Wilmer Terry Young

February 3, 2021

CHARLOTTE - Wilmer Terry Young, 90, passed away on Wednesday, February 3, 2021, in Vero Beach, Florida. Born and raised in Charleston, West Virginia, he graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School and the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Architecture. He was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. In 1953, Terry married Frances Weimer Thompson and had four children he loved dearly. Frances passed away in 1997. Terry married Nancy Underwood in 1998, and became an adored step father to her three children.

In 1954, Terry was commissioned in the US Army, served 19 months in Korea and was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal. After his army service, he went to work for Alex Schoenbaum, founder of Shoney’s restaurants. Terry served as Executive Vice President of Shoney’s South Inc. and Vice President of Real Estate and Development for Shoney’s South, Inc.

A man of deep faith, Terry’s dream of changing his career at 50 years old came true when he retired from Shoney’s and began working for the Presbyterian Church Foundation. When the Southern Presbyterian Church voted to merge with the Northern Presbyterian Church in 1983, Terry became President of the combined Presbyterian Church Foundation, one of his greatest honors and callings. After retiring from this position in 1989, he continued with the church in a volunteer capacity, serving as Chairman of the Presbyterian Church Board Foundation.   He was a deacon and elder at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte. He was also a member of the Community Church in Vero Beach, Florida.

Another dream was fulfilled when the Wee Kirk Church in Linville, NC, was again open and having services, after sitting empty for 36 years. Terry and Frances assisted with the reopening of this beloved place of worship.

Terry loved Linville, Charlotte and Vero Beach, and believed in giving back to those communities. Involvements in Charlotte included: Kate B. Reynolds Health Care Trust, Queens University Board, Davidson College Board of Visitors, Warren Wilson College Advisory Board, Planned Parenthood Board, United Way, InReach’s Few Good Men and the Board of Union Theological Seminary. In Vero Beach, he served on the Riverside Theatre Board, the ARC and the John’s Island Club Board, being President in 1995-1997. In Linville, he was active with the Wee Kirk Church.

A man of high energy and zest for life, Terry was a passionate golfer, bridge and tennis player. He enjoyed these activities at Charlotte Country Club, Linville Golf Club, John’s Island Club and Quail Valley Golf Club. Other passions included piloting his own plane, riding his custom tricycle around the John’s Island campus, and boating. His boat, The Bucket List, presented many adventures and mishaps – the mishaps were rarely shared with his wife. As he was fond of saying, “there are those captains who have run aground and those captains who shall run aground.”

Terry is survived by his children and step children: Nancy Young Wechsler (Gregg), David Young, Susan Young Cunningham and Steven Young (Lori); Kyle Underwood Shive (Andrew), David Underwood and N. Kathryn Underwood. Grandchildren are Katie and Kyle Young, Amanda and Jacob Young, Austin and Thompson Cunningham, Ashley Wechsler; David and Abbie Walker, Harrison and John David Melton. Terry was predeceased by his parents, wife Frances and granddaughter Jennifer Young.

Memorials may be made to the Scholarship Fund in honor of W. Terry Young at Union Presbyterian Seminary; 3401 Brook Rd; Richmond, Virginia 23227.

A service will be held later in the summer of 2021 in Charlotte, NC.

Arrangements are in the care of Kenneth W. Poe Funeral & Cremation Service, 1321 Berkeley Ave., Charlotte, NC; 28204 (704) 641-7606. Online condolences can be shared at www.kennethpoeservices.com.

Share your memories & condolences


  • Delores Jones

    Nancy, Joe and I were sorry to hear about Terry. So glad you had so many years together. Thinking of you and your family.
    Delores Jones

  • Bob and Dora Brown

    David, Susan, Steven: Please know our prayers are with you at this time of your father's death.
    He and your mother Frances and Grandmother Evelyn were dear friends of Dora Lee's mother at Southminster Retirement Community.
    Your parents invited your grandmother to bring her friends to Vero Beach,FL. We admire Terry's example as an architect which inspired the three of you in the construction field.
    We represent your many friends at 2210 Roswell Ave, Charlotte,NC who are grateful for the Young Family. We are thankful for the life of Terry Young.
    Bob and Dora Lee Brown

  • Ken Sipes

    We were saddened to hear of the passing of our friend from years gone by. Terry and I go back multiple decades to the days when he was on the Board of Directors of Florence Crittenton Services, in Charlotte, while also serving as Board President and Treasurer for a number of years. He assisted the organization admirably and it was my delight to get to know him personally through that association. One extremely fond memory, of many, was playing golf with him up at Grandfather Mountain. His skills on the course were far greater than mine but I had help from an unanticipated source. For most of the 18 holes, the fog was so heavy that it was extremely difficult follow to follow the ball. Having drives that were rather short allowed me to keep my ball in sight whereas Terry lost quite a few strokes even while staying in the fairway due to lost shots. While we did not have the opportunity for much contact in recent years, I always valued our friendship and the fine example he set for others in his volunteer work and commitment to lifting up those less fortunate.

  • Deborah Barringer

    Our deepest sympathy and sincere sense of grief for your loss to the family and friends of our dear Terry Young. I have dreaded the day where he would not be here to cheer and guide us. He was our mentor, cheerleader, and he expected us to do our job. He was my boss and friend at the Presbyterian Foundation. Tough and tender! An outsider looking in, I got to know each family member through Terry and Frances. You all were wildly loved and he was so proud. When he met and married Nancy, he was like a young man again.

    Terry Young as I always called him has been an inspiration to John and to me for many years. A part of him will live on in our hearts.
    Deborah Barringer