The world lost an incredible man this past Father’s Day. He died surrounded by family members expressing love and gratitude for his amazing life. For over six years he had suffered from the effects of Alzheimer’s. Among the many wonderful stories, expressions of support, and words of wisdom offered me by my father-in-law George Yowell, here are three that stand out:
- “Do we really want to pass a deficit budget?”
- “Why don’t I just take Hal Wilson to the Pancake Pantry for breakfast and see if he would like to donate his building on Indiana?”
- To the Chief Operating Officer of the YMCA when PTM was considering a request to become a YMCA agency: “as long as Chan is the Executive Director of PTM, I will personally meet any budget shortfall that PTM may incur”.
George got involved with PTM in the Fall of 1999, when the organization was less than two years old. He became an afterschool volunteer and soon after a board member. He used his influence gained from positions of leadership in the business, faith and non-profit communities to build support for PTM—and to help lay a foundation for an organization that could last. With great hope, he led in PTM’s efforts to move from borrowed space in a deteriorating church fellowship hall to what is now the “Hal and Martha Wilson Center”, a wonderful space used by over 100 youth each week. George demonstrated incredible generosity in personal gifts offered to PTM and in encouraging others to give. In addition to his leadership, he has been personally involved as an afterschool volunteer, a special event participant, and an annual marketplace mentor. He has also recruited over 20 marketplace mentors to volunteer with Springbreak in the Marketplace. He and his wife, Norene, have been instrume
ntal in the life and growth of PTM. They were honored together in 2012 with PTM’s Hal Wilson Award for extraordinary hope, ability to see potential, encouragement of others, generosity, and emphasis on Christian growth.
More than these incredible contributions to PTM, George took a personal interest in me and mentored me in many areas of non-profit management. He opened doors for me to walk through in conversations with friends who have advanced the cause of PTM and helped develop me as a leader. Even more significant in my life than support of PTM and professional development has been the privilege and joy of being part of his family. With great gratitude to God, I remember his well-lived life and cherish the opportunities I have had to spend with him and his amazing family.
To learn more about the impact George Yowell has made on communities in Richmond, VA and Nashville, here is a link to his obituary.