Patti Young, wife of veteran card dealer Kit Young, and a familiar face to anyone who attended the Hawaii Trade Conference during its time in Honolulu or the Kit Young Cards booth at the National Sports Collectors Convention and other major hobby gatherings, died on May 19 of an apparent heart attack. She was 51.
“I am deeply saddened to hear of Patti’s passing,” said Hugh McAloon, group publisher for F+W Publications. “Patti is one of the finest, most generous, loving people I have ever met. On a business level, the entire sports collectible industry is indebted to Patti and Kit for their vision to launch the Hawaii Trade Conference 25 years ago. Since the inception, this event has been the single-most important event in the entire industry. You can only imagine our pride and satisfaction when asked by Kit and Patti to take over ownership of the conference … I felt like we were being asked to raise their child.
“It was the personal side of Patti Young that separated her from the rest,” McAloon continued. “Forever a smile, forever a hug, forever helping wherever asked ... always by Kit’s side. Patti and Kit were two of the most generous people this world has ever known, giving to friends and family. Their sharing and hospitality provided Karen (Glinski) and I some of the most enjoyable and memorable times of our lives. All of us have suffered a great loss. We will dearly miss her.”
“We are so saddened to hear of the sudden death of Patti Young,” said Ann Powell, owner of Donruss. “Patti and her husband, Kit, have contributed so much to our industry, beginning with the Kit Young Conference in Hawaii, but also encompassing so much more. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kit, the entire Young family and all those who knew and loved her. Patti’s generosity, humor and loving spirit will be deeply missed.”
“I was very saddened to hear of the passing of Patti Young,” said Upper Deck founder and chairman Richard McWilliam. “I have wonderful memories of Patti from the early days in the hobby where she always greeted me with a warm smile at the Hawaii shows. Her hard work and dedication really made those shows special, and it seemed like Kit was always by her side. I fondly remember dinners with Kit and Patti at their house in Maui, where she made you feel like one of the family. Her loss will leave a big void in this industry, and I will remember her kindness always.”
“I can remember so many times when Patti asked to help with a prank or celebration for Kit, but never for herself,” said Mike Berkus, co-manager of the National. “Patti has been part of our hobby family for so many years that it just isn’t the same fun for me. My entire family has grown up with Kit and Patti, and it was hard to inform them about losing a loved one. The National and our hobby has suffered a tremendous loss, forever.”
“Most of us who know Kit and Patti also know what an easy target – and a great sport – Kit was for taking shots that were aimed at him,” recalled Bob Wilke, co-manager of the National. “One year at the Hawaii Trade Conference, Kit was approaching his 50th birthday and Patti asked Mike Berkus and I to do a small roast of Kit at one of the morning sessions. As Mike and I took shot after shot at Kit, I looked at the back of the room, and who was laughing louder than anyone? Patti. Her infectious laugh, her big hugs and her love and affection for those in our hobby will be missed.”