A life-long native of Atlanta, Robert C. “Bob” Young died peacefully in his sleep on Christmas Eve with his family by his side.
Born December 29, 1939 to Henry and Rosa Young, Bob grew up in East Lake and graduated from Murphy High School, Davidson College and Emory Law School. He served with the US Army in Germany as an artillery officer. He met his future wife, Emmakate “Kit” (née Moore) while working on Charlie Weltner’s political campaign. Kit and Bob were married in Saratoga Springs, NY in 1969.
Bob practiced law for approximately 20 years (first at Jones, Bird & Howell and later at Alston & Bird), after which he formed a real estate asset management firm. In 1996, following an extreme illness, Bob effectively retired, dedicating his time to Habitat for Humanity among other causes. During his life he was also involved in the St. Vincent de Paul Society and volunteered in various capacities at Sacred Heart Church in Atlanta.
Bob was memorable to all who met him. His captivating rich, baritone voice and southern drawl are the first things many think of when hearing Bob’s name. He loved to sit by a fire and harmonize old spirituals with family and friends. If you spent any time with Bob, you knew his love of conversation and his capacity for hilarious storytelling. Bob’s quick wit and repartee were the heart of many belly-aching laughs at family gatherings over the decades. He lent this gift as a volunteer reader for the Georgia Radio Reading Service for the visually impaired.
Bob was a loving husband and father, and a proud grandfather. He was a constant cheerleader and supporter of his children, from sports, to performances, to careers, to life. His voice boomed at Grady High School sporting events for nearly 15 years straight and Northwestern and Mizzou soccer games after that. His encouraging nature extended beyond his own children, and many of their friends also considered Bob a friend.
Bob was a patron of the fine arts in a literal sense. He loved color and beauty, collecting and displaying vibrant works of art. He appreciated great literature and poetry, much of which he could recite from memory, and traveled to museum galleries to attend special exhibits of his favorite artists. He particularly loved opera and would don a tuxedo to sneak in after intermission before he could afford tickets. Later, he was a regular “extra” in performances by the Metropolitan Opera when the touring company visited Atlanta. He and Kit were season ticket holders at the Alliance Theater, regulars at the High Museum of Art and early supporters of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Bob was a board member of the Theatrical Outfit. He also expressed his love of the arts through his lifelong dabbling in painting, sculpting and pottery.
Bob was full of curiosity and wonder. He taught his children to poke around in coastal tide pools in search of sea urchins and starfish, to appreciate a Blue Ridge Mountain sunrise, to seek knowledge and never stop learning. He saw travel as a true gift and an opportunity to experience new cultures and discover our shared humanity. He seemed born to “putter”, as he liked to call it, spending years at his mountain cabin doing chores, starting projects, creating artwork, and just happily puttering around. He took up cooking later in life and reveled in the parallels to his art. He had a generous soul, and loved to open his life and home to others. He felt blessed to have been born on this earth and never once expressed being “bored.” He will be greatly missed.
He is survived by his wife Kit, sons Croft (Amy) of New York City, Martin (Kristin), Peden (Liz), daughter Emmakate, all of Atlanta, and seven grandchildren; his younger sister Rosa McNairy (Bill) of Greensboro, NC and younger brother J. Richard “Dick” Young of Atlanta; he was predeceased by his older brother Henry L. Young, Jr. of Atlanta.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made in Bob’s honor to Habitat for Humanity of Atlanta or the St. Vincent de Paul Society at the Basilica of Sacred Heart. A. S. Turner & Sons, Decatur, GA.