Ira Young Sr.

Ira Young, Sr. was born on June 1, 1914 at Pine Bluff, Ark. In 1944, he was united in marriage to Helen Kendall who predeceased him. He was also predeceased by his parents, Vinnie and Sam Young, Sr.; three brothers, Sam Young, Jr., Hoover Young, and Oscar Young and two sisters, Dora Young and Mary Brown.

He confessed a hope in Christ at an early age and had been united with Mt. Calvary MB Church for more than 60 years at his passing where he served in a number of capacities, including as a deacon and trustee. Church attendance was very important for him and his family.

Born less than 50 years after slavery ended, with faith in God and determination, he made a successful life for himself and his family. Early in his life he developed the entrepreneurial spirit, “peddling vegetables” on his bicycle as a young boy and doing odd jobs around the city. As a man, he continued to work hard. He was employed by the Cottonbelt Railroad for 30 years all while operating a farm where every summer, he grew a large vegetable garden. He also raised livestock, some of which was butchered to feed his family. As well, for many years he operated a neighborhood grocery store. He was also a carpenter and built his store and several houses. In addition to caring for his immediate family, for many years, he cared for his aged mother who lived nearby. He was a good provider.

Although he had limited opportunity to be educated, he strongly believed in the value of education as a pathway to success. Therefore, he constantly encouraged his children to work hard and to pursue a good education, and he offered each of them the opportunity to attend college. He strongly believed in the work ethic, being responsible and not wasting resources.

He is survived by six children, Ira (Gean) Young, Jr., Ardelia Kaye (Cleophus) Turner, Verlene Levonne (Allen) Parker, Sandra Faye (Herbert) Harris, Kendall Byron Young and Sadie Suretta (Larry) Hughes. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and other relatives.

The funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m, on Saturday, November 24, 2012 at Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, 600 East 38th Street in Pine Bluff. The body will lie in repose at the church from 10:00 a.m. until service time. Family hour will be held from 5:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Friday, November 23, 2012. Condolences may be sent to 5701 Camden Cutoff Road, Pine Bluff, AR 71603.

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