Marvel Ardell Young
What do you get when you combine a lead foot, five-foot-three and an infectious laugh? You get someone special… always kind, funny, generous, interesting, and sassy. Ardell passed peacefully in her sleep at the Cascades of The Sierras this past Labor Day. We’re sad for our losses, relieved to know she no longer has to fight, and are better people for having her in our lives. This is the story of Ardell Young and the four roles that mattered most – wife, mother, friend and Nana.
The Early Years – Ardell was proud as a third generation Nevadan and growing up in Smith Valley. She was born November 7, 1938, in Reno to George and Marvel Allen of Smith. George later remarried to Ella Allen and had two additional children, Eva and Willis. Ardell graduated from Smith Valley High School. But before she got her diploma, a new boy arrived in the Valley.
Wife – She was a great storyteller. You’d ask how she and “Billy” met. She’d pause, and giggle, and continue as if she was seventeen again. “He was the first ‘Big City Boy’ I had met. He was from Silver City. Their first date was to the rodeo when Ardell was 13 and Bill was 15. Bill and Ardell were married three days before her eighteenth birthday on November 4, 1956.
Mother – Georgia was born in 1958 at Carson Tahoe. The Youngs worked hard, and played the same. They camped, waterskied and explored with family and friends. Ardell’s best friends were Carolyn Dossey and her sister-in-law Bobbie. Ardell honed her creative skills, from gardening and stained glass, to sewing the infamous matching mother-daughter outfits with Polaroid photos by Bill. Ardell’s career included homemaker, 4-H leader, librarian, office assistant for Gov. Bob List, and bookkeeper for Carson High School.
Friend – You could always find this lady in a crowd. Her laugh was infectious. She was a magnet and consummate entertainer and hostess. Ardell compared her holiday dinner parties to the Island of Misfit Toys taking in friends who had no local family. One of her dearest circle of friends was Eastern Star. She and Bill joined Argenta Chapter in 1988. They served as Worthy Matron and Worthy Patron twice, first in 1991 and again in 1997. She was awarded emerita status in 2010. Argenta Chapter presented Ardell her own crown and scepter in early 2011. Her speech concluded “Thank you, I no longer need to borrow the Chapter’s crown and scepter for my future ‘Trick or Treat’ costumes. “
Nana –The death of her father by a drunk driver in 1991 marked a dark time in Ardell’s life. Georgia brightened the day by telling Ardell of their planned relocation from the Bay Area. Georgia confessed making several secret trips to Reno to survey job and housing opportunities in preparation of starting a family. And on a September morning, a sky full of hot air balloons greeted their granddaughter’s birth, Samantha, (Sami), Ardell’s greatest joy. Sami shares two lessons from her Nana. “During the summer lull, I’d tell Nana ‘I’m bored. ‘ Big mistake. Nana says there’s no such thing when I am lucky to have amazing things and options in life.” The second lesson was “Nana encouraged me to try as many things as I could (dance, swim, tennis, piano, etc.) and work hard to get good at them. I’m eternally grateful to have had her as my Nana.”
She is preceded in death by her father, mothers, and step-sister. Surviving Ardell are her husband Bill, daughter Georgia (Brian), granddaughter Samantha, brother Willis (Miriam) and numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Ardell left us gifts. A blue angel stained glass figurine where she’ll continue to glow as the sun lights the glass. She’ll greet us annually as her iris bulbs or Christmas cactus cuttings bloom. She was the sun in our garden.
The family thanks you all for the love and prayers for Ardell and Bill. A special thank you to Dr. Ronald Smith, caregiver Olivia, loving Team at Cascades, Renown Hospice and her Raving Fans including Les, Bob, Margret, Bill and Joan, Gene, Pat, Dan and others. And thank you for those whose remembrances helped with this tribute.
We will schedule a Celebration of Life at a future date. Contact Georgia or Brian as needed. And finally, Parkinson’s is a terrible disease. Please, in lieu of flowers, consider making a donation in honor of Ardell to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at www.MichaeJFox.org or mail to Donation Processing, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, POB 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014.
Online memories or condolences may be shared in Ardell's Book of Memories at www.waltonsfuneralhomes.com.