William R. Young Sr.

April 22, 1913January 24, 2011

ArrangeWilliam Ray Young died January 24, 2011 three months shy of his 98th birthday. He was born at home outside Foss, Oklahoma on the night of April 22, 1913 during a heavy rainstorm. His parents Evelyn Myrtle Rice Young and William Terrel Young welcomed him into the world, the youngest of three boys. The family eventually relocated to Elk City. At the age of 14, William suffered the loss of his left arm in a freak automobile bicycle accident. He walked down the block to the Elk City hospital on his own two feet, and was saved by the dedication of Dr. Tisdale, a general practitioner who convinced the resident surgeon that the boy was worth saving. His family still treasures the photo of the hospital’s nursing staff, taken the day of his release. Two months after he returned home from the hospital, his father abandoned the family. William credited the strength of his mother with helping him get through this difficult time by encouraging him to do as much for himself as possible. William worked in the fields of Oklahoma and other states, sometimes hoping trains to find the cotton or fruit that needed picking. He worked a short time for Washita County, and also at the nearby Burns Flat air force base. While he assumed that his perceived disability would prevent him from having a family, this all changed when he met the “love of his life,” Thelma Lee Newman. They married in 1942 and relocated from Elk City to Oklahoma City where they eventually worked at McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Plant. William worked a tool crib at the plant. Following the end of World War II, William and his wife owned and operated Young’s Grocery Store at SW 29th and Virginia Avenue. They sold the store in 1951 and he became a salesman for National Life Insurance Company.

He retired at the age of 64 and filled his days with a number of activities that brought him joy. He was a crossword puzzle worker, a student of nature and science, a football fan, and an appreciator of the natural world. He instilled a love of reading and a pursuit of knowledge in his two children.

He filled his home with music, and he was always on the cutting edge of music technology, moving from phonograph to reel-to-reel, to other tape formats, to CD. Had macular degeneration not been an impediment, his family has no doubt that he would have enjoyed the world of Internet music. He was also a self-taught harmonica player, and would often serenade family and friends with his talent.

He was the last of his generation in the family, having been preceded in death by his wife, sweetheart and “left arm,” Thelma Lee; his two brothers, Ulysses and Owen and their wives; and his three brothers-in-law and their wives. He is survived by a daughter, Carolyn Sue Kennedy of Mesquite, TX, and husband William Clifford Kennedy; a son, William Ray Young, Jr., of Oklahoma City; a grandson, Kirk Alan Wilson of Oklahoma City; a granddaughter, Jana Denise Stoll and husband Scott Stoll of Edmond; and two great-grandchildren, Tyler Robert Stoll and Brooklyn Grace Stoll of Edmond. His family respected him, sometimes tolerated him, often cherished him, and always loved him. He respected his loved ones, sometimes tolerated them, often cherished them, and always loved them.

When his children learned of the indiscretions of William’s father, they asked why he had treated his father so well. He responded that he had decided to treat his dad with the respect a father deserves, and that he, himself, would work to be a better father. In this, like in so many endeavors throughout his life, the one-armed boy from Elk City succeeded. We love and miss you, Dad. We will cherish the special times we had together, Grandpa. Bye-bye, Pee-Paw. The family thanks the staffs of Grace Living Center Southwest and Good Shepherd Hospice for the sincere love, friendship and care they gave to William. We can never repay you enough. Memorial donations may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice, 4350 Will Rogers Parkway, Suite 400, Oklahoma City, OK 73108.

Services are 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 27, at Chapel Hill Funeral Home, 8701 Northwest Expressway, Oklahoma City, 721-3182. Condolences may be made at

ments under the direction of Chapel Hill Funeral Home, Oklahoma City, OK.


  • Funeral Service Thursday, January 27, 2011

William R. Young Sr.

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February 21, 2011

Carolyn and Billy I am so sorry your Dad passed on, but I know he is in heaven with yor sweet Mom. I was blessed to have them in my life and the two of you.
Love to the whole family, Gayle and Glennie

Kelly Kennedy

January 28, 2011

I'm so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

January 28, 2011

That was the most heartfelt obituary I think I have ever read. I hope someone will write that tender of an obituary for me someday. My love and prayers are with you and your family.
Julie Byington

Julia Van Buren

January 28, 2011

Dearest Carolyn, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, as well as my sincere condolences. May God Bless you and your family during this difficult time. You and your family are so wonderfully Blessed to have had such a warm and loving father to cherish and love. Julia Van Buren

Marie Gleason

January 28, 2011

It is now obvious to me where your kind, loving, gentle spirit comes from. You have the most wonderful memories of your "daddy." My condolences to you and your family.

Paula Joseph-Johnson

January 27, 2011

Dear Bill, I am so very sorry for your loss. I am thinking of you and sending prayers.

Jessie & Hilda Wilson

January 26, 2011

Our Sweet Carolyn,

We know how very special your Dad and Mother were to you. Always keep those precious memories alive, and your loved ones will remain with you.

Keeping you and our sweet family in our thoughts and prayers.

Love you'all,
Jessie and Hilda

Rick Langston

January 26, 2011

Carolyn, I can feel the love of your family through the internet. How truly blessed you were to have had such a wonderful Dad. May your memories be foremost in your mind and the joy they bring fill your heart.

Rick & Grace

January 26, 2011

Bill, I am so sorry for your loss. Cling to the good memories as you grieve with your family.
Stigler Public Library

January 26, 2011

You were Daddy, Dad, and Daddy, again. There are no words to express the ever present love in my heart for you, and gratitude for a childhood full of love and direction. You, and Mother, were wonderful examples of how to live the blessing of life.

You are now with your sweetheart, again, Daddy, and I know Mother has welcomed you with open arms, as always.

Your loving Daughter,

Carolyn Sue