The curtain rose on May 2nd in the year 1939. Some of the world was concerned about World War II, while sports fans were concerned with baseball. However, in the city of Ogeechee, Georgia, the big news was that John Henry Youmans, Sr. and his wife, Willie Mae’s excitement exploded at the birth of their firstborn son. None other than the bubbly, bouncy personality with a unique smile that could brighten any room — the man we all know and love as John Henry Youmans, Jr.
He was the oldest of six boys: David, Paul, George, Willie, and Mason, who all preceded him in death. He also had two bonus sisters, Laurette Bryant and Yvanne Bryant. John Henry showed his leadership qualities, beginning at age 11, when his dad passed away, leaving his mom as a widow with six young boys to raise. Making sure his brothers were in line, he became the protector and part provider after his mom decided to move back to Savannah, Georgia. John ruled his brothers as well as his cousins with an iron fist while the adults worked. After leaving Savannah and living in New York for two years, John lived in Florida for many years before making Cincinnati his home.
John believed in the powerful presence of God. He was baptized at an early age, sang with a gospel group, and his favorite scripture was Psalms 23. He was always known to be a hard worker. His pastime was boxing in the neighborhood, and he won every fight until he ran into the neighborhood champion, Richard Bradley.
He was a well-rounded man who loved life and enjoyed traveling and experiencing new things. He loved fishing and blues music. He earned a double black belt in karate and his hands were listed as registered weapons. Later, he decided to teach for many years. He was a loving husband, daredevil, protector, teacher, confidant, friend, excellent father, grand-father, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather. He was a constant support and an incredible provider. He was a man filled with integrity whose presence made the lives of anyone around him better.
John leaves to cherish his memory: his devoted and loving wife, Evangeline; six children, Denise Flowers-Miller, Raymond Chambers, James Chambers (Karen), Rebecca (deceased), Erica Smith (Stanley) and John H. Youmans III (Monaeja); a special nephew, Joe Hadley “Joe Man”; fifteen grandchildren, twenty great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
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