TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. — Willard “Willie” Young, Jr., 74, passed from this earth Sept. 30, 2009 due to complications during surgery.

He was born Jan. 24, 1925 in Gibson County to Emma and Willard Young Sr. His father died in a mine accident when he was three, and he was raised by his mother and step-father, William “PeWee” Herrin.

Mr. Young proudly served his country between 1953 and 1957 as an engineman 2nd class aboard the USS Fletcher. After an honorable discharge, “Willie” worked as a rough neck in the oil fields of Indiana in what he later called “the best job I ever had.”

Moving to Clearwater, Fla. in 1959, he went to work with the Honeywell Corp. and retired after 35 years of dedicated service as a supervisor of mechanical engineering. He was also a member of the Minnreg Association at Honeywell.


In 1969, Mr. Young moved into a self-designed home on the shores of Lake Tarpon, Fla. It was here that Willie spent countless hours tubing and swimming with his children and later his grandchildren. Often he was known to the swim the full width of the lake with alligators following close behind.

An avid golfer and hunter, he was a lifetime member of the NRA, a 45 year member of the Miss Florida Hunting Club of Launderdale, Miss and a regular fixture at the Mangrove Bay Golf Club in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Affectionately known as “Papaw,” he was famous for his home cooked breakfasts and his fried chicken and green beans. He was the ambassador of his neighborhood to his neighbors and their children, whom he loved as his own, he was a mentor of flawless integrity and calm resolve always willing to help others and never asking anything in return. He worked tireless hours to help his family church. He always dreamed of installing an irrigation system to improve the grounds.

Still giving in death and through organ donation, Mr. Young gave the gift of sight to two others in need.

Along with his devoted brothers, Jerry Young and two sisters, Bonnie Potts and Sandra Silkey, Mr. Young is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Patricia Young; five children, Becky Irvine, Scott Young, Shawna Amenta, Jay Law, Shelly Law; 19 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren

He was preceded in death his father, mother and step-father; and son, John Law.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 5, 2009 at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church on Klosterman Road in Palm Harbor, Fla. with the Rev. Elmer E. Davis and Rev. John Fountouklis officiating. Following the service will be burial with full military honors at Cycadia Cemetery in Tarpon Springs.

The family will receive friends from 2-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009 at Vinson Funeral Home in Tarpon Springs, Fla.

Absent from the body and present with the Lord, our beloved “Willie” now walks hand in hand with his mother Emma. God Bless you Willie until we meet again.