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Lucy J. Young

Thetford, Vt. — Lucy J. Young, 83, died peacefully at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, with her family at her side.

The daughter of Charles Thomas Jackson and Janet Mitchell Jackson, Lucy was born in Boston, Mass., on May 11, 1930. She spent her childhood in the coastal town of Cohasset, and went on to study at the Windsor Mountain School in Lenox, Mass. While studying at Radcliffe College in Cambridge she met Niels Owen Young, a physicist and inventor, whom she married soon after graduating.

When their first two children Thomas and Sara were young, the family moved to Nottingham, England, where their third child, Janet, was born. During their three years in England Lucy designed what is believed to be the first Volkswagen camper bus interior, with convertible seats and beds, propane stove, water tank, storage drawers and shelves. The bus was made to order in Wolfsburg, Germany in 1957, after which the family drove their new house-on-wheels from the manufacturing plant back to Nottingham. This journey was likely the only trip ever made by that vehicle without a breakdown, flat tire or unscheduled stop in a snowbank.

The Youngs returned to the United States from England on a ship that Lucy described as a “French Ocean Liner”, with the family’s VW bus stowed belowdecks, settling in Lincoln, Mass., where Lucy and Niels’ fourth child Alice was born. In 1966, Lucy designed and oversaw the dramatic overhaul of a farmhouse that then became the family home. The result, called Garbled Gables, was home to many wild creatures: not only the four children, but horses, a dog or two, goats, decorative chickens (the dog made short work of them) and karakuls.

In the late 1960’s, Lucy and her husband Niels collaborated on a project titled “Fakir in ¾ Time,” which was part of an E.A.T. (Experiments in Art and Technology) show at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Their creation, referred to at home as the “String Ding”, was a loop of air-driven ribbon manipulated to create illusive effects. As a result of the New York exhibit, Lucy & Niels were invited to travel to EXPO 1970 in Osaka, Japan when the String Ding was chosen for one of the exhibition pavilions.

Lucy and Niels divorced in 1974 and remarried in 1996.

After leaving Massachusetts, Lucy lived in New York City for several years with her partner and forever-after friend Harry Hall. In later years she spent time on two different Maine Islands and in several Vermont towns, finally settling in Thetford.

Lucy was loved and admired by many people during her long life. She was passionately and obsessively creative to the extent of neglecting boring things like laundry and clutter and clamoring children when a work of art was in progress. She practiced artistry in many forms as a painter, cook, seamstress, architectural designer, raconteur and innovator. She was an adventurous traveler, making trips to (then) Yugoslavia, China, Russia, Fiji, Norway, France and Italy. She greatly enjoyed singing and hiking, as well as English and contra dancing. She was a member of the Revels community for decades, particularly Revels North, as supporter, cast member, and as the daughter, mother, grandmother and lifetime friend of many Revels participants.

During recent years she determinedly kept up connections with her family, friends and community. She never lost her charm, her sense of humor, and her sharp intelligence, which she wielded generously, having opinions on almost every subject. She loved to talk and socialize and rarely missed the opportunity to attend an event, see a show or go to an exhibition.

Lucy was predeceased by her sister, Alice Bridge Jackson, an infant daughter, and by her husband, Niels. She leaves her brother, T. R. Jackson of Corinth, Vt.; and her children, Thomas (Lisa Hire) of Point Richmond, Calif.; Sara (Tim Ferguson) of Thetford; Janet (Jon Akselsen) of Redway, Calif.; and Alice (Mark Eveslage) of Novato, Calif. Lucy’s beloved grandchildren are Charley and Peter Ferguson, Alice Akselsen, and Lucy and Jackson Young-Eveslage.

The family of Lucy Jackson Young will attend an interment of her cremated remains in the Jackson family plot at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass.

A potluck memorial including music, drama, and dancing is scheduled for the 14th and/or 15th of June, 2014, in Thetford.