In Memoriam: Wayne Eric Young

On Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021, Wayne Eric Young of Beltsville, Md., entered into eternal life. Family received friends on Nov. 8 at City of Praise Ministries, 8501 Jericho City Drive, Landover, Md. Interment was at Fort Lincoln Cemetery.


God Said, "The Wings Fit," And Guided Wayne Into The Next Life


Make a Donation Toward the Wayne E. Young Memorial Fund


On the morning of Wednesday, October 20, 2021, God opened up his heavenly gates and called down to his son Wayne Eric Young, summoning him to come home. My son, you have run your race, you have been a blessing to many, you have passed your earthly test. I am now calling you home, for you have earned your resting place with me.


Like he dealt with all obstacles in life, Wayne battled his illness with strength, courage, and dignity. Wayne was surrounded by his loving wife, adoring children, supportive family members, and closest loving friends during his final days.


Wayne was preceded in death by his Grandfather, Mr. Edward Young, his Grandmother, Mrs. Lydia Henry Ward, his Mother, Ms. Kay Ellen Young, and his daughter Perri A. Young (who passed shortly after birth). Wayne was born on July 8, 1961, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, raised under the loving guidance of his mother, Kay Ellen Young, and his Grandmother, Lydia Henry Ward.


Education and the Beta Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.


Wayne was educated in the Philadelphia public school system. He graduated from University City High School in 1979. After graduating from high school, Wayne attended the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt), where he received his bachelor's degree in Information Systems. The University of Pittsburgh was where Wayne met many of his life-long friends and was considered an "icon" on campus. While attending Pitt, Wayne also pledged and became a fully initiated member of the Beta Epsilon Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. on March 21, 1981.


Wayne was a Life Member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and remained an active member of the fraternity until his passing. One of Wayne's many core beliefs was that with awareness and knowledge comes great responsibility. This core belief led him to become an active member of the College Park/Sandy Spring (CPSS) Alumni Chapter.


Philanthropy and College Park - Sandy Spring Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Wayne has always been passionate about mentoring young men, and as a result, he faithfully served as the CPSS chapter's Guide Right Director. Wayne was so effective and impactful in his role that he received special recognition and was honored with the 2019 Bert V. Wadkins, National Guide Right Director Award. Wayne also believed in giving back to the community and mentoring young black men in preparation for higher education. He took an active role in numerous community-based programs geared toward helping those who were less fortunate.


Make a Donation Toward the Wayne E. Young Memorial Fund


32 years at Verizon


Wayne worked his entire professional career, which lasted 32 years, at Verizon Communications. He excelled in his senior management position and was recognized as a Distinguished Member Of The Technical Staff. While working at Verizon, Wayne served as a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) and a Disaster Recovery Manager. To the dismay of many of his former colleagues, Wayne proudly retired from Verizon in 2019.


Better Together Than Apart, Wayne and Benita's Love Story


Wayne met the love of his life Benita Jackson; he then proposed by serenading her with a Brian McKnight song, "Another You." The union was cemented before the eyes of God on March 15, 2013. One of his favorite sayings to Benita was, "We have synergy; we are better together than we are apart." Although the two of them had distinctly different personalities, this was one of the things that made their marriage so very special; they were both open and willing to experience what was essential to the other. Most importantly, they are both from Philly! Wayne and Benita loved traveling and experiencing all the world had to offer, which was very important to both of them. They mainly took pleasure in cruising and exploring exotic destinations around the globe. Some of their most memorable trips were to Spain, France, and Bermuda. Wayne found nothing more enjoyable than spending time and traveling the world with his loving wife, Benita. Their usual routine on the weekends consisted of watching neo-soul and R&B music videos over breakfast while conversing on engaging topics.




Wayne was also a doting and loving father. He cherished the relationships and closeness he had with his daughter, Nia, and son, Marcellus. He was a very dedicated and involved father that took his children with him everywhere. It was of utmost importance that his children be well-rounded and have an appreciation for life. It wasn't uncommon to find Wayne crisscrossing Maryland on the weekends. Early Saturday mornings, he would get up to take Nia to play in a Lacrosse tournament but also somehow found the time and energy to drive to the other side of town to take and watch Marcellus play in a football game. Wayne was the epitome of a "Super Dad."


Some of Wayne's fondest memories were attending the cotillion his daughter, Nia participated in and seeing her not only graduate with a bachelor's degree. But, graduating with her master’s in business administration. He was ecstatic seeing Nia being initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc..


Wayne was also delighted when his son Marcellus decided to follow in his footsteps and become a brother of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Inc. at Saint Leo University before graduating college.


Wayne's love for the family didn't end there. The same passion and nurturing he gave to Nia and Marcellus he showed to Benita's sons, Blake and Julian. He embraced, accepted, and loved them both as if they were his very own. Wayne immediately took an active role in both of their lives through mentoring and engagement. He was proud of their many accomplishments, Specifically, Blake Jacksons' initiation into the College Park - Sandy Spring Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.


