Meridian Star

Local News

April 30, 2009

Meridian loses giant

Charles Young: 1931-2009

The community – and state – has lost an ally for social justice, a businessman and all-around good guy.

State Rep. Charles L. Young Sr. died Wednesday morning at Rush Foundation Hospital. According to his daughter, Veldore Young, the 77-year-old statesman was undergoing physical therapy when he experienced complications.

"He suffered a massive heart attack," she said.

Arrangements are incomplete at Berry & Gardner Funeral Home. The following statement was released by Young's children, Charles Jr., Deidre, Sandy and Vel:

"To our father's family, friends, co-workers and constituents, we appreciate all of the acts of kindness, thoughts and prayers extended to us throughout his illness. He was not a politician, but truly a 'statesman.'

"He loved his family, friends, church, co-workers and constituents with all his heart. He loved his community, state and country and served them with all his being until his death. Please, keep us in your thoughts and prayers."

Longtime friend Jimmie Smith fondly remembered Young as "a prince of a guy."

"He always looked for the good in people," said Smith, whose friendship with Young spanned nearly three decades. "He loved people, he loved what he was doing as a legislator and loved being a businessman ... He will be dearly missed."

A native of Meridian, Young was elected to the Mississippi House in 1979. An advocate for education, he had served as chairman of the Universities and Colleges Committee since 1992.

"Education is a desperate need in our state," Young once commented when state officials were in a crux over the state's budget woes.

"Not only was Charles Young an astute politician, but he was also a true public servant," said Barbara Jones, vice president for operations at Meridian Community College 

"He was a true friend to Meridian Community College and will be greatly missed. In fact, the college’s School of Cosmetology is named in his honor," Jones said. "He epitomizes the kind of leadership that brings about change and growth and this college, as well as the East Central Mississippi region, has suffered a great loss."

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