Former South Carolina Congressman Ed Young dies at 96

Former SC Congressman Ed Young celebrates his 95th birthday in the pilot's seat. (Image Source: News13's Taylor Herlong)

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) – Former South Carolina Congressman Ed Young has died. The former state representative passed away Tuesday, according to the Florence County Coroner’s Office.

According to Florence County Deputy Coroner Bo Myers, the coroner’s office received notification that Edward Young died on May 9. Young was 96-years-old.

Young not only served as a South Carolina Congressman, but he was also a World War II veteran, Sunday School teacher, and had a passion for flying.

Representative Tom Rice issued the following statement Wednesday:

“When I first ran for Congress I sought his advice and the words that he offered I will forever cherish. Two stick out in my mind everyday: ‘character matters,’ he told me. He was a man of the finest character and was one of the kindest men I have ever known. I will be forever grateful for his wisdom and support.”

Young was a fighter pilot in World War II and celebrated his 95th birthday by piloting a flight with help from the Florence airport staff.

Young was born in Florence and served in politics for more than two decades after graduating from Clemson University in 1941.

Ebenezer Baptist Church Pastor David Wike says Ed Young was more than a mentor. Young helped him grow as a pastor and expand the church in size and range.

“He was one of my greatest encouragers and it’s going to be hard, “said Wike .“He’s always wanted to reach people. He wants to see Ebenezer as a beacon. I think with his voice, voicing that in this church it’s been… such a blessing. It’s a voice we will miss.”

The Young family has come to the church for generations.

“This church was part of his heart,” said Wike.

When Young came back from WWII he helped rebuild the church and started a Sunday school class for young married couples.

“He’s been the teacher up until now. He had help from time to time but he very much is the glue that held that class together,” he said.

Wike explained Young was at the forefront of developing West Florence, especially in the Oakdale community over the last 50 years.

“I would say he impacted thousands upon thousands of lives. But I wish I had another 96 with him. I’ll be honest,” said Wike. “He lived a life worth remembering. In that, I think there is a cause for celebration.”

Pastor Wike said Young will be laid to rest on Friday at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.