Monday, August 23, 2010

Tribute to Walter Young by Niece Donna Word

Hey, Y'all,
Following is a tribute paid to my sweet Dubby by one of his nieces, Donna. If you could see me as I enter this posting, you would see the tears rolling down my cheeks, because it is so very touching. She gave this tribute at his services nearly a month ago. I know it will give you a clearer picture of him as an individual than anything I could have ever written.

Part One:
For those of you from this area, you may be familiar with a local T.V. Logo, "Straight from the Heart". Today, I stand before you to give tribute to my Uncle Dubby...straight from the heart.

Walter Bailey Young was born to Amanda and John Young on October 3, 1926 in Honaker, Virginia. Shortly after the birth of my Uncle Dubby, my grandparents moved their family to Jefferson City, where my grandfather went to work in the local zinc mines. My grandfather died from injuries sustained in a mining accident. My Uncle Dubby was only three. My grandmother was left to rear four small children: my Uncle Howard; my mother, Johnnie; my Uncle Dubby; and my Aunt Bonnie, who was only 3 months old.

With strength from the Lord, and a small settlement from the mines, my grandmother built a 2-bedroom home in Jefferson City. She and her four young children moved into that home where she resided until her death. The house is still standing in most of its original state.

...Walter Bailey Young...What a strong, powerful name...a name that one would expect to be that of a CEO or a multi-million dollar businessman, a well-known movie star, strong politician, or a famous author. Nope, not my Uncle Dubby...he grew up very poor. The money that my grandmother received was from welfare, which during the depression didn't go very far, especially when trying to provide for four growing children. Based on stories I've heard, my Uncle Dubby and his siblings never focused on what they didn't have, but instead on what they did have. Values instilled in them by a loving mother...pride, self-esteem, motivation, encouragement, but most of all - love. Not only the love for each other, but a love for their Lord.

I remember my Uncle Dubby working at Hull Wholesale store to help contribute to the finances of caring for the home and my sick grandmother. He and my Aunt Bonnie were the only two living at home during this time and she had also quit her job to take care of my grandmother. My Uncle Dubby walked to work everyday and as a matter of fact, he walked everywhere or called a cab. He was probably in his late 30's or early 40's before he ever owned or drove a car. After the death of my grandmother, he went to Carson-Newman College, where he earned his degree in education. I will never forget the story my mom told about how handsome he looked on graduation day and commented on his new shoes and how shiny they looked. At that time, he proceeded to lift his foot. To her surprise there was cardboard that he had used to cover a hole in the bottom of his shoe.

After graduation, he started teaching at Rush Strong School where he remained until retirement. My past job allowed me to come in contact with people from surrounding counties, and if any of those people were from Strawberry Plains (where he taught), I would always ask if they had or did attend Rush Strong School and if they did,did they know my Uncle Dubby. Eyebrows would rise and they would ask, "Mr. Young was your Uncle?" Then they would proceed to tell me of experiences of having him as a teacher. I always got the impression that they entered his classroom with dreaded fear, but left his classroom with utmost respect for their teacher, "Mr. Young." One day a sales rep told me that my Uncle Dubby was the only teacher that he ever got a spanking from, and with a grin on his face, he said, "I deserved it."

As long as I can remember, my Uncle Dubby was in church. He belonged to the First Presbyterian Church in Jefferson City, and every Sunday, rain or shine, he would walk to church and always looked like a Philadelphia lawyer. My Uncle Dubby loved his God, and that love projected to everyone he knew. He always encouraged my sisters and me as to the importance of God's love, and how important it was for us to love God back. A person once made a comment to me in reference to how my Uncle Dubby would always preach religion every time he was around him. I politely told him that he's not preaching, he's just trying to save your soul from Hell. I just hope he chose to listen. My Uncle Dubby always made it a point to ask "Are you going to church?" It was important to him that everyone hear the word of God and accept Jesus as their Savior. During his life, he read the Bible from cover to cover several times, and you would be kidding yourself if you tried to take him on in a religious discussion, because you would not win. He knew his scripture and he would tell you so. When it came to his love for God, he talked the talk and walked the walk. His greatest desire in life was for those he loved to go to heaven.

(Ruby's note: Tomorrow Part 2).

This is Blabbin' Grammy signing off for now. Much love to each of you. More later. Bye for now.


welcome to my world of poetry said...

Ruby you were not the only one with tears in your eyes, I had them streaming down my face, What a wonderful tribute to Gramps and there's more to come.
You have a wonderful family and you too are a remarkable person.
Thank Donna for these lovely words.
Take care.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That is really moving, Ruby. Thanks for sharing and giving us an insight into Dub's life. They don't make 'em like that anymore.