Remembrances of Clyde Young from His Family

October 29, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


A memorial for Clyde Young (Wayne Webb) was held in Chicago on Saturday, October 18. The following are remembrances from Clyde's family members at the memorial. His family called him Chuck—a nickname he had since he was young.

Excerpt from remembrance from Chuck's wife:

Chuck and I met in 1982 when we were both part of building for a May Day demonstration. The movie Reds had come out shortly before this. Reds is the story of John Reed, an American who was a witness to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and authored the book 10 Days That Shook the World about that revolution. The movie is also a love story about John Reed and Louise Bryant (played by Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton) set against the backdrop of these historic world changes.

I remember discussing this film with Chuck shortly after we met. I told him I liked it very much but not all that LOVE STUFF. Chuck was stunned when I told him I didn’t think there was such a thing as love and argued vociferously that I was very wrong.

I quickly learned how wrong I was about this. Chuck and I fell head over heels in love and over more than 30 years that love grew only stronger and stronger. And it, too, was a set against a backdrop of tumult and turmoil not yet of actual revolution, but of us, together with many others, building a movement for revolution, preparing for the time when we can make revolution here.

Chuck had a deep passion for a revolution and also deep passion in love.

We shared weal and woe together.

During the past year and a half Chuck was very sick. Every time he was hospitalized I would move into the room with him. I learned so much from him as he fought from his hospital bed to live the social relations we want to bring into being after the revolution. He struggled with various medical professionals from that perspective.

Chuck had an incredible thirst for knowledge. He was a self-taught intellectual and his intellectual curiosity never dampened. He loved to spend hours with my father, a philosophy professor, grappling with questions of ethics, religion, and more. He learned from my father and my father, in turn, learned a lot from him. Chuck was so looking forward to attending the upcoming dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West on Revolution and Religion—the fight for emancipation and the role of religion. We both talked about how we wished my father was still alive because he would have loved to attend this. Shortly before he died Chuck told me he really hoped some members of his family would attend this dialogue.

Chuck was so happy to be able to attend the wedding of my youngest son last fall. He was quite ill at the time and had to be wheel-chaired through the airport.

Chuck loved music and loved to sing. For this memorial I compiled a mix tape of some of Chuck’s favorite songs that was playing as people came into the memorial. There are copies here for people who want it. If more are needed please let me know.

Marrying Chuck brought me into his large extended family. We spent almost every Thanksgiving for the past 30 years with them in Indianapolis. And every Thanksgiving there would be hours and hours of chess between Chuck and our brother-in-law. I was so moved when, after Chuck’s death, his family invited me to “come home” for Thanksgiving. 

As it says up online, just before he died, Chuck was starting to feel better and looking forward to renewed health and the ability to fully contribute to the revolution. No one expected him to die suddenly like he did.

I miss him terribly. He was my comrade, my lover and my best friend. The outpouring of love and support from all corners has been extraordinary. His death was also a real blow to the revolution. Many more people, especially people who came up hard like Chuck, need to step forward to fill his shoes.

A final point—When I was growing up and I would tell my mother about some new boyfriend her first question was always, “Does he have a sense of humor?” As everyone who knew Chuck knows—Chuck had a very deep and wonderful sense of humor. Our marriage was full of joy and laughter. Let’s remember Chuck today not only with tears of sorrow for our loss but let's also celebrate his life with joy and laughter.


Remembrance from Chuck's sister-in-law:

Some of my thoughts about Chuck

One of the nice things about a sad time like this, is that it gives all of us the opportunity to get to know Chuck from a number of different perspectives because we all hold different memories of him. I know him as my brother-in-law. I first met Chuck in 1982. I wouldn’t have guessed at that time that Chuck would be part of our family for nearly 32 years. I learned early on that Chuck had strong feelings about the importance of family. My sister has always been driven and dedicated to her political work and at that time she seemed very distant from our family. That changed when she and Chuck got together and I think he helped her see that it’s possible to work on the revolution and still spend time with family. I am grateful for Chuck’s quiet influence on my sister in this way.

Another thing that pretty quickly became apparent about Chuck was his great sense of humor. Many years ago I visited my sister and Chuck in Detroit and one of many fond memories I have of that visit was when Chuck took me to the Motown Museum. There was a lot of talk and build-up before we actually made it there. At that time Chuck had been learning a lot about photography and he decided that we should do a photo shoot of me at the Museum. Right in the place where so many of the greats of the Motown sound recorded their first hits. But not without first dressing me up appropriately for our field trip. The resulting photos found me in a series of poses in this historic spot wearing dark sunglasses, a black gangster lid and a black T-shirt with the caption that read “Detroit, attitude capitol of the world.”

