By Clint Parker
Woodfin – He had been Woodfin’s guiding hand over the last 18 years helping to shape the town, but last week, on March 10, Jason Young, Woodfin’s Town Administrator for nearly two decades, passed away. Young was at almost every Woodfin Town Commissioner meeting for the last 18 years, behind every event planned, developing policies and handling problems.
Members of the Woodfin Board of Town Commissioners made it clear how much Young, 48, did for the town – to impact the town’s direction and be a promoter of the township to businesses looking for a place to locate and to individuals and families looking for a community to call home.
“The Town of Woodfin suffered a tremendous loss last week with the passing of our Town Administrator, Jason Young,” Mayor Jerry VeHaun told the Tribune. “Jason had led the Town through a lot of progress and always did his best to see that all sides of any issue were heard and more importantly were listened to. Jason will be greatly missed on a daily basis by all who knew and worked with him. He had a wonderful family and they will long be remembered through our thoughts and prayers.”
Woodfin Town Commissioner Don Hensley said, “Jason, in his time at the Town of Woodfin, did more to shape Woodfin, past, present and future than any one person has ever done. His love for Woodfin and its people will never be forgotten.”
“I also am very sorry to hear of Jason’s passing, Town Commissioner Don Honeycutt told the Tribune. “He was always looking out for the town and put in a lot of extra time and energy, making sure things got done. He was a fighter until the end, and the last meeting was the only town meeting that he had ever missed. His quick wit, mischievous little smile, and all the different jobs he has done for the town are all going to be greatly missed by not only me but a lot of other citizens and friends as well.”
Town Commissioner Debbie Giezentanner said of Young, “The Town of Woodfin lost a very special friend and supporter on Monday evening. Jason Young, our Town Manager, was wickedly smart, articulate, political, insightful and was competitive and loyal in everything Woodfin. He enjoyed a good debate- in person or on Facebook and was an animal rights supporter way before it became popular. He loved and appreciated his many friends, but what he loved most was his family,” she said. “Jason Young fought the good fight against cancer and if his mind could have won over his body, he would have succeeded. He will be missed.”
Business owners in Woodfin echoed the sentiments of town officials about the impact that Young had in the town. “I really appreciated Jason. I’ve known him quite a few years,” Rocky Hollifield, owner of the Craggy Mountain Railroad, said upon learning of Young’s passing. “He was definitely a great friend of the Craggy Mountain Line. He was a blessing to us and he is very much going to be missed. We pray that the Lord will comfort his family and they will be in our prayers.” Hollifield also mentioned that Young was instrumental in obtaining two of the latest rail cars that are now part of the collection in Woodfin.
Town of Woodfin Planning and Zoning Board Chairman Kenneth Razza also had nothing but praise for Young, said, “Young always made the choice to do the right thing, not the easy thing. I recall meeting him early in his career as the Woodfin Town Manager. He steered me through my roles on the Planning and Zoning Board and the ABC Board. Our boards never felt unprepared at any meeting and rarely was a question asked that Jason did not already have the answer. Over time Jason became my friend and I will truly miss him. And most certainly, the Town of Woodfin will miss his professionalism and wisdom. Thank you, Jason.”
“It is with great sadness that I received word of the passing of Woodfin Town Administrator Jason Young following a continued battle with illness,” said former Woodfin employee and current Weaverville Town Planner James Eller. “For those such as myself who were fortunate enough to have been included in the life of Mr. Young, it comes as no surprise that he was able to carry the fight with the disease he had encountered for as long as possible given the nature with which he approached his professional life and commitment to his family, friends, colleagues. I owe a genuine debt of gratitude to Mr. Young who, for the eight and a half years I was employed by the Town of Woodfin, provided an employee every opportunity to succeed being supplied with his advice, encouragement, guidance and security. I believe it to be an incredible loss, not only for the Town of Woodfin for which Mr. Young worked so diligently, but for all of north Buncombe County that we have lost such an able and dedicated public servant before his time.”