Tim Younkman, ‘quintessential’ Bay City Times reporter, dies at 71

BAY CITY, MI — Tim Younkman, a longtime crime reporter for The Bay City Times whose passion for history and knack to tell a good tale kept him crafting words well after retirement, died Saturday. He was 71.

His death was confirmed by his daughter Laicy Madrid. The cause was complications from a surgery last month.

“Tim Younkman was the quintessential newspaper reporter – from the trench coat to the gruff exterior. Underneath was a nuts-and-bolts journalist who cared about his community, and about getting things right,” said John Hiner, former editor of The Bay City Times and current vice president of content for MLive Media Group.

“Tim never lost his interest in the news currents of Bay City — even in retirement — and was a trove of history and anecdotes that helped a generation of new reporters. Tim lived through many big stories in Bay City, and saw many huge changes in the news business. He will be missed in the newsroom, and around town.”

Tim Younkman
Tim Younkman, in 2015, during a taping of a documentary on the Jupiter explosion in Bay City.

Younkman’s first newspaper byline came in 1970 for a weekly paper in Clinton County. His journalism career continued in St. Johns and in Muskegon at The Muskegon Chronicle, until he came to The Bay City Times in 1976. He would retire 30 years later as The Times’ most senior reporter, the last link to the paper’s day of typewriters, Linotype machines and wire tickers.

“It’s a noble profession, and as important now as it was then, ” Younkman said in December 2006, when he retired from the business. “A newspaper is a vital element to the community. … it’s the common element in their community, and they have a voice in it.”