Young, Donna Jean
Castleton-Donna Jean Young, 83, died Tuesday July 9, 2019 at Barnwell Rehab & Nursing Center after a short illness. Momma was born June 15, 1936 in California. As a child, she was adopted but later met her birth mother and sisters(her daughter and son also met them). She had six children,, 2 (Vicki and Debbie, 2 oldest) predeceased her. Her family gave her a great deal of credit as she went to college as her husband and six children were living on a Navajo reservation, visiting her family on weekends only. In 1969, the family moved to NY where as a teacher, she taught at Roeliff Jansen, Ichabod Crane, and for many years on the Onondaga Nation, near Syracuse, NY. She was part of an exchange with the New Zealand Maori teachers while working in Syracuse. When she retired, she went back to school in Kentucky at Asbury Theological Seminary and became a Methodist minister, and eventually an Elder of the church. She pastored churches in upstate NY and eventually Montana. She traveled to Russia, organized church trips to Israel, and spent time on a commune in India.
Her seminary internship was in Cornwall, England. Mama Llama, as she was called, loved to travel. She wasn’t a snuggly, at baseball game kind of gramma but she was absolutely without judgement, generous without a fault, and a 4 foot 11 and a half tornado. Her second husband called her the bobcat.
On Sunday of her first week at the hospital, she woke up briefly and wanted to let everyone of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to know that she loved them very very much. I have many stories: funny, poignant, tragic, inspirational. Her children have her legacy, their families, all of them. Thank you Momma.
She is survived by her children Lori Simpson, Kathy Downs, Pamela Ray and Danny Garvansites; 22 grandchildren.
Ray Funeral Service, Inc.
59 Seaman Ave.
Castleton, NY 12033