Vernice DeLeon Young was born May 1, 1930 to Mary Louise Wray and Peter Young Jr. in Greene County, Georgia. “Vanny” or DeLeon, as his family called him, spent his early youth with his mother on his grandfather's (Harris Wray) farm. He often spoke about tilling the fields beside Harris who affectionately called him "little son". It was in his youth that he first professed his faith in Jesus Christ and became a Christian.
Vernice followed his mother to Atlanta in 1945 and was drafted into the Army in 1951 to support the Korean Conflict. He started at Camp Edwards on Cape Cod for basic training then was shipped to Fort Hancock in NJ with the goal of protecting NY via gun battalion to shoot down enemy planes. He was scheduled to ship out to Korea, but two weeks before, his name was removed so that he could finish a morse code class. He was honorably discharged in 1953.
Given the good treatment he received in the service versus his experiences in the South, he told his mother it was "time to pull up stakes" and head to Detroit where he heard they were looking for workers. Vernice was taken in by his uncle Porter Young in Detroit. It was there that he met Claudette Lillian Smith through his uncle's friendship with Claudette's father Porter Smith. They were married in May of 1955, and to this union were born Gary Derwin (Sunshine), Michael Weldon (Darla), Lawrence Damon (Laura), and Khyle Morgan (Wendy). Vernice prided himself on being able to operate a number of different printing press machines and therefore enjoyed long stints of employment with a number of printing companies including Troy Oaks Graphics, up until he chose to retire from Flint Ink in 1997. After the death of his wife Claudette in 2002, he continued to maintain his house in Detroit and became a member of Detroit World Outreach in Redford Twp. working on the usher board. Vernice was an active member of the Full Gospel Businessmen Fellowship International. He also enjoyed fishing as well as watching and listening to the Detroit Tigers.
On March 13, 2007 he met and married Aretha S. Davis who immediately assimilated with the family as if she had been there for years. Aretha and Vernice had a very special love for each other, and she took great care of him in his advanced years up until his passing Friday.
In addition, Vernice leaves to mourn his passing, his sister, Gonzia Nesmith, his brother, Vernon Young, Aretha’s children and their families, and a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. He also had a sister Gertrude Sanders who preceded him in passing in 2003.
A funeral service will be held 10:30AM Wednesday, January 22, 2020 at Richards Chapel United Methodist Church with Pastor Kima Cunningham officiating. Visitation will be from 9:30AM-10:30AM at the church. Interment will follow in Dayton National Cemetery. Military Honors will be conducted by the Veteran's Memorial Honor Guard of Troy.
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