Wendell "Mason" Young / State Official

A former state Department of Land and Natural Resources administrator who served the people of Hawaii for 28 years has died at age 71.

Wendell "Mason" Young of Kailua died Dec. 13 at the Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu.

"Mason was a people person, always ready to help," recalled William Aila, DLNR director. "He was also a great thinker and was ‘thinking out of the box' before that phrase became popular."

The Honolulu-born Young, who worked for the department for 28 years before retiring in 2003, worked his way up the ranks of DLNR to hold key roles at the agency.

At different times during his career, he served as administrator of the Land Division, the Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation and the Bureau of Conveyances. As boating administrator, Young worked to improve deteriorating conditions at the state's small boat harbors.

Deborah Ward, DLNR information specialist, remembered Young not only as congenial but well-informed on administrative procedures and legislative process.

He is survived by his wife, Jan Young; daughter, Kamuela Klemmer; sons, Puna Young and Pila Young; brothers, Kaulana Young and Chris Young; and a sister, Kanani Kekuewa.

A service will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Kailua.

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased