“Scatter sunshine all along your way. Cheer and bless and brighten [e]v'ry passing day.”
Scattering sunshine, smiles, and laughter, Claudia Knell Young lived life to the fullest.
Born the youngest of three in Provo, Utah to James Claudius and Mazie Campbell Knell on December 9, 1927, Claudia enjoyed a happy childhood. She was educated at BYU Training School, Farrer Junior High, Provo High, and graduated from Brigham Young University in 1946. Her tuition was $35 a quarter; paid for by her earnings as an usher at the Paramount, Uintah, and Strand theaters in Provo.
After graduation she taught second, then third grade. That first year she had 42 students and soon lost her voice. It didn’t return for six months. One year she went on a summer vacation to Washington, D.C. and stayed for eight blissful years working for the undersecretary of commerce, an Idaho senator, and a Utah congressman. She had a blast. She referred to this time as her Camelot years because life was good to her and her many, many friends. They were busy, surrounded by good people, had interesting jobs, were active in their church, and lived in an exciting city.
Claudia returned to Utah and taught third grade. Her summer job took her to the University of Utah where she stayed for the next 30 years working in the dean’s office in the College of Medicine, Public Relations, and ending in the president’s office as an administrative assistant. She worked smart and set herself up well for the next phase of her life – the retirement years – which eventually brought her full circle – back home to Provo. She remained here, nestled in this beautiful valley for her final 20 years.
She loved to travel, visiting many places including Europe, Africa, and Asia. She loved her flower gardens. She was an expert at creating lovely combinations that teemed with life and color. She loved card games and crossword puzzles which kept her mind sharp.
Claudia was always surrounded by a huge extended family and myriad friends, aged one to 100. She loved them with her whole heart and was greatly loved in return.
She was a single woman for nearly the entirety of her life and was a light and an example to her 12 nieces and nephews, their children and their grandchildren, who absolutely adored their Aunt Claudia.
Lying in a hospital bed after heart surgery two years ago, Claudia was visited by Joseph H. Young, whose wife Frances, one of Claudia’s friends and college roommates, had passed away. Claudia and Joseph’s renewed friendship led to their marriage—her first—in the Provo Temple in January 2018 at the tender age of 90. Joseph made Claudia giggle, and in her new found love she simply glowed. She loved him dearly.
Her membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the many callings she fulfilled there, and her testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, were most precious to Claudia.
She was quick witted and light hearted, always choosing a positive outlook. In the hours before her death She spoke of the lives of her many friends and relatives instead of focusing on herself, and she laughed with Joseph until the end. But thankfully, it’s not the end.
She grew more beautiful with every passing day.
It was noted by many that she was most beautiful on the day she died.
She was predeceased by her parents, brothers James John (Jack) Knell and wife Ginny, Lee Campbell Knell and wife Jewell.
She is survived by her beloved husband Joseph H. Young and his three children: J. Randal, Ronald (Ann), Margaret Tueller (David), Joseph's 11 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. We as a family are especially grateful for the effortless blending of our two families. To their happy marriage she brought her 12 nieces and nephews: Jim and Jan, Rebecca, Scott, Roger, Andrea, Julie, Lydia, Emily, Todd, Mary, and Abraham; over 50 great nieces and nephews, and numerous great great nieces and nephews – ALL of whom she knew by name. Oh, how we will miss her!
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