Vernell Loretta Young

November 6, 1934January 11, 2021

Vernell Loretta Young, transitioned from this life peacefully Monday, January 11, 2011 at The Forum of Overland Park, KS.

Ms. Young was preceded in death by her mother, Juretha Holt (Pine Bluff, Arkansas), father Levy Harris (Pine Bluff, Arkansas), brother Richard Swayzer (Pasadena, CA) and niece Brenda McMurry (Kansas City, MO).

Vernell was born and raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas on November 6, 1934. She attended Merrill High School in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Later, Vernell attended Arkansas AM&N where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Education. Vernell went on to pursue and obtain her master’s in education from Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Missouri. Vernell also attended Cosmetology School in Arkansas.

Vernell was a multi-talented woman and had a sincere passion for children and education as she worked as a Teacher with the Kansas City Missouri Public Schools District at Northeast Law & Military Magnet for 34 years until her retirement.

Vernell was a member of Second Baptist Church in Kansas City, Missouri where over the years she served on the Treasury and Camp Chapelle committees.

Vernell was a lifetime member of the Kansas City Chapter of the NAACP. She truly enjoyed helping others and was a mentor with Big Brothers & Sisters of Kansas City for several years.

Ms. Young was full of life and loved traveling. Throughout her life, she traveled the world to such places as Africa, Israel, Hawaii, Mexico, and other destinations chronicling her adventures. In her spare time, she was an avid fisherwoman, gardener, bridge player, and loved to spend time with her family.

Vernell leaves to cherish her memory her daughter, Kathryn O. Cowan of Kansas City, Kansas, one granddaughter Andrea Newton (Timothy Newton, Jr.) of Kansas City, Missouri, three great-granddaughters Kari Newton, Eden Newton, Anya Newton of Kansas City, Missouri, one sister, Mildred Burt and a host of nieces, nephews, family, and friends.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, private family services will be livestreamed Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 11:00 AM via: (or click the link below)


  • Juretha Holt, Mother (deceased)
  • Levy Harris, Father (deceased)
  • Richard Swayzer, Brother (deceased)
  • Brenda McMurry, Niece (deceased)
  • Kathryn O. Cowan, Daughter
  • Andrea Newton (Timothy Newton), Granddaughter
  • Kari Newton, Great-granddaughter
  • Eden Newton, Great-granddaughter
  • Anya Newton, Great-granddaughter
  • Mildred Burt, Sister
  • Host of, Nieces & Nephews and family & friends


  • Private Funeral Service

    Tuesday, January 19, 2021



Vernell Loretta Young

have a memory or condolence to add?

Wanda Handy

January 18, 2021

January 18, 2021
Dear Kathy, Andrea and family of Vernell L. Young,
Due to current coronavirus travel restrictions, we are unable to attend. While words are not enough, we want to express our deepest sympathy on behalf of the Cowan family. We want you to know that we are thinking of all of you as you mourn the loss of your mother, grandmother of Andrea and husband Tim, great-grandmother to Kari, Eden and Anya. All of you have a special bond and I know that she is missed already!
We know how hard it is to let go of someone you love. You are never ready—regardless of that person’s age. But, in a way, you do not have to let go, because all of you can carry your wonderful memories of your life with her throughout the years in your heart.
Mrs. Young has earned her wings… She has descended like a dove for the gates of heaven are open and have welcomed her in. Our family rejoices with you in her victory! Think of her as resting in the master’s hands for we all know it is well with her soul. She is where there are no days or years: no pain or tears. She is in a place of warmth and comfort that our heavenly Father has prepared for her. Jesus says in John 14:2-3, “In my house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” May you find comfort in knowing that all the burdens of your loved one’s life have passed away, and all the joys of heaven have arrived!
Mothers, grandmothers, and roses are much the same. Each is God’s masterpiece but with a different name.

Your loving family in Topeka,
Leon and Eva Cowan and family
Wanda Cowan-Handy and family
Michael and Linda Cowan and family

Charlie Smith

January 18, 2021

Mrs. Young was not only my neighbor but she was my teacher and a wonderful mentor. She will be missed. My prayers and sympathy to the family. God bless all of you.

Brent Williams

January 17, 2021

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”
John 14:1-3.

I know with Vernell’s glowing personality and sense of humor The Lord has not only prepared a place for her but she very likely requested a “room with a view” ha ha. Getting to know her over the years has truly been a blessing and a treat. I enjoyed simply sitting with her and listening to her tell family stories. We will miss her but we know she is home now after a job well done and a life lived abundantly!

- With love, Cousins Brent Edward Williams Sr & Brent Edward Williams II aka Eddie

Dorothy Williams

January 17, 2021

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
Vernell has been called by the Father for her Heavenly reward. She no longer experiences pain or suffering. She has been spared the toils and cares of this complicated world and is at peace with our Sovereign God, free from hurt, harm, and danger.
Pleasant memories of Vernell’s warm personality, beautiful smile, and kind spirit will linger with her loved ones throughout the coming years. We will miss the twinkle in her eyes, her wonderful sense of humor, and the fond memories she loved to share.
Rest in peace; rest in the Lord. You waited patiently for Him. We love you.
Your cousins - Dorothy, Brent, and Shanée

Shanee Nelson

January 15, 2021

To my cousins Kathryn, Andrea, and Mildred, our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you. We pray for your comfort, peace, strength, and whatever needs you have at this time be supplied in abundance. Cousin Vernell’s beautiful smile and kind and loving disposition are mainstays in my memory - I will cherish them forever. With Love, Cousins Shanee & Travis Nelson, Azaria, Quinton, Xolani, and Naava