It’s a privilege to be able to give this life sketch for my Father, but I want you to know it is not an easy thing to concise 85 years into 15 minutes.
In going back over Father’s life, my Father was always a very active individual. He never very often let very much grass grow under his feet and he accomplished many things in his life.
He was born on the 24th of February 1908 in a very small house in Goshen, Idaho, and he was born to Elizabeth Louisa Wilcock and John Royal Young. He was the 5th of 8 living children in their family. They had 5 boys and 3 girls. They had lost some children at childbirth but they had 8 living children.
Sometime in his childhood, and I’m not exactly sure when it was, but the family built a large two story frame home on the farm ground in Shelley and this was where Dad grew up within this large frame house, and I can remember very well grandma and grandpa’s large frame home and I loved to go there to visit and be able to go upstairs in one of grandma’s sweet smelling bedrooms and take a nap and that big house has always been real special to me.
When he was a young man his father spent a lot of his summers out in the hills herding sheep so a good share of the work on the farm and the work with the cattle was left up to the older boys and this is where Dad not only learned where to work very hard, but he also gained a love for cattle that stayed with him all his life. As he was growing up he had rabbits that he took care of that he loved. he always had a dog and all my Father’s life he always had a dog, or 2 dogs, but he loved dogs, and I don’t believe I ever saw my Dad cry any harder than he did when we had one of our old mother dogs pass away in the process of having puppies and we were not home at the time and she had problems and died while we were gone and she had been with our family for many years and my Father really cried when he came home and found her dead.
He also loved to ride horses and all his growing up years he had a special pony, and the faster that pony could run the better he liked it because one of Dad’s great joys in life was to be able to have horse races down the main street of shelley with anybody that would race him, and if he could win that race he was in seventh heaven, and so he always loved his horses.
By the time he was 15 years old his Father had sold the sheep herd and came home to stay and had pretty well taken over the farm, but he got to where he had to have an operation and after the surgery there was quite a long time before he fully recovered as he was supposed to do, and since he was quite ill and unable to do the farm work, and the older boy Cliff was married and on a place of his own, and Dee, the next boy in line was in college, so, at 15 my Dad quit school. he was in the 10th grade, and he came home and he run the farm.
Dad did very well in school. he loved to sing, he was in their chorises. he enjoyed math and he did very good and he got good grades. he enjoyed playing in sports, but the thing that made him the proudest, and the thing we never ever heard the end of, was that he was the marble champion in the 10th grade, and anytime he saw his children or his grandchildren playing marbles he had to recite to them that he was the marble champion in the 10th grade.
Dad was extremely proud of the way the crops turned out that summer, he worked very hard to make a good crop and he was very anxious to prove to his Father and his family that he could do a good job and he could raise a good crop, then just before the crops were to be harvested Dee came home from college and as often happens, when the older brother comes home the little brother is shoved back into his own spot, so things went from bad to worse that summer, and one day Dad and Dee had a confrontation out in the field, and when it was over Dad picked himself up out of the dirt, he walked over and got on his pony and rode off the farm. he rode down and went across the Snake river on his pony and went over to a neighbors place where he had worked off and on before, and he asked this neighbor if he could work for him. he told the neighbor what had happened and told him he’d like to work for him for his board and keep, and so he went to work for this neighbor. At one time his Father called the neighbor and asked him to please send his son home and the man said I’ll send him home if he wants to go, but if he doesn’t want to go he is welcome here, and Dad spent the rest of that summer working for that man. After the crops were harvested he got a call from his Mother. She told him his Sister Maude, who lived in Montana, had been home visiting with them and she was leaving that night to return to Montana and they wondered if Dad would be interested in going to Montana with them that night and working for them as they needed a helping hand on their ranch. So he swam his little pony back across the Snake River and tied it up at home, and he spent the next 2 years in Montana. he told a lot of stories about the milk river country in Montana. We knew how cold it was, we knew about the time he tied a skonk to the Church door so the people couldn’t get out of the church while he sat on his pony and laughed as they yelled at him to come and get the skonk. We heard about all the things that took place during his stay in Montana.
One day he got another call from his Mother. his Father was once again too sick to work, and they had no one to run the farm so asked him if he would come home and take care of the farm again for them. So he left a young lady there that he was engaged to and caught the train and finally returned home. he took over the farm and that summer he run the farm for his Father.