The Essence of Wayne Young: Friendship, “The Family That You Pick”


Wayne was known for having a tough exterior, but his heart was as big as they come at his core. At the same time, his relationship with his family was paramount. The many bonds and friendships he developed over the years were equally as important to him. He always said, "friends are the family you pick," with a philosophy of nurturing friendships through communication, engagement, and involvement.


If you ever needed someone to confide in, Wayne was your man. If you needed a loan, Wayne was your man. If you were down in the dumps about life, you could always count on Wayne to listen and be there to support you in your time of need.


Make a Donation Toward the Wayne E. Young Memorial Fund




Wayne had many hidden talents, one of which was his ability to sing. He loved serenading his family with beautiful music—his expansive music collection dated back to the '70s with hundreds of vinyl records to show. Wayne could find a song for any mood or occasion that could lift your spirit, and if you were lucky, you might have gotten to hear him sing.




Wayne only stood 5'9", but he was a giant amongst men, especially on the hardtop and rec center basketball courts of North, South, Southwest, and West Philadelphia. Wayne enjoyed playing basketball and had a house full of trophies to prove it. On any given day you could find Wayne playing in league tournaments and recreation centers all across Philly, from 3rd and Diamond to the courts in Fairmount Park in West Philly, and many of the neighborhoods in between. Wayne was a tough, gritty, hard-nosed player who didn't mind driving into the paint and pulling up, shooting his signature floater over much taller players. Whatever his team needed, Wayne could provide. He was a great two-way player and would get in your chest on defense and loved the challenge of defending the best offensive player on the opposing team. Wayne played in many leagues, including Philadelphia's Baker league, the Bell League, where Wayne won numerous championships and MVP awards. When Wayne first moved to Maryland, he went to the local recreation center in Laurel, MD, and started playing in the Laurel league. Not long after, Wayne brought home a league championship and MVP award. He loved competition, but even more than the competition, he loved the camaraderie and friendships he established on the court. With a passionate approach- basketball was played just like Wayne maneuvered through life. He left it all on the court.


Style & Cars


Wayne loved clothes and was known for dressing as he had just stepped out of the pages of a GQ magazine. Wayne loved wearing designer custom-fitted suits. Wayne was a frequent shopper at the exclusive Boyd's men's store located in Rittenhouse Square in downtown Philadelphia. Besides his love of fashion, Wayne also loved fast cars. Wayne's first car was a Nissan 280ZX Automatic with a T-Top. Wayne would proudly drive around the city with the T-Top off and the radio blaring while singing for the world to hear. Wayne loved sports cars. Some of his favorites over the years included a candy apple red BMW 3 Series Convertible, a metallic powder Blue BMW 3 Series Convertible with butter-soft cream leather interior, a Green Turbo Lexus SC430 convertible, a Black Mercedes S Class Convertible with red interior, and a fully loaded Range Rover HSE. The only time Wayne didn't have a sports car was when Nia and Marcellus were participating in team sports, so Wayne decided to trade in his Lexus SC430 for a Nissan Pathfinder that could take his children to their sporting events. Wayne was able to luxuriate in the finer things in life because he possessed an attitude of never giving up.




Wayne's zest for life and his love for family and friends was evident in everything he did. He was a man who was vocal with both his opinions and advice while at the same time being fair and measured with his delivery. Wayne was a man who stood by his word and always said, "your word is your bond." He was a straight shooter and unapologetic; he liked what he liked and lived his life to the fullest without any regrets. Wayne was relaxed and clearly understood himself and his abilities; he was also comfortable operating outside his comfort zone. Wayne was also a deep analytical thinker and believed in challenging the status quo.


Although Wayne lived boldly he enjoyed the simple things in life which consist of:

  • Hobbies: Some of his favorite things to do were singing soulful music, seeing movies weekly in the theatre, reciting parables, and being an avid collector of Marvel comic books. He also loved watching Marvel movies as soon as they hit the big screen.
  • Fellowship: Supporting local restaurants by "doing lunch" (typically at Red, Hot, and Blue) with the people he loved, playing scrabble, engaging in competitive games of chess, throwing, or attending social gatherings so that he could enjoy the company of his close friends and family.
  • Intellectual interests: Reading Greek mythology and studying cryptozoology (yes, Wayne Young believed Bigfoot is real!).


Family Legacy


Wayne truly did love his family and left a fantastic legacy for them to cherish and remember for years to come. He is survived by his loving wife Benita M. Young, his former wife Martha A. Young the mother of his adoring daughter, Nia S. Young and his son, Marcellus B. Young, his two stepsons, Blake C. Jackson and Julian P. Jackson, two God-sons, George Spann and Justin Sharp, and his cousin Vincent Barnett, and his wife Tracey Barnett, his nephew, Vincent S. Barnett III, His cousin Lydia C. Terry, His cousin Angel D. Payne, his cousin Huron Mon, and his wife, Monique Mon and their two sons Jaedon and Christian, his Fraternity brothers and a host of other cousins, aunts, and dear friends.

There will never be another like Wayne Eric Young, and we were all truly blessed for the time we had him.

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