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.