Gail Helen "Gay" Young



It is with deep sorrow that the family advises of the death of Gay Young on Sunday, May 16, surrounded by her husband Ralph, son Ross and daughter Marnie.

Gay was born in Washington D.C. to Joseph and Mary Dowling, grew up in South Dakota and California before meeting a young Canadian, whom she married in 1968 and moved to Minnedosa Manitoba, Winnipeg and Edmonton. Gay graduated with a BA and teaching certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara Campus, where she received the Honor Copy as the highest Associated Student Award and chosen Panhellenic Woman of the Year. She taught elementary school in Winnipeg and Edmonton. She also worked as an Executive Assistant for two Edmonton City Councilors for 15 years before retiring to serve her community, charitable causes, and a growing family. She proudly became a Canadian citizen in 1995.

Gay was a lifelong member of the Chi Omega Sorority and maintained a close bond with her sorority sisters for 58 years, meeting in various locations in USA and Canada. One of her greatest passions was for the PEO Sisterhood, which she belonged to for 53 years and was a 5th generation member, supporting women’s philanthropy and education. Gay served as Alberta Provincial President along with serving her PEO Chapter in multiple roles and attending international conferences. Gay served on many local charitable committees and boards including Rio Terrace Church, The Support Network, Minerva Foundation, Hope Foundation, Florence Taylor Foundation, iHuman Society, Habitat for Humanity, AGA, Winspear Centre, Government House Foundation, Alberta Centennial Ambassador, Glenrose Hospital Foundation and Courage Galas. Most recently she served actively with Wellspring Edmonton Board of Directors serving people and families in cancer recovery. She helped with her children’s sports and social activities in Girl Guides and Snow Valley Ski Club. She maintained a special friendship and bond with her girls only bridge group for over 40 years. She received the Alberta Centennial Medal for her role as an ambassador and a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship for supporting international student exchanges.

Gay was a beloved wife, mother and grandmother and friend to all she met. She lived a life of service to others in all the roles she played. Her warmth, grace, vitality, caring, kindness, integrity, and dedication lit up many rooms. She loved life and brought fun, colour, a can-do attitude, and a spirit of adventure to special events and celebrations for family and friends. She remembered everyone’s birthdays and never forgot to send notes of thanks and appreciation. She maintained a special relationship with each grandchild and with all their extended family relations.

Gay is survived by her husband Ralph, son Ross Young (Alison), daughter Marnie Young and nine grandchildren Ryan Young; John, Sarah and Nick Gilmour; Jeremy, Justin, Joshua, Mackenzie and Jordan Vanderweide.

She managed a terminal cancer diagnosis for 4 ½ years with hope, dignity and a determination that helped maintained her quality of life over that period. She received exceptional support and care from many professional and compassionate care givers. The family thanks Dr. Victoria Ung, Dr. Gregg Nelson of Tom Baker Clinic in Calgary, Dr. Sophia Pin of the Cross Clinic in Edmonton, Nurse Fiona Garforth- Bles of the Canmore Community Hospital and Nurse Samantha Warawa from Home Care.

The family will be having a private internment following cremation but intends to gather friends for a celebration of life in the fall.

The family asks that any gifts be directed to Wellspring Edmonton, 11306 65 Avenue NW, Edmonton, T6H 2Z8 or a cancer charity of your choice. The family is establishing an endowed fund at the Edmonton Community Foundation. Gifts can be made to The Edmonton Community Foundation: Gay Young - Hope and Caring Cancer Fund (9910 103 Street, Edmonton T5K 2V7) which will annually support cancer treatment and recovery. Online ECF link “Gay Young – Hope and Caring Cancer Fund”

In Loving Memory of
Gail Helen "Gay" Young
(Maiden: Dowling)
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