Savannah Tribune Salutes The Life Of Lydia Cherelyn Smith Young

September 29, 1946 – April 12, 2016


(This story is continued from 04-20-2016 edition)

Lydia was baptized by the Rev. Eugene Gates Lane at the First Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. After marriage to Joe Lee Young in 1968, and upon their return from Iowa in 1969, the couple joined Butler Presbyterian Church. She worked diligently in the church, and in 1991, she was ordained an Elder. She also served as Moderator of the Fiscal Affairs Ministry, a member of the Pickens Circle and the Congregational care and Witness Ministry.

Her community affiliations were all service oriented. Lydia joined the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., in 1965 while a student at Savannah State College. She served as President of the Gamma Upsilon undergraduate chapter in 1967- 1968. Upon graduation, she joined the graduate chapter, Gamma Sigma Omega, and served in numerous offices including President, Vice President, Treasurer, Parliamentarian, Historian and Member-at- Large, as well as on committees such as Audit, Founders’ Day Awards, Tutoring, Partnerships in Mathematics and Science, Housing Foundation, Mentoring Program and the M.A.R.T.H.A. Board of Directors and Standards Committee. She was a Life Member of the Sorority. The chapter recently honored her as a Golden Soror for 50 years of membership and service to the Sorority.

Jack and Jill of America, Inc., was another service organization to which she was dedicated. She attained the status of Associate and Life Member after completing her tenure as an Active Member in this family-centered organization. Lydia served the Savannah Chapter as President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Chairman of the Southeastern Teen Regional Conference held in Savannah in 1991. On the Regional level, she was elected to the positions of Member-At- Large, representing the SE Region on the Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Foundation Board of Directors, and also served the Region as Secretary-Treasurer. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of BRAVO Music Company and its ministry with the community’s youth, and the Hodge Memorial Daycare Center Board of Managers.

Lydia especially enjoyed family gatherings and travel with her husband and family. They traveled throughout the United States visiting almost every state, including Alaska. Foreign travel included a 14-country tour of Europe, a second European excursion with her sister, niece, and great-nephews, and trips to Tokyo, Japan, and Malaga, Spain, to visit son, Joey and his wife Chikayo. While Analytical Development Manager for Kemira, Lydia traveled to Finland to meet her Finnish counterparts. One of her happiest moments was to meet her first grandchild, David, during a planned visit to Savannah by Joey and his family in March.

Lydia Cherelyn Smith Young upheld the values taught by her parents. She was a kind, generous and dedicated woman who served with humility, care and concern as a wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, family member, community servant, mentor and role model. Lydia is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 48 years, Joseph Lee Young; children, Vera C. Young (Niesha); Joseph L. Young, Jr. (Chikayo); grandson, David Tsukahara Young; sister, Arelia Smith Langhorne (Howard); sisters in – law, Helen Young Bailey (Johnnie), Amelia Young Williams (James), Elinor Young Johnson Jones (Sam); nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors and friends

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