Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 38

Hometown HEROES

By Jackie Kennedy

One tombstone
at a time
Shellman woman captures histories of veterans

I

JACKIE KENNEDY

When researching veterans, Flo Young
typically visits cemeteries in autumn, "when it
goes to getting cool and the weeds have died
down," she says. Young has identified veterans
in several unmarked graves, including some in
Cuthbert's Greenwood cemetery, shown here.

38

Georgia Magazine

November 2020

n an effort to glean the histories of local veterans from
their grave markers, Flo Young has trekked through at
least 60 cemeteries in Randolph County.
"But that's not all of them," says the 80-year-old Shellman resident. "I may not live long enough to get to all of
them."
It won't be for lack of trying.
"Flo Young is an avid genealogist with a specialty in
military records," says Cuthbert resident Karan Pittman,
who nominated Young as a Hometown Hero. "She travels to
cemeteries to document the veterans buried there, maintains cemetery records and researches each soldier. What
she does is both a service and a labor of love because she
wants to make certain that no veteran in Randolph County
goes unrecognized."
After retiring from her job as a bookkeeper at Curry
Farm Supply in Shellman, Young helped gather information that's now inscribed on the Randolph County Veterans
Memorial in her hometown. She routinely provides details
about local veterans for Memorial Day and Veterans Day
observances, and she shares her findings with the Randolph
County Historical Society.
With a book titled "Cemeteries of Randolph County" as
her guide, she scours graveyards in search of clues regarding military service. She says she has "no earthly idea" how
many veterans she's researched, but one thing's for certain:
She gets two sources to confirm her findings before recording data in notebooks documenting the local veterans.
"I have four or five three-ring binders filled with information," she says. "It's important to me that no veteran is
left out."
The great-granddaughter of two Civil War soldiers,
Young's heart for those who bore the burden of war beats
red, white and blue.
"It sometimes seems like the veterans, even today, are
looked down on," she laments. "They are all heroes to me."
When meeting a veteran, she's quick to introduce
herself and start a conversation.
"I know one when I see one by the way they carry
themselves, the way they talk, their mannerisms," she says.
"I'll ask, 'Are you a veteran?' And they'll click their heels
together and say, 'Yes, ma'am.'"
Jackie Kennedy is a freelance writer living in LaGrange.



Georgia Magazine - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - November 2020

Contents
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 8
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 9
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 10
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 11
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Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - 38
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - November 2020 - Cover4
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