A look of surprise spread across Mandii Waugh’s face, and she leaned against Larry Delbridge, who pulled her into an embrace after he announced a total of $7,000 had been raised in memory of her slain fiancé, Timothy Wayne Youngquist.
Overcome with emotion, Waugh told the cheering crowd Saturday night at the Towne Grill & Pub in Joppatowne that she and Youngquist’s 5-year-old son appreciated the support.
“Thank you to everybody,” she said as Delbridge, co-owner of the restaurant, placed his arm around her shoulders as restaurant patrons and employees applauded again.
The announcement came at the end of a roughly three-hour fundraiser at the restaurant, coordinated by the owners of Towne Grill & Pub — Delbridge, his wife, Linda and son, Brad — and the neighboring New Chinese Boys restaurant. Both are in the Joppatowne Plaza shopping center.
A memorial service for Youngquist, 34, is Tuesday at the Joppa-Magnolia fire hall, 1403 Old Mountain Road South in Joppa.
Youngquist, a Joppa resident, had been making deliveries for the Chinese restaurant as a way to earn extra money to help support his fiance and their son. He was making deliveries the night of Feb. 10 when he was fatally shot.
Harford County Sheriff’s Office deputies who responded at 8:30 p.m. to the 700 block of Monticecello Court in Edgewood found Youngquist on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound. Deputies tried to save him, but he was pronounced dead at a local hospital, according to the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page.
Police, who were told three males were seen running away, searched the area but did not find any suspects. The investigation remains open; anybody who has information should call 443-409-3546.
The amount raised Saturday — which grew to more than $7,200 when Larry Delbridge received additional contributions after his announcement — came from money deposited in cash jars, a raffle of items donated by multiple area businesses, personal contributions from patrons and a percentage of sales that night.
“It hits all of us,” Delbridge said of the homicide. “You see it on TV, but when it’s in your own neighborhood it takes on a different meaning.”
The restaurant opened in Joppatowne in 2006. It was called Grill Sensations and initially operated by Brad Delbridge at the same location as the present-day establishment. Larry became partners with his son, and the family opened Towne Grill & Pub in 2013.
Larry Delbridge is a retired Sheriff’s Office captain who worked for the agency’s Correctional Services Bureau in the county jail. Towne Grill & Pub has hosted a number of fundraisers for people in the community in need.
“This business, for me, it’s not all about dollars,” Delbridge said. “It’s about being a good neighbor, and that’s what creates these things — that’s what created this place.”
Donations have also been coming in online via a GoFundMe page, https://www.gofundme.com/b9dja8-rip-tim-youngquist.
Waugh, 28, said she “would be in a very dark place right now” without the community’s support.
“I want to say, ‘Thank you’ to as many people as I can, because without them I’d still be in that dark place,” she said.
Waugh must move forward and care for herself and her son after the sudden loss of a man she has known for eight years. They met when she was working at the Burger King restaurant on Route 924 south of Bel Air.
“When you looked at his eyes, you could see that he had such a kind soul and had such a good heart,” Waugh recalled Saturday night.
She and Youngquist, who had been a couple for seven years, referred to each other as husband and wife.
“To me that was my husband, just not any [marriage] ceremony or court papers involved,” Waugh said.
Youngquist, at the time of his passing, had been doing any type of work he could to support his family. He lost his job as a computer repairman when the Maryland Computer Store — which is in the same block as Towne Grill & Pub and New Chinese Boys — closed in mid-2018.
Waugh said she and Youngquist planned to start a family computer business.
He would take on odd jobs for people who needed mechanical or technology repairs, had been working for the Carmelo’s restaurant in Glen Burnie and was even preparing to start work at a Royal Farms store in Glen Burnie. Youngquist, his fiance, son and dog had been living at the home of his foster mother, Shawn Berry, since Dec. 31.
Berry said Youngquist, then 12 and a friend of her son, came to live with her family when she was living in Elkridge. He lived with the Berry family until he moved out in 2012, she said.
“Tim is just someone who is very handy,” Berry said, noting she still talks about him in the present tense.
Joppa resident Charlotte Winder, who knew of Youngquist’s reputation as an electronics repairman, volunteered during Saturday’s fundraiser.
“It’s overwhelming, it is the biggest fundraiser that the pub has ever had,” Winder said. “The community has really stepped up.”
Berry described Youngquist as a “very warm-hearted soul” who loved animals.
“From a very young age, he was very charismatic, very handsome, somebody who has a heart of gold,” Berry said.
Zhenwei Chen, who owns and operates New Chinese Boys with his family, said he let Youngquist pick up some extra shifts delivering food after the computer store closed. Chen 31, said Youngquist had been a customer of his restaurant, plus he helped Chen when he had computer problems.
“He always tried to help you fix those little issues,” Chen said. “That’s why, when he came to me, I didn’t hesitate [to help].”
Night of Feb. 10
Chen said he or another family member usually delivers orders, and that it could have been him out on the night of Feb. 10.
“It could have been anybody — it’s horrible,” Linda Delbridge said, noting members of her family or other Towne Grill & Pub employees make deliveries, too.
Waugh said “it’s always a chance” something could have happened to her fiance while he was making deliveries, but not “in this way, such a mean way.”
“I never thought I would have to say, ‘My fiancé was murdered,’ ” she added.
Chen said he sent Youngquist on two deliveries Feb. 10. He said an hour and 20 minutes went by, and Youngquist had not returned yet. A call for another order came in, and Chen began calling Youngquist but could not reach him.
He thought, at first, that a tire had blown on Youngquist’s vehicle. The second customer on Youngquist’s delivery route reported they received their order, but that an incident had also happened nearby.
Sheriff’s Office deputies contacted Chen at the restaurant and told him about the shooting, he said.
Waugh, Younquist’s fiance, said she learned about a shooting in Edgewood through the Joppatowne Online Community Facebook group. She said Younquist sent her a text message telling her he loved her shortly before 8:30 p.m. that night.
She realized that Youngquist was the shooting victim as more information was reported on the Facebook group, such as that a New Chinese Boys delivery driver was involved.
“I was like, no, that’s my husband!” Waugh recalled posting on Facebook.
She said police showed up at her home a short time later. Waugh recalled having to identify his body a few days later — she was accompanied by family and friends.
“I didn’t want to believe it when I saw him,” she said. “I just kept screaming at him to wake up.”
Waugh praised law enforcement officials for providing support for her and her son, such as grief counseling. She said her son “looks up to the sky when he wants to talk to Daddy.”
“He said he wants to be a cop so he can catch murderers,” Waugh said.
Eric Gray, 29, of Joppa, had been a friend of Youngquist’s, as well as a customer when the latter worked at the computer store. Gray continued to seek out Younguist’s technical services even after the store closed, and the pair had mutual interests in technology, anime and video games.
Gray, who has cerebral palsy, said technology is “an equalizer of sorts, because the things you do in a digital space aren’t limited by your disability.”
He said Younquist showed him that working in the IT field can be fun, and inspired him to earn a certification to work on computers — Gray said he is studying for his exam.
“So that I can step forward and help the community in similar ways that [Youngquist] did,” Gray said of earning his certification.
He said he is concerned about “systemic problems” which led to Youngquist having to work several jobs to support his family, plus the problems that could have led the suspects to take his life.
“These systemic problems that led to this situation, it didn’t need to be this way,” Gray said.