One night shortly after he got home he went to Idaho Falls to a dance, and he was dancing with a young lady that he had known in school and asked her to go home with him. She told him that she had a friend with her and if he took her the friend would have to go also because they were going to stay together that night, which Dad agreed to do. The three of them were sitting in Dad’s Car at the girls house when a black cat ran in front of the car. The friend said "No black cat is going to run in front of me," and she piled out of the car and took out after it. Dad piled out of the other side of the car and took out after her and they took off across Idaho Falls chasing this black cat. Somewhere down the road a ways the cat went under somebodys porch so the two of them slowly retraced their steps back to the car. By the time they got back to the car the other girl had given up and gone into the house, so Dad just put the friend back into the car and took her to her place. That girl was Verna Cook, and that night after she got home she wrote in her diary, and we still have that to this day," I met the man tonight that I am going to marry," even though at that time she was engaged to a man in Salt Lake and he was still engaged to the girl in Montana.
On November 9, 1927 they were married in the Logan Temple. When they came home they made their home for a little while in Idaho Falls and then moved onto a little farm in Basalt working for another man and eventually he rented some ground there. They lived in the Basalt, shelley area for about 8 years and at the end of that time they moved onto what was called the Sugar Beet Project in Osgood, west of Idaho Falls, and by then they had 3 children. Shirley Marie was born a year after they were married on September 12, 1928. I, NormaLe, was born 2 years after that on April 19, 1930, and Florence Beth was born 4 years after that on February 21, 1934, so when they moved into the home in Osgood they had 3 little girls they took with them.
When I was born Dad wanted a boy, I was a second child and it was his turn now to get a boy. Well he didn’t get a boy, but all my life I worked along side of my Father and I was more or less his outside right hand man all the time I was growing up, and I loved it. I could leave the dishes and the housework, and all the stuff in the house, and I could go out with my Dad, and we fed sheep, and we bedded down new little lambs, and we put straw in the corrals, and we milked the cows, and I helped him irrigate, and I helped him harrow, and I helped him in the hay, and I helped him every place, and Dad and I had many beautiful talks together, and this is where I think I basically put together my standards and my feelings about life. I got them from my Father during those long evenings and those long days working with him. The thing that was interesting, and I never realized it until I got older, was that I don’t think he was as anxious for the help as he was for the company. My Dad was not a person who liked to be alone very much and he really enjoyed the company.
When we moved to Osgood he finally got his Sons. Kenneth Lloyd was born on May 16, 1936 and Richard Jay was born on November 11, 1938. At this time they had their 5 children. They lived in Osgood until 1940, and I have many special memories of Dad taking us to school on his horse on really bad winter days when they couldn’t get buses through, and buses at that time were covered wagons on sleighs with a big pot bellied stove in the corner, and when that couldn’t even get through the bad drifts and snow my Dad would put us on the back of his horse and he would trundle us up to school on the back of that horse. We lived about a mile from the school and so we had a good time in Osgood. My folks did a lot of singing together there, and my Dad started his work in the Scout programs there, and my mother was in dramas, and we had a lot of good times there, and I can remember one thing that would shock the Mormons today and that was that we all used to get together after Church and have ball games all Sunday afternoons, and I have quite often thought about that and the Church has come a long ways since the whole ward used to go back to the Church after dinner on Sundays and have ball games all Sunday afternoons. They were fun and the whole family would go and they would end their games in time for the men to go home and do their chores and come back to 7:30 Sacrament Meeting. Our Church has moved along quite a ways since that time.
In 1940 Dad bought a home down in the bottom part of Thomas. The thing I remember about this move was that Dad told us we would have a chance to see some Indians, and sure enough we did, we saw lots of Indians, but this proved to be our growing up home and Dad and Mother lived in this home for 24 years. It was a wonderful place. There were long shaded pastures where we could take long walks and be alone whenever we wanted to. There was a big canal that divided into 3 large ditches that went down through that place and us and all the neighbor kids swam all summer long in those ditches. Dad bought 120 acres on that place and a few years later he added another 120 acres to it and he more or less made that farm blossom as a rose. he worked very hard, my mother worked very hard, we all worked very hard. We hoed beets, we pulled weeds out of potatoes, we shocked grain, we picked potatoes, we did everything farm kids did at that time and we grew and I’ll tell you when we had a minute to relax we didn’t have to worry about what we could do. We were never bored. We loved to read, we loved to swim and by then there were 6 of us kids, they had one more little girl born August 23, 1946 by the name of Geraldine. We were always busy and there was always things to do.
