Dec. 25, 1920 – March 6, 2018
Norma Young née Phillips passed away peacefully at home in Laguna Beach on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at the age of 97. She was born in Portland, Ore., but spent most of her life in California. She was raised in Los Angeles and graduated from UCLA, where she studied music and education. Most importantly, she was the devoted mother to four daughters and a proud MorMor to five grandchildren.
She began her career as a teacher in Bakersfield. She was so dedicated to her job, she rode her bike to school rain or shine. Her passion for helping others was passed on to her children and grandchildren who have followed in her footsteps by becoming teachers and public servants.
When she moved to Laguna Beach, she opened a Scandinavian import shop in Dana Point, which she operated for 14 years. After closing the store, she became interested in art education and attended many workshops and classes. She wrote, “All my life I have met beauty in nature, music, and people. Now it’s time to share these thoughts and feelings through my paintings.”
She made friends wherever she went and loved to host parties at her home. Her positive spirit will live on through everyone she encountered. Her friends and family would all agree that she was a kind woman with a wonderful sense of humor. She was a voracious reader. She enjoyed having deep conversations about books, politics, music, and art. She was stimulated by a wide variety of personalities and experiences.
She was unapologetically passionate about progressive causes and especially women’s rights. She was a member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters of America, and an active supporter of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. She cooked and donated food to the Laguna Food Pantry.
Her family owes mountains of gratitude to her faithful, loving, and skilled caregivers Nancy Okon, Rita Simanjuntak, Janet Barasa, and Bel Pretila. You treated her like a queen and made the rest of our lives so much easier.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Stanley Young, and older sister, Frances Zvara. She will be lovingly remembered by her daughters Karen Young (Jeff), Patti Young (Vesselin Iankov), Janis Spracher (Bill), Tina Krimmer (Matt), and grandchildren Scott Young, Whitney Young, Kevin Spracher, Laura Spracher, and Sam Krimmer.
A memorial service to be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 429 Cypress Dr., in Laguna Beach at noon on March 30.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Planned Parenthood (plannedparenthood.org) or The Hortense Miller Garden (hortensemillergarden.com).