Chuck had a very special connection with my father and they often sat for hours discussing philosophy, politics and the best brand of shoes to wear to prevent slipping on wet sidewalks. If my father were alive I am certain he would be here today telling you the story about how Chuck nearly missed his own wedding. Chuck and my father were going to drive together to the wedding and Chuck was never one to be rushed. Except perhaps when he had an important writing project with a deadline, then he would usually wait until the last minute and stay up all night long to work on it. The way my father told it, he and Chuck were already running late and still needed to stop at a store for some additional items. My father, who was also not the quickest guy at getting out the door, was anxious about leaving and worried they might be late. In spite of my father’s anxiety, Chuck chose this time to calmly hang up his laundry.

I don’t think anyone can question the fact that my sister and Chuck have been completely devoted to one another and committed to their work and vision of the world as a better place. Chuck had so many struggles with his health and never seemed to waver in his perseverance to keep pushing on, through one medical challenge after another while maintaining an attitude that many of us would find hard to hold onto. I love Chuck and will really miss him. I love him for the way he loved my sister, her children, my parents and our family.  I’ll miss him for his gentle way of singing, his mischievous sense of humor and his warm heart. And, I will miss him mostly for the hole he leaves in my sister’s life—his wife and best friend who has been there at his side and he at hers for the last 32 years.


From one of Chuck’s sisters (which she expounded upon at the memorial in Chicago):

I saw the website. I am so proud of my brother. I am so proud to know that he spent his life supporting a cause that he believed in. I wish that I could have told him just how proud of him that I am. He should be in our history books. He is a legend. He will be strongly missed.

[When asked if her words could be posted at, she replied:] You are more than welcome to put the text I sent you in the paper. Also please let all the people know that came to the funeral that they made me feel so loved and also that I could see how much they love and miss my brother. Let them know that I felt his presence and could sense that he wished that he could be there to see all of us come together. Please let my brother’s comrades and friends know that they must not let what my brother supported and dedicated his life to fall by the wayside because he is gone.


Excerpt of statement from Chuck’s stepsons:

There was love. He loved us and we loved him. His politics, his life’s work were meaningless to us at eight years old. What was meaningful was the way he could read our minds, empathize with us and understand things we didn’t even know about ourselves. His empathy was his defining characteristic. As a stepfather there was no mystery... that twinkle in his right eye and that sly smile will be with us forever as a stepfather. He taught the world with his words, thoughts and actions, he taught us to be better men with his love for our mother... we love you and miss you.


Remembrance from Chuck’s cousin:

I remember one time he arranged for a talent show at prison. I went along but wasn’t in the show. Chuck and a few others gave a few talks. I thought it was boring. I turned on some music and ran out on stage and danced my butt off. I thought I was a movie star. Chuck was upset but I had those men clapping, they were very happy. Chuck couldn’t stay mad. He laughed so hard and said cuz if you gave some of that fight to the struggle, you’d be a good revolutionary.

I remember one time I saw him driving down the street. I was about 13 and he was about 15. I asked him to let me ride—had to argue with him. He let me get in. I was a block from home. He took me home, kicked me out and took off. I went in the house, turned on the TV and there Chuck was on TV. The car was stolen. He was determined I wasn’t going to be involved in that situation.

I remember when my son ran away to Atlanta. He got a job and took care of himself but one time he was at the laundry someone stole his clothes. I called Chuck and told him and he said I got him. I said I don’t know where he lives and he said again I got him. Next thing I knew Chuck found him, gave him some money and bought him new clothes. I always wondered how he found him in that big Atlanta but that was Chuck.

I remember a time when I wanted to go to a party but my parents wouldn’t let me go unless Chuck went with me. They told him what time I was to be home but I took advantage of this situation. We would be an hour late. Chuck said you are going to get me in trouble--please come. He begged, so I agreed. I knew I could get him to do anything I wanted. I laughed, "scardy cat let’s go home."

I remember I tried to teach him how to dance but Chuck had 2 left feet–no style–no soul. I used to say, "Why yo move so awkward? He say, ‘I’m moving, you think I got it now?" I said, "No you ain’t got it and will never get it!” He just laughed that big laugh. He laughed out loud.

Me and Chuck were more like sister and brother than first cousins. He said that about a year ago. You are more like a sister than a cousin. I said, “You just realizing that?” We just laughed and told each other how much we loved one another.

I got to tell him the Friday before he passed how much I loved him and he said, "I love you, too. I appreciate everything you have done for me." But even in his passing he still did something for me. He left me his other half, his beautiful wife. So when I see and talk with her I feel his presence.

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