They remodeled the house there on the place after they had been there few years. I remember when they got their first refrigerator. I remember them getting the telephone in and all of these things helped us to have a very happy childhood on that ranch, and as we grew up Dad sent both of his sons on Missions. It had always been Dad’s desire to go on a mission and when he came home from Montana he asked his Father if he would support him on a mission, and his Father said, No, that he could not spare him on the farm, or something like that, so at that time he never had a chance to fill a mission. After he and Mother had moved into town and his responsibilities were less he was once again asked by the Bishop if he and Mother would be able to go on a mission, but at that time my Mother was quite ill having just recently suffered a heart attack so once again he was not able to go, so it was a thrill to him when he was able to send his two boys on missions and to help them fill a lifelong dream that he had for himself.
Dad was always active in the Church. he filled a lot of positions. he was high Priests leader, he taught in the Sunday School and was always active. All my life I never remember my Father not being active in the Church and he always went with us, but the thing that Father was remembered the most for is his work in the Boy Scout Programs. he worked in the Scouts for 21 years and he took many young men on scouting trips, including my husband, and later on in his life he was awarded the Silver Beaver which was always a great honor to him and he was always thrilled to have it.
Dad and Mother did a lot of singing together. She would play the guitar and he would stand behind her and sing and I can remember them doing this many times and the song that Florence and Richard sang at the beginning of the funeral, That Silver haired Daddy of Mine, was always one of their favorite songs that they sang together.
We all worked hard as we grew to adulthood and each of us married and had our own families the farm place became too large for them and finally Dad decided it was time for him to retire from the farm and he finally sold the farm and he and Mother bought a little home in town on Monroe street and Dad worked for the Parks department and he worked there for several years. During this time Mother had her heart attack and she got over that, but she was never completely well after that. Dad finally retired from the city and bought this little piece of land in Riverton and he bought an older home and put on it and remodeled the home and after he retired he and Mother moved down to Riverton into this little house, and they were so happy with this little home, then one night Dad came home from a Sunday School meeting and Mother was lying on the floor. She had suffered a massive heart attack and died on the 24 of January 1974. After Mother passed away Dad lost his will to do anything and he would just sit in the middle of his house and let the mail pile up, the papers pile up, he didn’t care about anything, life had lost its savor for my Father.
We were really happy one mothers day when Dad came over to dinner and told us that he had a date with a lady that he and Mother both had known real well when they lived in Blackfoot. he kinda drug his feet about going to pick her up and I said "Dad you’re just getting cold feet, now you’ve got to get out of the house, you’ve got to go and pick her up." Dad had been prompted several times to call Lucile and he had tried a couple of times and she had been gone to Montana to visit her family, so finally one morning when he knew she would be home he called her. She had just gotten home late the night before and he called her at 6 A.M. in the morning (that would have turned me off) but he called her and She said "No, her husband had been dead about 4 or 5 years but she really wasn’t interested in going out. he said he couldn’t understand why he had been so prompted to call her if She wasn’t going to go with him, but she was the President of the Special Interest Group and She would go with him if he would go to their fireside with her, so he agreed to do this.
This afternoon at our house he said he just didn’t think he was ready to start going out yet, he just don’t know why he called her. I said,"well Dad, look at it this way, you just need to go over, take her to the fireside, and take her home, it will only take 2 hours of your time, I’ll call you at nine oclock, by then you should by home." he said "OK that’s fine." so he left. I called him at 9 O’clock, no answer, I called him at 10 O’clock, no answer, I called him at 11 0"Clock, no answer, I called him at 12 O’clock, by then I was panicking. If he had gone off the bridge into the river there was not much I could do in the dark, so I went to bed. First thing in the morning I got up and called him. When he answered I said "Dad, where in the world were you last night?" he said "Oh, we had the lovliest time, I took Lucile out to the house and I showed her around the place and we just had the most wonderful talk together. That is the most wonderful lady." From then on they continued to date and they were married on the 28 of June, 1974. From then on my Father was a different man and he loved living.
Lucile kept a beautiful home, she was a good cook and she was a very dear sweet Companion. Coming into this marriage with her was 5 children who at that time was grown and married and had their own families, but Father became the Father of all of Lucile’s family, but Lucile was the one that showed him the way. Lucile was the one that always included our family in all they did, she was the one that brought us together when one of our family came to town and came to visit with them she would always fix a big dinner and invite us all to their house so we would have a chance to visit and eat and have a good time together.
