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Veteran Volunteer Henry Young Passes At 80
9/10/2015 10:58:25 AM

Henry Young
By Barney Blakeney

Seeing Henry Young at a bus stop in downtown Charleston you’d think he was just another old guy running errands to the grocery store or something. He seemed approachable and met encroachments on his space with a permissive engagement.

It was hard to guess him. But if you knew Young, you knew that he could be among the most loyal and devoted acquaintances anyone might have. He died September 1 at age 80.

Young, a native of Jacksonville, Fla., will be remembered by many for his volunteerism at the Herbert U. Mack American Legion Post 241 and the Ralph H. Johnson V.A. Hospital. A 10-year Air Force veteran, Young who was a retired painter and photographer, also was a devoted family man.

The father of three children - Malcolm, Robert Lee and Detra Ann - Young was married to the late Martha Brown Young who preceded him in death in 2009. They met in 1961 and were married in 1964, two years after Young was honorably discharged from the Air Force. His daughter said he travelled back and forth to Charleston before making their mother his bride. It was a union that lasted 45 years.

Young was born in Jacksonville to Monroe Patterson and Adeline T. Young, but was raised by his mother and stepfather, John Quarterman. They had a large family that included three boys and six girls. Young’s immediate family was smaller, but he extended it through his affiliation with veterans organizations.

Though he wasn’t a charter member of American Legion Post 241, he was a past commander and its senior member with over 50 years continuos membership. His fellow past commander Harry Brown said Young was a pillar of the organization whose contributions were overwhelming.

Young obligated himself to making as many options available to veterans as possible, Brown said. Young joined the American Legion when segregation still was the social order of the day and served in a number of capacities. He became an officer of the post as adjutant before being elected its commander. He eventually rose to the positions of Dist. 18 commander and Zone 5 vice commander.

After American Legion posts united through integration during the 1990s, Young turned his energy to volunteerism at the local V.A. hospital. During his 20 years as a volunteer at the V.A. Hospital Young contributed over 20,000 hours service. Young is recognized across South Carolina for his service to veterans.

He’s recognized locally as well. One CARTA bus driver said she will miss Young’s conversations and concern for drivers and passengers. “He used to bring me water. I thought he was a CARTA volunteer,” she said upon learning of Young’s passing.

Young is survived by his three children; one sister: Josephine; three brothers: John, Paul and Brent; and three grandchildren; Joshua Nelson, Ashley Blake and Sedrick Johnson.

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