The body of a former Tri-City man who died while traveling in Central America should be coming home soon.
Dallen Young’s remains are expected to be back in the U.S. later this week or next week, his mother said.
The 21-year-old, who grew up in Kennewick and Spokane and had a zest for life and travel, died April 7 in Nicaragua.
He’d been sick for several days, visiting a hospital the week before his death.
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“He kept reassuring me he was fine and not to worry,” mom Donna Young said. “But I was worried, because every time I talked to him that week it sounded like his cough was getting worse.”
An autopsy determined he died of viral and bacterial pneumonia.
Young had flown to Guatemala in March with plans to stay about 10 days. But he fell in love with the country and decided to extend his trip, lining up a volunteer position and scoping out Spanish classes.
He’d traveled to nearby Nicaragua with friends for a visit before his new job started.
He kept reassuring me he was fine and not to worry. But I was worried, because every time I talked to him that week it sounded like his cough was getting worse.
Donna Young, mother
Young’s family has been working since his death to bring his body back to Washington. The process involves significant paperwork, and it was delayed as government offices in Nicaragua closed for Easter week.
Donna Young said she hopes her son’s remains will be home by the end of the week, although it could be next week.
Funeral details still are being worked out, but the family expects to have services in Tri-Cities and Spokane. Dallen Young will be buried in Kennewick, next to his grandmother.
Young spent his early years in the Tri-Cities, attending Ridge View Elementary School and Desert Hills Middle School. When he was in eighth grade, his family moved to Spokane.
He became a Mead High School Panther and went onto Spokane Falls Community College.
He was fun and adventurous — a world traveler who also was a devoted friend.
We’re finding now that he’d be the one to message people, to call them (when they needed help). He was always trying to be a good friend. I don’t think he realized he touched people the way that he did.
Donna Young, mother
“We’re finding now that he’d be the one to message people, to call them (when they needed help),” his mother told the Herald last week. “He was always trying to be a good friend. I don’t think he realized he touched people the way that he did.”
In Central America, he’d made a plan and seemed to find a purpose. He was doing what he loved, Donna Young said — seeing new places and meeting new people.
Dallen Young’s survivors include his parents, Vaughn and Donna, his brothers Ryan, Steven and Nathan, his sister-in-law, Cassidy, and a large extended family.
It’s been a very difficult time, but “the wonderful thing about having family and friends — the outpouring of love and support keeps us going,” Donna Young said.
People have donated to help with expenses.
“The visits to our home, the phone calls and emails and text messages, the flowers and the food — it’s incredible,” Donna Young said. “It gives me the strength to get up in the morning and keep going — this love and support not only from family and friends, but from people I’ve never met before.”
The family’s faith — they’re part of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — also is sustaining, she said.
“Our religion gives us hope that he is OK and he is at peace,” the mother said. “I’m at peace knowing he’s OK. He’ll be home with his family soon.”