A Life Lived: Darlene Guinn Young’s legacy will be kindness, compassion

Published 1:01 pm Tuesday, January 18, 2022

BY ROZELLA HARDIN
Editorial Director
rozella.hardin@elizabethton.com
Within the last couple of years, we have lost several members of our STAR family – Jack Campbell, Bob Bowling, Harvey Prichard, Greg Miller, and Carolyn Honeycutt, just to name a few. And, this past weekend – Darlene Guinn Young, who worked for a number of years as a STAR salesperson, died from COVID.
If you wanted to buy advertisement in the STAR, Darlene was your go-to person. She valued her clients, gave them preferential treatment, and made sure they got the best deal – and ad placement.
“There was only one Darlene. She took care of her clients. She wanted her ads to be perfect. She made sure it was done the way she wanted, and she would stay with you until it was done,” said Judy Richardson, who worked for several years in composing.
Judy noted that sometime because of Darlene’s “pickiness,” others often became aggravated with her. But, they soon learned that Darlene wasn’t going away until her ad was done the way she wanted it. “She was very meticulous and particular when it came to serving her clients,” Judy said.
She also shared that Darlene was a very caring person. Judy participated in Darlene’s funeral Sunday evening, reading the poem “Fields of Joy,” which spoke about the gift of friendship, and it being a gift from God. “Darlene was not only a work friend, but she was a true friend. No matter what, we were there for each other. Some of the best people I know came from the STAR. We were family. And, when one passes, it is as if we’ve lost a member of our family,” she shared.
Members of the STAR family often shared time together outside the STAR office. Judy recalled that she and Darlene, Darlene’s daughter, Beth, and co-worker Janie McKinney enjoyed a trip to the beach. “On our way to the beach, we stopped at a redlight, and this young boy, standing nearby looked at Darlene and said, ‘you’re ugly.’ She looked him in the eye, and said, ‘Your mama dresses you funny.’ Of course, we all had a good laugh, but it seemed Darlene was always the one others picked on, making it easy to love her,” said Judy.
Another co-worker, who worked closely with Darlene was Phyllis Davis. who also did ads. “She was a good ad person. She could get on your nerves, especially when she would be late with an ad or wanted to change it at the last moment. She often would call me ‘Mama.’” said Phyllis. “When I became aggravated with her, I would threaten to put her up for adoption.”
She, too, agreed with Judy that Darlene was a very giving person, did her job well, and loved her children. “She would give you the clothes off her back,” said Phyllis.
Darlene often came to work early and stayed late to make sure her clients were well-served.
Patsy Johnson, another co-worker and friend of Darlene, shared that the first time she met Darlene was when she was in business selling balloons. “I and a friend had Balloonatics in Johnson City, and Darlene approached us about buying an ad in the STAR. We were really busy, and she put down her pocketbook and writing pad, and said, ‘Let me help you.’ That was the beginning of a long friendship,” said Patsy, who later came to work at the STAR as receptionist and at the end of her employment served as Publisher Frank Robinson’s administrative assistant.
“There was not anything Darlene would do for others. She was a doer, a giver. She was one of those people, who would walk a mile to help someone,” said Patsy.
“The last time, we really talked to each other was on Dec. 23. We talked briefly again on Christmas Eve and a final time on the Sunday before she died. She was unable to talk very much, but smiled at me via FaceTime. That phone visit was worth a million dollars to me,” said Patsy.
Darlene’s husband, Jerry Dean Young, died just a couple of days before she did. He, too, had COVID.
Someone has said that “Even the smallest act of caring for another person is like a drop of water – it will make ripples throughout the entire pond.” Certainly, Darlene Guinn Young caused a lot of ripples during her lifetime just by being kind and caring. R.I.P. Darlene, we love you and have good memories of our STAR days together.

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