Obituary of Karen Newell Young |

Obituary of Karen Newell Young

Karen Newell Young, 67, an award-winning journalist and university director who spent much of her life working with homeless people, died Aug. 21 of complications from a stroke.

A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, Sept. 14, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Nevada City Methodist church at the top of Broad Street.

Her career ranged from covering city councils for a weekly newspaper in Cleveland to writing about food for the Los Angeles Times. Early in her career, she worked at the Old Colony Memorial, a regional newspaper based in Plymouth, Mass., where she won national awards for her editing and writing.

She worked for the Providence (R.I.) Journal from 1980 to 1987, as both a hard news reporter and feature writer. She won accolades for a lengthy interview with a women who had AIDS. At the time, little was known about who contracted HIV/AIDS and how it spread.

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She was born in Lakewood, Ohio, to a photographer father and stay-at-home mother, the only girl with three brothers. She had a sharp sense of humor and formed alliances with women friends she maintained throughout her life.

An ardent feminist, as a student at The Ohio State University she and others started a pamphlet called “Windsong,” in which she wrote articles on topics like male violence in movies.

She married journalist and fellow Ohio State student Michael Young in 1975 and they headed to Massachusetts to start their careers, she in Plymouth and he in Framingham. While there, she volunteered at a homeless shelter for women in downtown Boston.

In 1987, they worked at the Los Angeles Times where she freelanced articles on food and culture, and eventually worked in pubic relations at the University of California, Irvine. They moved to Pasadena in 2001 where she was director of communications at the University of Southern California.

They retired in 2007 and moved to Nevada City. She volunteered at the Hospitality House for the homeless and served on its board of directors. In 2014, she joined the team that created the Nevada City Advocate, a monthly newspaper.

She is survived by her husband; daughters Alison Young, a nurse/midwife at Planned Parenthood in Vallejo, Ca., and Marly Young, communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara; two brothers, and three grandchildren.

Donations in her name can be made to Hospitality House.

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