Thelma L. Young, 93, died Jan. 28, 2013, surrounded by members of her family in a home she dearly loved, that of her youngest daughter, where she had been cared for the past 10 years.
She was born June 5, 1919, in Petersburg, Va., the daughter of Clifford and Emma Duke. On Aug. 29, 1935, she married Leonard C. Young Sr. in Petersburg, who was then drafted into the U.S. Navy and served overseas in World War II. As a young war bride, she was left to care for their three children, Leonard, Jean and Dennis. When her husband returned, they were blessed with three more children, Daniel, Rebecca and Constance. She was many good things to many people, but she will be remembered most for her unconditional love of her children and entire family. She gave generously of herself with a smile and a graciousness that will never be forgotten. Thelma, Mrs. Young, Mama, Grandma, Sister had a smile that lit up the room and a heart that made all those she touched feel the warmth of her spirit. She loved visiting with her sisters, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and their families. In a word family is what defined Thelma. She was a beacon of light that kept her family close regardless of the physical distance between them. Many remember the countless dinners on Young's Road. The smell of oven-baked buttered toast filling the house in the morning. The labor of love in making fresh apple pies from scratch. So many beautiful memories from such a beautiful soul. Her eyes sparkled and were truly windows to a soul of grace. The selfless love she shared with all of us will live on in her surviving family. We all know that her deepest desire is that the continued togetherness of her family be her everlasting legacy.
Thelma is survived by her children, Leonard of Petersburg, Dennis (Janine) of Miami, Daniel (Clare) of Billings, Mont., Rebecca (Sency Candelario) of San Antonio and Constance (Kenny Stell) of Chesterfield. Also surviving are three sisters, Allie Johnson of Ettrick, Ramona Godwin of Dinwiddie, Lena Duke of Colonial Heights; sister-in-law, Elizabeth Duke of Petersburg; and brother-in-law Chuck Johnson of Colonial Heights; 13 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren; and 11 great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Leonard; daughter, Jean; brother, Clifford Duke; and two sisters, Dorothy VanFossen and Mildred Johnson.
Visitations will be held from 6 to 8 o'clock Feb. 1 at J.T. Morriss Funeral Home in Petersburg . Graveside services and internment will be held at 1 p.m. on Feb. 2 at Southlawn Memorial Park. Mama, we your children are especially thankful for the many opportunities we had to tell you what a wonderful mother you were and that we loved you.