Pamela Young

Pamela Kaye Young

Wednesday, September 14th, 1949 - Monday, March 30th, 2020
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Pamela Kaye (Harrison) Young was born to Gordon and Lyla (Leitch) Harrison on September 14, 1949 at Maynard Hospital in Lake City, Wash. She died peacefully of sudden COVID-19 illness in Coupeville, Wash. on March 30, 2020.

Pam was a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, attending elementary school in Vancouver, Wash. until 1959, when in the 4th grade, she moved with her mother, two brothers, and grandmother (Maggie Leitch) to Whidbey Island, Wash. She attended Coupeville schools, graduating with honors in the class of 1967. Pam thoroughly enjoyed her high school years and made many lifelong friends. She was active in the International Rainbow for Girls organization, serving as Worthy Advisor, appointed as Grand Choir Director, and elected as Grand Faith in the organization. In her capacity as Grand Faith for the International Order of Rainbow for Girls in Washington, Idaho and Alaska, she attended a Grand Assembly in Sitka, Alaska with the other officials. This was her first time flying, and the twin engine Beechcraft crashed in the ocean outside of Ketchikan, with the pilot and nine other members aboard (all surviving with the plane then sinking 600 ft under). This experience caused her, at the early age of 16, to understand the brevity of life and the importance of living life to its fullest (and gave her a lifelong emotional struggle with flying!). After high school, she completed secretarial courses on a scholarship at Northwest School of Business in Lynnwood, Wash. Pam lived in downtown Seattle for a year, working at Washington Federal Savings and Loan on 2nd Ave, before returning to Whidbey Island.

On her birthday at age 19, Pam married her high school sweetheart, Mike Lester, and together they had two beautiful daughters, Michele and Lyla. The marriage dissolved after nine years and she found herself a single mom of two. In 1978, while working for Island County, first in the Assessor’s Officer as a Personal Property Appraiser, and then transferring to the Building Department, she met and married David Young. In 1983, Pam and David welcomed two more beautiful girls with twin daughters, Emily and Laura. Pam then returned to work at Coupeville Schools where she worked for 13 years with Special Education and Basic Skills students (K-12), starting the first ever Before School Reading Program for the District.

She authored a book, Tell Me About the Good Old Days, for her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews; sharing stories told to her by her mother about growing up on the farm with nine siblings in Underwood, Minn. in the early 1900s. She served on the vestry at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, directed the outreach committee and was director of the prayer chain, and later attended Christ the King Church in Coupeville. She was a Girl Scout Leader, Director of March of Dimes for Central Whidbey, member of the Coupeville Parks Commission, and was elected as a School Board Member for the Coupeville School District. She volunteered for Gifts from the Heart, served as a Red Cross Volunteer, and organized many Coupeville High All School Reunions.

In retirement, Pam enjoyed traveling with her husband, hiking, walking the beach and shell collecting, quilting and crafts, painting and finding rocks for Whidbey Island Rocks, gardening, volunteering, and reaching out to those she felt God had sent to her for the love she could give. When her husband David retired in 2016, he took Pam to Paris, France and surprised her with a marriage renewal proposal on the Pont de Arts (Bridge of Love) with Notre Dame in the background. At the time of her death they had recently celebrated 40 years of marriage.

Pam is survived by her loving husband, David; her devoted daughters, Michele (Eric) Marshall of Oak Harbor, Wash., Lyla (Johnny) Annema of Mount Vernon, Wash., Emily (Zach) Lebovits of Portland, Ore., and Laura (Martin) Schneider of Kona, Hawaii; two brothers, Lyle Harrison of Oak Harbor, Wash., and Carl “Skip” Zapffe of Tygh Valley, Ore.; along with seven grandchildren, Janay, Thomas, Noah, Gracie, Jayden, Jordyn, Corbett, and those still to come. Pam was preceded in death by her parents.

Private family burial services under the direction of Wallin Funeral Home will be held at Sunnyside Cemetery with a Celebration of Life to follow at a future date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, Pam requested donations in her honor to her favorite charity: Gifts from the Heart (Coupeville Food Bank), PO Box 155, Coupeville WA 98277.
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Scott Price

Posted at 02:32pm
We always loved being with our neighbor Pam. She was kind, fun, interesting, and an all around good person. She was the type of person who created positiveness in the world around her. We miss her, though her legacy lives on through her family, friends, and community.
Scott, Karen, and Lydia

Susan Kaelin

Posted at 01:07am
I knew Pam from my five years at Coupeville Elementary. When reading her obituary I realize that I didn't know her as well as I might have. We had recently reconnected as she would keep me informed regarding the health status of her former working partner at CES, Judy Marti. The two of them made a fun team with much laughter. But what I learned after our reconnection was that she was a prayer warrior, and it is for this that I iwill probably best remember Pam.

My sincerest condolences to David and all of the family members; Pam will be missed by so many.

Susan Kaelin

Kris Nelsen

Posted at 08:11pm
My condolences to Pamela’s family. I went to school with Pam through 8th grade and always thought of her as someone special. Reading her obituary it is obvious that during her, all to short, life she lived up to all the potential she showed when young. Godspeed Pamela.
Kris Nelsen

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