Nancy Valentine Young

October 16, 1935 ~ April 10, 2021

Born October 16, 1935 to Grant Lovegreen and Mary Merrell Valentine, Nancy died April 10, 2021 in Salt Lake City, following complications from cancer.

Growing up in Salt Lake, she graduated from East High School and the University of Utah, earning a degree in Political Science. On May 31, 1957 Nancy and her one true love Robert L. (Bob) Young were married. For the next two decades, she focused primarily on raising her three children – Christian Young (Lisa) Tanya Beaulieu (Jean) and Kimberly Kniveton (Juan) – while also managing her parents’ businesses and investments.

Always passionate about Democratic politics, in 1976 Nancy joined Scott Matheson’s first successful gubernatorial campaign and acted as its Treasurer. Preferring always to be the organizer and supporter versus the leader, she declined opportunities in his cabinet and, instead, became Chief of Staff to Norma Matheson. Among many other projects, she supervised the renovation of the Kearns House and the new Governor’s Mansion. In her late 40’s, Nancy decided to go back to school and earned a Masters of Library Science from Brigham Young University. As a result, she began an 18-year career at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library heading their Manuscript Division of Special Collections, where she became an Associate Professor.

Nancy was always involved and interested in the Salt Lake community. Among many organizations, she was an active participant and organizer in the League of Women Voters, Committee on Foreign Relations and, in her early years, the Junior League, where she helped create the first Heritage Cookbook. Nancy was delighted when she received her invitation to join Town Club and it became a large part of her social activities until her passing. A highlight of her life was being honored as Town Club’s Member of the Year in 2014.

Despite her extensive community involvement and many achievements, family was most important to Nancy. She was a tremendous help to her parents and honored her father by writing and publishing a book about his extraordinary life entitled, “Grant L. Valentine: A Twentieth Century Man.” She so enjoyed the times with her children, grandchildren – Nicole Herbert (Brandon), Christine (Christie) Young, Renee Beaulieu and Iain and Hannah Kniveton – as well as her great-grandchildren (Riley and Oliver Herbert). Skype calls to Maine and the Isle of Man were a regular occurrence as she and Bob kept up with everyone’s lives. She was very close with her younger sister, Christina (Tina) Larsen (Dann) and her three children Melissa (Missy) Bird (Jim Kelly), Camille Bird (Greg Wegener) and Kodi Crow. Nancy also loved family traditions, particularly Thanksgiving when family would fly in from the Isle of Man, Maine and New Jersey for what was a four-day event, culminating in her hosting of the Ladies Luncheon for her family and dear friends at Town Club.

Nancy and Bob led an active social life often hosting cocktail parties and gatherings at their home for friends and neighbors, and to support organizations such as the Friends of the Marriott Library. Nancy also had a large circle of dear friendships, several originating from her days in the Chi Omega sorority at the University of Utah. Her bridge group, book club and Wild Bunch investment club were just a few of the many social organizations in which she participated and helped organize. Nancy and Bob were longtime members of Saturday Night Dance Club and enjoyed hosting members of the family as well at their monthly events.

Nancy believed in living life to the fullest extent possible, with a positive attitude, an altruism grounded in reality, a staunch defense of those less fortunate and a conviction that a better world is not just possible, but imminent (especially if a Democrat is elected President!). Perhaps most important of all Nancy possessed a generosity of spirit that transcends even kindness and caring and a desire, always, to serve and support others. She will be greatly missed, but never forgotten, by her loving family and friends.

The family wishes to thank the University of Utah Hospital staff for the excellent and thoughtful care they provided at the end of Nancy’s life.

Due to the current Covid situation and inability of family outside the country to travel no services are currently planned. The family will have a Celebration of Nancy’s Life later this summer presuming the pandemic abates and allows for gatherings and international travel. In lieu of flowers, the family asks those who wish, to make a contribution to their favorite charity, or to the Friends of the Marriott Library, University of Utah, 84112.


My fond remembrance of Nancy comes through the League of Women Voters Town Club unit. Not only her knowledge and experience but most of all her compassion and honesty made our unit meetings a joy. I know many League members share my feelings. I have moved on to Washington State but cherish my memories of League members - especially Nancy.

- Sandy Peck
Our deepest sympathies for your loss of such a dear, kind and intelligent woman. She will be missed by many. Our thoughts are with the entire family during this sad time.

- Michelle and Anthony Bartholomew
Bob and Children: I just learned of Nancy's passing this morning, and as Bob will hear on my phone call to him, it has knocked me for a loop. Nancy and I were never close, close friends, but we worked together at Town Club and I got to know her skills and her mind. And I've got to tell you, that mind of hers could have (maybe should have!) run this state, or this country. The generosity she and Bob have shown over the years, to the Foreign Affairs Council here, and the League of Women Voters, and on and on....will never have an equal. She sent me an email only last month, I think, on a Town Club program matter, and in it she said how she valued my contributions. She must have known how sick she was; and of course I had NO IDEA she was even sick. So I am moping about this morning, thinking of all of you (I met some of you at the League of Women Voters Luncheon a couple of years ago, and what fantastic kids she and Bob have reared! say nothing of their spouses! And thinking of myself, experiencing for myself and for our whole community, the gift we have lost. I send my deepest love and respect and sympathy to you all. She was a treasure in my life, and how I know that it that I cannot stop weeping this morning. And I never cry. Never. But for Nancy, I am getting the waterworks. May the Lord and The Universe and all the Fairies I chat with bless you and keep you. My arms are around all of you. She may be the most remarkable woman I have known in my life.

- Terrell Harris Dougan
Sincere condolences in your family's loss. Nancy was unfailingly friendly. Our entire community was blessed by her.

- Karen S Wright (Mrs. Wally Wright)
Sincere condolences in your family's loss. Nancy was unfailingly friendly. Our entire community was blessed by her.

- Karen S Wright (Mrs. Wally Wright)
Bob, Chris and family, I was sorry to hear of Nancys passing. She was always friendly and gracious. I hope that you will be at peace during this difficult time. Dennis

- Dennis Reeves
I will miss Nancy at Town Club more than I can say. I first met her when she volunteered for the Program Committee of which I was chair. She often introduced me to our presenters as "Cal Rampton's daughter" which I am. She was always up to date on Democratic politics and always volunteered to invite our best political presenter. She will be missed. Janet Warburton

- Janet Warburton
Dear Family and Friends of Nancy: We knew Nancy through Town Club and Dance Club--she was always quick witted and just lovely to be seated next to and to chat with. I so appreciated reading more about Nancy, learning of her fierceness, penchant for justice AND kindness. Of course, these are attributes she rarely shared--reflective of a truly classy and humble woman. She will be missed by those of us at Town Club and Dance Club... Our sincerest condolences to Bob and all family--I am sure her loss leaves a significant void. Much love to you all.

- Emily and Steve Bleyl
I loved reading this story of Aunt Nancy's life. She was a beautiful person, and I cherish my memories of her. If I had to describe her in one word, that word would be "kind." I am fortunate to have seen and visited with her a few weeks ago, and will always be grateful for that last chat. Love and condolences to Uncle Bob, Chris, Tanya, Kim, Tina, and all her other family who loved her dearly.

- Cindy Johnson