Thomas Gilbert Young Jr. July 7, 1944 – June 23, 2019
Tom Young passed peacefully at home June 23, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Brenda Taylor Young, and their four children: Brian Young (Terri), Angela Young- Schaefer (Tony), Brandon Young, and Andy Young (Chelsea). He also has six beautiful grandchildren and one great-grandchild who thought he hung the moon: Hannah, Jason, Jacob, Brooklyn, Brody, Sebestyen and Finnick. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Gilbert “Gibb” Young Sr. and Martha Major Young. He was the oldest of seven children. He leaves behind six siblings: Charles Atlas “Red” Young (Myrtle), Roland Gerald “Jerry” Young (Chris Darlynn), William Patrick Young (Mary Ann), Martha Ann Judd (Don), Mary Eileen Bray (Walter), and Christopher David Young (Frances). He was also adored by numerous nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephews.
Tom was born and raised in Jackson, Tenn. During his youth he was an accomplished amateur boxer, winning the Golden Gloves West Tennessee Championship. Most notably he won an exhibition match against the famed Jackson boxer, Rayford Collins, who was multi-times Mid-South Golden Gloves Champion.
He later served his country for four years as a Sergeant and Crew Chief on C-130s in the United States Air Force, stationed in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. His love of boxing continued in the service, where he defeated the South Pacific Military Boxing Heavyweight Champion by knockout.
Upon his return from service, Tom met the love of his life, Brenda Kaye Taylor. They settled in Fayetteville, Tennessee where he was the airport manager, a private pilot and certified A&P mechanic for CFW Construction Company before eventually moving to Arizona. Tom then worked for Cypress at Johnson Mine, as equipment superintendent for Magma Copper/BHP in San Manuel, and lastly as a supervisor for Open Loop Energy in Safford before retiring in 2014. Many of his co-workers have relayed how inspirational Tom was, always mentoring and encouraging them.
In addition to working and raising a family, Tom was co-founder of the San Pedro Boxing Club. As coach and head of this program he provided a positive influence on many, many young boys. He took these young boxers to regional and national Junior Olympic events throughout the country. A story that comes full circle is that he became friends with another coach from Jackson, Tennessee during his travel with his Benson, Arizona boxing team, none other than the same famed Rayford Collins who he boxed years earlier.
So much to be said about the caliber of man Tom Young was and what he meant to his family, co-workers and community of friends. As the patriarch of his large extended family he always offered comfort and a protective arm, starting early on with his siblings. That role continued with his children, grandchildren and dozens of nieces and nephews. All understood he was someone they could always count on, someone to always lean upon. An inherent belief was there was never a problem he could not solve, a job he could not accomplish. In short, Tom was a compassionate and powerful presence to all who knew and loved him.
Tom, you are gone from us too soon, but ‘what a day, glorious day, that will be’ when we meet you waiting for us at heaven’s gate.