Husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and everyone’s friend and helper. Duane Earle Young went to Heaven peacefully, early Wednesday morning, September 9, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. Following a rapid battle with cancer, his very sudden passing leaves his family and community with deep sadnes…read more
Husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle and everyone’s friend and helper. Duane Earle Young went to Heaven peacefully, early Wednesday morning, September 9, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. Following a rapid battle with cancer, his very sudden passing leaves his family and community with deep sadness and mourning. What a legacy of kindness, courage, perseverance and most importantly, love. He taught us all more than can be measured.
Let us tell you about Duane. He was born and raised in snowy Buffalo, New York, with a family of three caring sisters and his wonderful parents. He learned a very strong work ethic and fiscal responsibility as a young boy and liked to tell us how he still had his “First Communion” money. Duane went on to college and returned to Buffalo to be part of the family business, Young Fire Equipment, started by his grandfather.
While continuing to save every penny, he met the love of his life, who easily showed him that he needed to learn how to ‘have a little fun’ with his earnings. Duane met Sherri while she was in occupational therapy school. She could always find him in the ‘stacks’ of the medical library, sitting with a pile of physical therapy books. You see, he always wanted to be a PT. They fell in love and didn’t skip a beat with making a solid foundation of strength for their future family.
Fast forward to marrying Sherri and bringing the other two loves of his life into the world, Courtney and Cassie. He counted his blessings every day, to be surrounded by his three favorite girls. Duane made a tough decision to leave the family business and pursue his dream of being a physical therapist. While helping to raise his two young girls, Duane worked on his Masters degree. At the same time he renovated college housing to bring in enough to keep his family afloat. It was a very proud day when he graduated and moved his family down to Western North Carolina. Yes, an attraction was the lower state taxes, but most importantly, he wanted to provide a warm, comforting environment for his girls. He sold the snow blower and never looked back!
Through the years that followed, Duane was there, every step of the way for each joyous moment of his girls’ accomplishments. Family ALWAYS first. Duane was a ‘girl dad’ through and through, from playing Pretty Pretty Princess and having his hair filled with barrettes to reading Barbie books over and over. He loved Sunday morning breakfast, making as many pancakes as he could for the endless slumber parties. He happily drove his girls to all of their activities, and loved blasting his tunes when picking them up from high school. When it came time for the girls to head off on their own, no move was ever made without a remodel or upgrade and, of course, a few tightened bolts. He celebrated their successes, big or small, and was always their #1 supporter.
One of his greatest joys was meeting his granddaughter, Zoe Lu. He loved teaching her everything he knew about the great outdoors. They spent hours in the yard, picking flowers, hunting for pine cones and telling stories, but his favorite time with Zoe was ‘tubby time’. He couldn’t wait for the sun to set, so he could fill up the tub with toys and bubbles, and find hundreds of different ways to play with the same toys. She LOVED him. She would spend the last hour before he arrived home, standing by the window….and when his truck came down the driveway, she couldn’t get to the door fast enough. He will always be her ‘Papa D’.
Duane worked as a staff physical therapist, first with Thoms Rehab in Asheville, and then nearly 20 years with Pardee Memorial Hospital. He worked tirelessly to meet every single patient’s needs, always making a personal connection. He moved from acute care, in the hospital, to outpatient care at the Rehab and Wellness Center. He took his position as clinical manager of this center with great pride and never wavered in his commitment to be there for his dedicated staff as well as his patients and wellness members. He transitioned to home health, his last year and a half, and loved this supportive new group of peers, equally dedicated to excellent patient care.
You may not know what an accomplished, self-taught woodworker Duane was. If you could describe it, and want or need it, he would build it. His woodshop was his sanctuary. No project too big or too small. We all have treasured pieces, from Adirondack chairs, to dining room tables, to even the smallest, hand-crafted boxes, each lovingly made with his strong, determined and skillful hands.
Duane didn’t miss the opportunity to help when someone needed advice or simply an encouraging pat on the back. He was always eager to lend a hand to help anyone in need. Never, ever complaining or looking for that pat on his back. He had the unique ability to make everyone feel like they were his top priority. His generous, humble and gentle spirit will continue to be cherished by all who were lucky enough to know him.
Duane is survived by his loving wife, Sherri; daughters Courtney (Michael) and Cassie; granddaughter Zoe Lu; mother Barbara, sisters Debby (Mark), Karen (Mike) and Kathy; Uncle Dick; brothers-in-law Pat (Debbie), Mike, Tim (Lisa); sisters-in-law Terri, Maureen (Chris) and Cori (Tom) and many beloved nieces and nephews. Duane is joining his father, Bud, niece Devany and Sherri’s parents, Jim and Corky, in Heaven.
We will celebrate his life at Jump Off Rock, 2 PM on Saturday, September 12, 2020. We invite all who knew and loved Duane and his family to join and honor him. A second celebration will take place in New York, at a yet to be determined date, for those close family and friends located afar.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Duane Young Memorial Scholarship Fund to continue his legacy of generosity and extraordinary service.