Thomas Wesley Young passed from this life early on Easter Sunday morning, April 20, 2014, at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, Fort Walton Beach, Fla. He was born May 6, 1938, in Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii, to Donald Dwyer Young and Virginia Lee Smith Young. He lived in Hawaii at the base of Diamondhead until he was three. After a series of family tragedies, resulting in the deaths of his parents, he was adopted by his maternal grandparents, Glenn J. Smith and Bess Leona Carpenter Smith.
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Tom lived his younger years in Tulsa, Okla., but also spent much time in New Mexico and Colorado. Tom was well acquainted with the worlds of cattle and cowboys, oil patch and roughnecks, cigarettes and whiskey, and through these experiences he developed a complex, colorful and unique personality. He aspired to the image of a rugged man of the West, but always held within the hidden heart of a motherless child. Tom had a razor sharp wit. He was fiercely protective and loyal to his family. He was a methodical accountant and a creative, shrewd investor. In his business affairs, his word was always dependable and true. Though not always living a life of outwardly visible piety, Tom had heartfelt gratitude for the salvation and healing work of Jesus Christ. Tom well knew God's goodness and mercy.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Melissa Abell Morgan Young, of Destin, Fla. He leaves behind three children from a prior marriage, Stephen Andrew Young of Tulsa, Douglas Foster Young (Cindy) of Montgomery and Savannah, and Virginia Lee Godwin (Jim) of Alpharetta. His youngest child is Sarah Elizabeth Ciko (Joseph) of Miramar Beach, Fla. He also leaves seven beloved grandchildren, Thomas Riley, Alexander Joseph and Benjamin Ellison Godwin, Rachel Deane Young, and Zelda Virginia, Alexander Jett and Eva Arielle Ciko. Tom was a friend of Bill Wilson. Tom will be missed by his dear cousins, life-long friends, and many acquaintances and familiar faces from his daily rounds in Destin, where he had lived since 1992.
The family wishes to thank faithful companions Dale and Kathy Johns, who vigilantly watched over and protected Tom in these years of his final illness and with whom, in better times, he had many happy moments and small adventures. Tom and Melissa have been blessed by the wisdom and sensitivity of their oncologists, Harvey and Henry Hsiang and Ming Chang, with exceptional care from the staff of Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, Emerald Coast Cancer Center, and Dr. Mark Schroeder.
A memorial service will be held at Immanuel Anglican Church, 250 Indian Bayou Trail, Destin, Fla., at 10 a.m., on Saturday, April 26, 2014, with Father Michel Hesse officiating and Father John Wallace of Apostles by-the-Sea Anglican Church assisting. Ash burial will be at a later date in Oahu Cemetery, Honolulu, at the Young family gravesite.
Donations may be made to the Building Fund of Immanuel Anglican Church, 250 Indian Bayou Trail, Destin, FL 32541; The Salvation Army, 425 Mary Esther Cutoff, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32549; and The Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.
Expressions of love and sympathy may be viewed online at www.emeraldcoastfuneralhome.com.
Emerald Coast Funeral Home
113 Racetrack Rd NE
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News from Apr. 23 to Apr. 24, 2014