come upon on that path make an impression. Sometimes it is hard to state why, but they tend to draw you out of your routine and cause you to take notice. Nathan was one of those people, after 8 years of Texas Prostart competitions and tens of thousands of students that I have been fortunate to meet, Nathan was a person who stood out. I have spent the last 12 hours thinking about him and these words come to mind: Tenacious, energetic, engaged, passionate and enthusiastically geeky in his commitment to our industry! I was always excited to see his posts on social media and to watch as he grew as a young man, student and as a chef.

I know my life has been enriched in meeting Nathan and his legacy will joyously live on through all he has encountered.

- Roger M Kaplan, RK Innovation

In my 20 plus years of working with high schools and the Texas ProStart program, I can count on one hand how many students have made an impact. Nathan was at the top of my list! He had the kindest soul and was hungry, humble, and had a noticeably large amount of integrity. He took pride in every task that crossed his path. He was determined, ambitious, and above all always in great spirits! Nathan's consistent positive & happy attitude was contagious and that was evident in everything he did! Traveling out of state with Nathan and his team to Nationals five years ago, for two years straight, I always had a hunch he would be signing autographs one day!

Today we didn't just loose a future leader of the foodservice industry, we lost an amazing human bein.! I know he will be guiding his fellow peers from above. You will truly be missed my friend, but you will never be forgotten!

- Yvonne Loya, Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation

I have spent the last six years in a close mentor relationship with Nathan. He was my student for three years at Byron Nelson High School where he was on the ProStart Culinary Arts team during his junior and senior years. Both years our team advanced to the national competition where we traveled and competed at the highest levels accomplishing top 10 finishes in Baltimore and Minneapolis. During this time Nathan worked at Deloitte University in Westlake. Nathan graduated from Byron Nelson the same year I accepted my position at El Centro College. Nathan chose to pursue his post-secondary culinary training at El Centro, joining our USDOL/ACF/TCA Apprenticeship Program. He maintained his employment at Deloitte University and completed his 6,000 hour apprenticeship graduating with an AAS in Culinary Arts in May 2017. Nathan was one of those rare students who did everything right. Not without adversity, Nathan overcame challenges both personal and professional and created success for himself through perseverance and hard work. He always maintained an infectious positive attitude, his famous bright smile and a can-do spirit that inspired those around him. He built a professional network of support around him and demonstrated his passion for cooking and hospitality across his social networks. Nathan continued his participation and support for ProStart by attending every Texas competition he was able, presenting education sessions and working with the judges in the tasting room. He was slated to actually score dishes in the upcoming competition season, which he was very excited about. He received frequent recognition for his culinary talent and hospitality spirit and will be an enduring example of what it means to be a professional in the food and hospitality industry.

My last time with Nathan was the day before he was tragically taken from us. Nathan was at El Centro practicing for his pending Certified Sous Chef practical exam that he was to take on Saturday, September 30. His cooking during practice was on point and his enthusiasm for his future was great. He told me that he was recently promoted at work to be the pastry shop lead which included a $2 an hour raise. He was particularly excited because this raise put him in an income bracket that would qualify him for a mortgage to purchase his first home. He told me of his plans to continue to pursue professional ACF certifications and he was considering continuing his studies at El Centro to pursue his AAS in Baking and Pastry.

I have had the opportunity to work with many beautiful and gifted young people during my career as a culinary educator. It has been a privilege to watch others under my guidance move forward in their lives to accomplish personal and professional success. Nathan and I shared a unique bond and I will never forget his sweet smile, his passionate commitment to professionalism and his kind and loving spirit. The Byron Nelson HS Class of 2014 gave me a gift that year to express their sentiments and I keep it over my desk in my office. Nathan’s passage was wise beyond his years and reminds me of the impact we all have the opportunity to create when we give unselfishly of ourselves for the benefit of others. I am forever changed.

- Steve DeShazo, El Centro College