Bill Young was the type of dad who would do anything for his son, so when Aaron decided to take up bowling as a hobby, Bill was all in.

“Aaron wanted to bowl, and Bill said, ‘Get in the car.’ He was a damn good dad,” said Rob Young, Bill’s brother. Three years later, Aaron had gotten really good, and Bill was so proud.

Aaron Young Photo courtesy of Department of Public Safety

“He texted me a photo a couple weeks ago, on Oct. 6, of Aaron getting a 275 while bowling – his highest score ever,” Young said. “I bowl a 120 or something and a 14-year-old bowled a 275. That’s what he liked to do, and he excelled. It made him happy.”

Bill, 44, and Aaron, 14, were killed Oct. 25 at Just-in-Time Recreation, where Aaron was in a youth bowling league.

When Rob Young first heard about the shootings in Lewiston, he got the first flight out of Maryland, where he lives, and flew to Maine, anticipating bad news.

“I know my brother well enough that he’s going towards the target,” Young said.


Because that’s the kind of person Bill was – he was always going to protect his son, even though Aaron was now 6-foot-4, a little taller than his father.

Aaron, 14, was a student at Winthrop High School and was the “nicest kid in the world,” his uncle said.

William Young Photo courtesy Department of Public Safety

His friends said he would sit with anyone at lunch, especially those who were sitting by themselves.

“He made school a more welcoming place,” ninth grader Sam Drown, a friend and classmate, said at Winthrop High School’s vigil on Wednesday.

Bill’s sister Wendy Bell said Aaron was “everything” to his mother, Cindy.

Aaron talked to Cindy about everything and loved spending time with his family. He planned to be an auto mechanic like his father.


When he wasn’t bowling, Aaron liked to ride bikes with his friends and fish.

In the few times a year Rob Young got to spend time with Aaron, they watched “Family Guy” and “Beavis and Butt-Head” together – “typical boy shows,” his uncle recalled.

“He was just a good kid,” said Young. “Taken way too early. Fourteen is way too early to lose your life. He had his whole future in front of him.”

At the vigil, Wendy Bell told those gathered about her brother Bill’s humor and his unique laugh that always made her smile. She said Bill had always been there for his family, especially their father, Bob Young, who kept a garden and worked on cars with Bill.

Cindy Young, who lost both her son and her husband in the shootings, said she will “never be the same” without her “best friend” and her “baby.”

With Bill, she said, she laughed every day – often about silly things. They would have fights with gummy worms or Nerf wars with their family and friends. Cindy called Bill the “backbone” of the family.


But Aaron, she said, will always be her baby.

Together, they listened to the Stone Temple Pilots and other ’90s music, and he told her whatever was on his mind, she said. She said Aaron was always tuned in with his friends and wanting the best for them.

But most of all, Cindy Young spoke about the bond Aaron had with his father.

“Bill was Aaron’s idol – he wanted to do everything like his dad,” she said.

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