John Worth Young, Jr.March 09, 1934 - October 31, 2012
John Worth Young, Jr., age 78, passed away on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at Johnston Memorial Hospital following a brief illness. Mr. Young was born March 9, 1934 in Grassy Creek, NC and grew up in Emory, VA. He received a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Emory & Henry College in 1955. After studying at the University of Virginia, John accepted a position in 1957 with the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA) at the Langley research Center in Hampton, VA. After NACA became the National Aeronautics & Space Administration, he worked with Mercury and Gemini Astronauts and helped solve some of the problems associated with rendezvous and docking which enabled successful Apollo Lunar landings. Two of his favorite astronauts were John H. Glenn and Walter M. Schirra, Jr.
John also conducted a seven year study of missions to the outer planets. His concept of a “Grand Tour” mission where multiple planets could be visited on a single trip won him a NASA Special Achievement Award. He concluded his career studying the control of large, flexible space structures. John retired from NASA Langley in 1988. Upon returning to his childhood home, he served on the Adjunct Faculty at Emory & Henry College and Virginia Intermont College.
John received much recognition during his life. He was an Eagle Scout and earned an M.S. in Physics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Among his most prized accolades was being selected “The Twelfth Man” in 1999 by the Emory & Henry football team and staff.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Mae and Worth Young, and wife, Jane Todd Young.
Surviving him is his wife Edna; son, Todd and Shannon of Richmond, VA; daughter, Kristin of Emory, VA; sisters, Sue Payne of Emory, VA and Elizabeth Worthington of Chattanooga, TN; brother, Phil and Louis of Poquoson, VA; grandchildren, Blake, Kendall and Blair as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service celebrating Mr. Young’s life will be held at 2:00 P.M. Sunday, November 25, 2012 at the Emory & Henry College Chapel. A visitation and reception will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Emory & Henry College football program or the charity of your choosing in Mr. Young’s memory.
Those wishing to express sympathy online may do so by visiting www.farrisfuneralservice.com and signing the online guest register.
The Young family is being cared for by Farris Cremation and Funeral Center, 19415 Lee Highway, Abingdon, VA 24210, (276) 623-2700.