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Alexander Young Brown
Allen & Allen Funeral Home
Ralph Dalton Forrester
A graveside service for Alexander Young Brown will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, December 22, 2018, in Laurel Hill Cemetery. He passed away at his daughter's home in Atlanta on December 14th. He would have been 98 years old next month.
    Young was born in Quitman, Georgia, on January 24, 1921, the middle child of Sarah Lavinia Young and Olin Edward Brown. He graduated from Quitman High School in 1938 and worked for his uncle, Jay Gardner, in Camilla, Georgia, prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1940.
    Although assigned to the light cruiser USS St Louis, he seized every opportunity to take training classes in San Diego, San Francisco and Honolulu.
    He was in Honolulu in December 1941 and shipped out on the transport ship the Henderson on Saturday, December 6th, headed to San Diego for another training class. He missed the attack on Pearl Harbor by less than 24 hours. His ship, the St Louis, survived the attack and was able to exit the harbor and give chase.
    Young eventually reconnected with his ship and spent the remainder of World War II in the Pacific. The ship included four Curtiss SOC floatplanes and full service facilities, which ensured proper maintenance and repair for these mission critical aerial platforms.
    He was an aviation machinist's mate first class, AMM1/c, USN. His ship was involved in conflicts from Bougainville, the Mariana Islands, Leyte Gulf to Okinawa, earning 11 Battles Stars.
    In November 1944 in Leyte Gulf, the ship was a victim of a Kamikaze attack, including 12 to 14 warplanes. Young was among those injured in the attack, losing his right arm and left leg, for which he was honored with a Purple Heart. He was transferred to a converted hospital ship renamed the Hope. Ironically, it was the old transport ship that had taken him out of Pearl Harbor, the Henderson. He spent a year in rehab in the VA hospital in Philadelphia before returning to Quitman.
    Upon returning home, he pursued his dream of attending Georgia Tech and graduated with a degree in industrial engineering in 1950. His three children followed in his footsteps, also graduating from Georgia Tech.
    Young began working for Westinghouse Corporation in Atlanta and became a licensed professional engineer in the State of Georgia.
    In August 1952, he married Margaret Wilkes Cox of Lilly, Georgia. In 1961, they moved to Thomasville to raise their family and Young began working with the Davis brothers at Davis Water and Waste Industries.
    After the Cuban Missile Crisis, Thomasville was chosen as the Civil Defense Regional headquarters for the seven southeastern states and the Canal Zone and a state of the art underground facility was constructed. He worked there until his retirement.
    Young enjoyed fishing, whether sitting by a small pond, in a boat amidst the lily pads of Lake Iamonia or in deep saltwater, and of course the family fish fries afterward.
    He taught his three children and most of their friends to water ski on Lake Seminole and Cherry Lake. He pursued his love of flying and obtained his private pilot's license and instrument rating.
    He owned a motorcycle and rode it to work regularly.
    In his 20s, upon his return from rehab, he successfully roller-skated in Quitman and in his 40s tried skateboarding on Parkway Drive with his children. In his 80s, he discovered two-wheeled segways while vacationing in Amelia Island and enjoyed cruising the island on them.
    He was a master woodworker and machinist. He enjoyed building furniture and could repair anything from antique clocks to automobile engines. His helpful nature extended beyond his own family. Young was always ready to help a neighbor with lawnmower trouble or a nephew with a Boy Scout project.
    His faith, determination and courage were an inspiration to all who knew him and have been passed to the next generation through his eight grandchildren, who are fortunate to have had him as an active part of their lives.
    He was a member of Thomasville First Baptist Church, Rotary and an emergency blood donor.
    Young was preceded in death by his devoted and loving wife of 55 years, Margaret Cox Brown; his parents, Sarah Lavinia Young and Olin Edward Brown; and his brother, Olin Edward Brown Jr.
    He is survived by his sister, Mary Frances Lilly of Thomasville; his daughter, Peggie Brown Abbott (Tony) of Atlanta; his son, Young Brown Jr. (Barbara) of Statesboro; and his daughter, Frances Brown Wechsler (Tom) of Decatur; grandchildren, Allie and Katie Abbott, Sarah Elizabeth and Alexander Brown and Alex, Peter, Nick and Krissy Wechsler.
    In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.

Statesboro Herald, December 21, 2018

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