Pastors' Memoirs

John LeRoy Young Jr., 1933 - 2004

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The Rev. John LeRoy Young Jr. was born Feb. 3, 1933, in Hickory, N.C., the son of John L. Young Sr. and Lelia May Cox. He attended Ferrum College and graduated from Lynchburg College in 1955. He then completed his seminary training at Duke Divinity School. He was married to Annette Elizabeth Agee of Stuart, Va. LeRoy and Annette had two sons together, both of whom died at an early age from a genetic disorder. They later helped to raise four teenage young women who needed loving intervention. LeRoy and Annette called them their daughters and loved them so very much.

  LeRoy served the following United Methodist churches: Bethlehem, Pleasant Hill, Southview, Springfield, St. Mark’s (Manassas), Fairfax, Pender, Stratford Hills, Central (Arlington), Graham Road, Oakton, and Granbery Memorial. While serving in Northern Virginia for most of his ministerial time he was instrumental in helping to found the Wesley Housing Development Center in Arlington and Alexandria.

  LeRoy retired from Granbery Memorial Church in 1995, due to Annette’s health concerns. They continued to return to Covington to visit often. During Annette’s illness, friends from Granbery continued to stay in touch through phone calls and visits. Annette passed away Sept. 15, 1997.

  On Nov. 27, 1999, LeRoy married Sarah Bostic, a member of Granbery, a widow since 1982. With this marriage he became the father of three sons, Gordon, Jon, and Tim Bostic; three daughters-in-law, Susan E., Ann, and Susan A.; a daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Wayne Perkins; five grandchildren, Rosalie, Jonathan, Katelyn, and Kyle Bostic and Benjamin Perkins. It was the perfect marriage for everyone — we were all a family again with a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather.

  Moving back to Covington after his marriage to Sarah, LeRoy continued to serve Granbery and the Covington community. He was rehired by Granbery in 2000 as visitation minister. He later became the interim pastor at Granbery Memorial after the death of the Rev. Richard Miller. With Sarah’s influence, he became involved with the Alleghany Highlands Habitat for Humanity Board, Total Action Against Poverty (TAP) Board of Commissioners in Covington and the TAP Board of Directors in Roanoke. He also filled the pulpit at other churches in the Alleghany Highlands when needed. LeRoy and Sarah spent much of their married life cruising and traveling by car.

  In early March 2004, it was determined that LeRoy had developed pancreatic and kidney cancer. He passed away at his home in Covington on June 17, 2004. The Rev. Bob Chapman, a very dear friend, having learned of his illness at conference, left and came to be with LeRoy and was there at his death. The celebration of his life on June 20, Father’s Day, could not have been more perfect with the wonderful words spoken by his two "adopted" sons, Michael Copeland, serving Granbery and Bob Chapman, whom he loved very much. The Rev. Paul Harris, also, participated in the service. The music by the Granbery Choir was heaven sent. His body was carried to the church and then to the cemetery by a newly restored horse-drawn hearse, last used in 1915, owned by the funeral home. His greatest gift was the love and compassion he shared with others — a wonderful man, loved and respected by so many.

  His wife Sarah and her family all adored this man she called "John Le." He brought so much love and happiness into their lives and he felt the same about them. Our loss has been devastating, but we thank God for every moment of the brief time we had with him.

 — Sarah B. Young



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Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

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