Edith Young, 97, a resident of La Crescenta, CA for 64 years, passed away in her sleep on January 14th, 2021.
Edith Proctor Young, “Deeds,” was born in Buffalo, New York, on November 12, 1923. The daughter of Margia Wilner Proctor and Carlton Christian Proctor, she grew up in rural Williamsville. Her lifelong love of adventure was nourished by her childhood gang, the Treasure 8, friends with whom she went hiking and biking and exploring the world. An excellent student and pianist, she finished high school early to attend Vassar College, graduating in 1944 with a degree in history focused on Elizabethan England.
She was both an educator and a lifelong student. She began her teaching career at Dana Hall School in Boston, where she earned her Master of Education degree at Boston University in 1946, and then at Champlain College in Plattsburg, NY, where she met her late husband, Irwin Young. Edith and Irwin moved to Los Angeles in 1948, where Edith served as a high school teacher and counselor in the Los Angeles Unified School District for 40 years.
Intellectual curiosity was a hallmark of Edith’s career and life. History, art, China, geology, stamp collecting, science, music, literature, the natural world, and politics were just some of the subjects that she studied, clipping and sharing articles from The New York Times to send to her children and grandchildren and making notes about books she was reading right up until the day she died. Edith was an early and active member of the Unitarian Fellowship of the Foothills, where she found an intellectual community that reflected her values of service toward social goals and of wonder about human possibility. She shared a love of music with Irwin, and also met her late-life partner Jerry Reynolds over a discussion about opera.
Edith was a thoughtful writer, who wrote teaching materials, opinion pieces, poetry and letters. She co-founded a business, Lifetimes Associates, to write biographies for people in their own voices, and as an avid gardener herself, published The Gardener’s Journal to help home enthusiasts keep track of the planting and pruning of their gardens through the seasons.
A lifelong political activist, Edith marched during the Civil Rights movement, protested the Vietnam War, was on a first-name basis with her state and local representatives, and registered voters, when she was over 90.
Edith traveled widely. In the United States, she loved both visits to New York City and rafting trips down the Colorado, Green and Salmon Rivers. In Europe, she explored from Turkey to Great Britain, from Egypt to northern Norway, and into Russia. In 1948, she accepted a position to teach in China, which was then rescinded with the Communist revolution. Soon after China opened its doors in 1972, however, she made the first of three trips there.
Edith loved her family and friends, her home, her garden, and her community. Beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, She is survived by her children and their spouses, Jenny Elizabeth Young (Donald Corner) of Eugene, Oregon and Jesse Carlton Young (Joan Kenegos) of Los Angeles, California; four grandchildren: Margia, James, Walker, and William, and one great-grandchild, Hayes.
A memorial service will be held once families can gather again. In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor may be given to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Verdugo Hills, The Cañada Crescenta Democratic Club, The Sierra Club or any charity of choice.