- About Us
Our angel mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend, Bertha Brown Simon Young left us for heaven on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, at the age of 95.
"Heaven is a much more beautiful place because she is there."
“Bert” was born to her mother Jeanette Hoffner Simon and her father Jacob Senior Simon Jr. in a top room of their family home on September 1, 1922, in South Philadelphia. She was named “Bertha Brown” after a dear family friend. She completed their family of five children—two sisters and two brothers—her eldest brother, Henry, having died at birth. Mom was raised in a good Christian family and regularly attended the Trinity Lutheran Church during her childhood.
In 1934, Mom’s father, a successful produce grocer in Philadelphia, lost his business during the depression and was forced to sell the family home and relocate his family to the Frankford region of Philadelphia. There, Mom finished attending junior high before entering Frankford High School a few years later at the age of 15. At about that same time, she also started attending the Messiah Episcopal Church with her best friend, Connie Bruggerman, where she served as the President of the Young People’s Fellowship. From her earliest years, Mom had a deep respect and love for the Lord and knew that she could serve Him best by serving others—something she continued to faithfully do throughout her entire life.
Early in her sophomore year, Mom met her sweetheart, “Bill” [Everett William Young], for the first time at the Frankford High football stadium where, due to an injury, he was sitting out of his team’s practice session.
Mom and Dad had their first official date to the high school Junior Prom later on that year. By the time the prom rolled around, Mom wasn’t really sure if she still had a date for it, as Dad had asked her to the prom six months in advance and didn’t mention anything about it between time. Fortunately, they did go and Dad recorded in his journal that “after that time, there was really never anyone else for me.”
Mom and Dad were married several years later on January 17, 1942, in the Messiah Episcopal Church. Mom’s best friend, Connie served as her bride’s maid. Mom was especially talented in dress design and both Mom and Connie were excellent seamstresses. As a result, they were able to make both Mom’s wedding dress and Connie’s bridesmaid’s dress for a total of ten dollars.
Shortly after Mom and Dad were married, Dad enlisted in the Army, so he could choose which branch of the service he would serve in during World War II. He eventually ended up in the Army Air Corps as a radio gunner in the South Pacific Campaign. Though at first, Mom was occasionally able to follow Dad as he completed his flight training, they nevertheless spent the majority of the first four years of their marriage separated by the war.
In 1946, Mom and Dad met the Mormon missionaries at a dinner that was held at Temple University and had been sponsored by the Methodist Men’s Bible class that Dad had been attending. The missionaries made up the Utah Centennial Chorus, a choir that provided the entertainment for the evening. Two years later, Mom and Dad were baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, an event that would change their lives forever.
In the summer of 1950, wishing to raise their family closer to the center of their new found faith, Mom and Dad piled their little family—which at that time consisted of their son Bill and daughter Jacque—in the second hand 1948 Dodge Coupe that they had bought. It was the first car they had ever owned. Like true pioneers, they loaded up a six by eight-foot utility trailer as high as they could with as many of their earthly possessions that would fit, hooked the trailer onto the back of what proved to be their less-than-reliable car, and headed west.
On January 25, 1951, Mom and Dad’s marriage was solemnized in the Manti Utah Temple and were sealed together with their two children as an eternal family.
Over the next several decades, Mom and Dad would add six more children to their growing family and move a multitude of times in effort to advance Dad’s career. They relocated throughout Utah, California, Arizona, and even as far as Laie, Hawaii, where Dad served for three school years as the Chairman of the Department of Physical Education and head coach for the Church's College of Hawaii’s basketball team. With each new move, Mom would simply roll up her sleeves, get to work and set her motherly magic in motion, turning each house into a warm and loving home for her husband and children.
Although she encountered countless difficult circumstances along the way—including that of losing a home and every precious possession the family owned in a fire—Mom always found a way to bravely face each new challenge with courage and without complaint. Though always soft spoken and gentle, Mom was, nevertheless, a consistent and stabilizing pillar of strength for her family.
After the last of her eight children was raised, Mom went to work as a cook for Brigham Young University food services to help support her family. She worked in this capacity for twelve years until she retired. Following her retirement, she and Dad served as missionaries in the San Antonio, Texas mission. Upon their return, they moved to St. George to serve an additional year in the St. George Temple.
To Mom, her family was always at the center of her life. For her family, as well as for all she came in contact with, she was always a cheerful beacon of light and a source of unconditional love. She had a girlish giggle and a young heart that delighted and endeared everyone to her. A lover of beautiful music, Mom blessed her family with a lifetime of cherished moments singing together hour after hour around the piano while she played.
Mom was a genuinely righteous and devoted daughter of Our Heavenly Father and the epitome of kindness, goodness and graciousness. She truly emulated the Savior’s example of unconditional love and selfless service in every aspect of her life. She looked for the beauty in everyone and everything and was never known to speak an unkind word of anyone.
In July of 2003, Mom temporarily lost the earthly presence of her eternal companion. Though we will miss her more than words can express, we can only imagine the joyous reunion that has taken place in the courts above as she has now joined our dad “Bill.”
Mom was also preceded in death by her mother Jeanette, her father Jacob, her two brothers Henry and Jake Simon, and her two sisters Ellen Vollmer and Jeanette Kling. She is survived by her eight children: “Bill” (Kathy Sandgren) Young, Jacqueline (Dennis Dillingham), Christine (David Kitchen), Donna Young, Susan Young, Sally (Doug Marriott), Mark (Barbara Dyer) Young, and Jon (LeeAnn Provestgard) Young. She also leaves behind 16 grandchildren and 46 great grandchildren who adore her and who were adored by her.
The family would like to express our deepest gratitude for the loving care that was provided by the doctors, nurses, CNAs, and staff of Intermountain Health Care Hospice who helped us care for our beautiful mother for the past few years.
In honor of our mother, we would like to invite you to pass forward her example of kindness and graciousness and do something kind for someone in need.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 7, 2018, at 11 a.m. at the LDS Church located at 140 North 400 West in Orem Utah. A viewing for family and friends will be held Friday evening, April 6th from 6 to 8 at The Sundberg-Olpin Funeral Home located at 495 South State Street in Orem and on Saturday one hour prior to the funeral services at the church. Interment will be in the East Lawn Memorial Hills Cemetery located at 4800 East Lawn Drive, Provo, Utah.
Condolences for the family may be expressed on this page.