If I ever am a step-mother she would be the most wonderful example that I could have ever had. She was always dear to us and she always treated us with concern, with kindness, she always sent birthday cards, she always made sure that Dad would come and get me on my birthday and take me out to supper and she always made sure that Dad and I took time to go to the Cemetary on Memorial Day, she bought the flowers and made sure that Dad did the things that a Father should do. We loved her dearly. She has been married to my Father for nearly 20 years and in those years my Father has had many wonderful experiences. Lucile had some brothers and sisters and Dad learned to love them as much as he loved anyone in this world. In fact Jim and Venice and all her brothers and sisters were very dear to him. Jim had a big motor home and Dad just thoroughly enjoyed the big trips that they used to take in their motor home. On year they went clear to Florida and Dad saw a lot of the United States because of the fact that they were able to go with Jim and Venice in that motor home.
One of the problems Dad had after Mother had her heart attack was that Mother could not do a lot of things so they had just settled in and they became very quiet and just simply were there at home most of the time and didn’t do much and so after he married Lucile she revived Dad, She helped him get new clothes, She spruced him up a lot and they had an awful good time. About 13 years ago they headed for the Temple in St George for the first time and this was also the result of Lucile’s brothers. They were living in the temple cottages doing temple work and Lucile and Dad decided to go up for a winter and stay in the cottages and do temple work. They went every year from there on. Every spring when Dad went through the packing to come home he declared that they were not going again, but when fall came he’d say, "well lets call the temple apartments and see if we can get in there, and lets go back." They didn’t burn any bridges when they left so there was always an apartment available and ready for them.
The fall of 1991 Dad and Lucile went back to St. George as they had done before, but that year at Christmas time Dad went into the hospital with pneumonia and he was very sick and before Christmas was over he went in twice with pneumonia and by the time he came out of the hospital he was very weak and it took him all the rest of that winter to get his strength back, and that following summer after they came home he didn’t do very much. he mostly just sat and didn’t do very much. he was having a hard time walking, his hips was giving him trouble, and he had just not got back on his feet from his illness, but that fall all against all of our wishes he still wanted to go back to St. George. We thought it would be warm there so they did go back to St. George, but this time they went into a nice little apartment that Donald had been able to find for them and that is where they settled down, but Dad was not able to do temple work so Lucile was only able to go when she could find someone to stay with Dad for a few hours then she would go through the temple. Dad held his own for a little while but he couldn’t get out very much. he was walking with the walker but it was hard for him to get around and from this time on he had bouts in and out of the hospital with high blood sugar and sugar diabetes and several things. When Spring came and it was time to come home he decided he would rather stay there because of the health facilities that was there and the people that was already helping to take care of him, so they sold the ranch in Riverton but as time went on Dad’s health continued to get worse. he finally went through Gall Bladder surgery which we hoped would bring him out of some of the pain he was experiencing and for 3 or 4 days after the surgery he did very well. he was able to walk around with his walker a little and did real good, but shortly after that he suffered a severe stroke and it paralyzed both his right leg and right arm so they took him into the care center in St. George and started giving him therapy which eventually became very painful for him and so little by little they cut down on the therapy until he was mostly just resting and being quiet. Then 2 weeks ago he suffered another severe stroke which made it hard for him to swallow and to talk and shortly after that he passed away on November 24, 1994.
During the time they were going to the Temple, Dad and Lucile did 5000 Endowments together. They had many very spiritual experiences there in the Temple, and Dad loved going to the temple. his great desire was to be able to get well enough to go back and continue to do temple work, but he was never able to do that. When he passed away he was called Father by 11 children, 52 grandchildren, and 30 great grandchildren. Most of these little great grandchildren had never known any other grandmother but Lucile, or grandpa but my Father, and he loved these little children, he loved them all, he loved Lucile’s little children as much as he loved our little children. he has left a great legacy in the posterity that he has left behind and I’m sure that in the eternities these little children will still be his little grandchildren, even though they are not tied to him by a sealing power they will still run up to him and call him Grandpa, and our children will do this with Lucile. Their family will always be a part of our family through the eternities. I want to pay a moment of tribute to Lucile at this time. No one anywhere in this world could take any better care of a man than she took of our Father and we love her very much for this.