Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Friday, July 17, 2015 at 06:11:44 :
Marin Independent Journal
Friday, April 26, 2002
Hedwig Linnea Young
After almost 102 incredible years, no one can dispute that Hedwig Linnea Young was an amazing woman. She lived in three centuries, learned to drive at age 66, became a mother for the first time at 41 (in 1941!), and was a self-made businesswoman and indomitable leader and role model for all her family. Grandma was one of a kind. She worked every day until she was 88 and drove until she was 95. She went to Europe at age 89 and then again at age 93 - and the grandkids still had trouble keeping up with her. Her determination and strong will were evident in all that she did. With an unmistakable sparkle in her crystal blue eyes, she never capitulated and never compromised. She loved her children, adoring husband, grandchildren, dogs, cats and the ranch. She loved being Swedish, driving a Volvo, eating Swedish pancakes, meatballs, and lingonberries; but most of all she loved entertaining. She had a captured audience of over 400 admirers at her 100th birthday party where she bellowed out Swedish and American songs to everyone's delight. Her great spirit, sense of independence, grasp of the hard work ethic, and love for life and family is the greatest legacy she could leave behind. Truly loved, appreciated, and dearly missed by all, she can never be replaced and certainly never forgotten. Linnea was born on a farm in Uddevalla, Sweden in 1900 -- the fourth of six children. She was educated as a weaving teacher, but decided that was not the life for her. So, in 1921 she immigrated to the United States in search of a new life and great adventures. She traveled first to her uncle's farm in Augusta, Montana, later moving to Seattle, Washington, and finally to San Francisco during the mid 1920's. It was during these early days in San Francisco that she met and fell in love with another Swede, Albert Young. Their courtship lasted several years and finalized in a very happy and prosperous marriage that produced three daughters, Anna, Jone and Cathrin. Although the new marriage and family altered Linnea's priorities, she still remained determined to build her very successful and lucrative bar business - Lena's Bar on the Embarcadero. Over time the fortunate couple were able to acquire numerous businesses and properties in Marin and San Francisco, including the Hilltop Café, Viking Bar, and a 50 acre ranch that later became the homestead for all the family. Throughout her life she was a shrewd business-woman who earned her own way and made her own life, never losing sight of her own roots or the hardships she had to endure to be a successful wife, mother and business-woman. Although Grandma's greatest claims to fame were "Best Dancer" at the Marathon and "Best Potato Planter" in her voyage to Ellis Island, we all know her greatest achievements lie in the legacy of love, spirit and sense of adventure she bequeathed to those who touched her. Hedwig Linnea Young died on April 16, 2002 just shy four months of her 102 birthday. A private family memorial service was held on April 21, 2002. She is survived by three daughters Anna Young, Jone Bondoc (Rommel), Cathrin van den Toorn (Pieter) all of Novato - nine grandchildren: Britta Boys (Jonothan), Sig Brit Cox, Deann Da Silva (Marcio), Patience Patchet (Ted), Margaret Davis (Eric), Nick Bondoc, Annie van den Toorn, and PeeBee van den Toorn - and four great grandchildren: Christian Da Silva, Daniel Da Silva, Maddison Boys, and Gavin Patchet. We love you Grandma. Rest assured that we will continue to sing the "horse and the flea" and although your passing leaves a tremendous void in our lives, we go on with a lifetime of memories, learnings and a spirit that we attribute to you. Memorial contributions are preferred togo to: Hospice of Marin, 150 Nellen Avenue Corte Madera, CA 94925; Whistlestop, 930 Tamalpais Avenue, San Rafael, CA; or NOVA Scholarship (make check to Novato Unified School District), Nova Independent Study, 1015 Seventh Street, Novato CA 94945.
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