Lena "Roberta" Young (1927-2008)

Young remembered for sunny disposition

PENNFIELD - Growing up in Canal, outside St. George, Roberta (Bert) Young had such a sunny disposition that her mother used to say that whenever she came into the house "she brought the sunshine with her," says her eulogist and favourite niece, Linda Janes.

And despite a lifetime of hard work and hard knocks, says her niece, the well-liked food industry manager and dedicated woman kept right on smiling, without complaint, in the face of adversity.

"She was a pleasant, very sunny woman who had a lot of patience," said Janes.

She dealt with more in her lifetime than most people could handle, but always came through."

Young, who died at age 80 on Aug. 25. was left to raise three sons when her first husband, Roy Justason, was killed in a hunting accident in 1963.

She also lost a son, Brian, in a snowmobile accident in 1975.

Janes believes her aunt's strong Christian faith played a "very big part" in her ability to overcome the hard patches in her life.

Young, who married returned naval veteran Eldon I. Young after her children were grown, was a great cook known for dishing up the "best fish in chips in the country," said Janes, when she managed the Strand Restaurant (now home of the Silver King) in Blacks Harbour for more than 20 years.

She first got involved in the food industry when she and her sister-in-law, Rhoda Justason, operated a take-out canteen at Pennfield. Later, she and her first husband ran Justason's Canteen in St. George.

Born in St. George on Nov. 25, 1927, she was the youngest of eight children - two boys, who both died in infancy, and six daughters - of the late George and Viola (Barry) Maxwell.

Besides her husband, Eldon, her survivors include two sons, William and Barry Justason, both of Pennfield; one sister, Margaret Moore of Garnett Settlement; four grandchildren; two great-grandsons; four step-daughters; one stepson; and several step-grandchildren and great step-grandchildren.

Young was a member of the Pennfield Baptist Church, but had attended St. George Baptist in later years. She was also a member of the Ladies' Auxiliary of Branch No. 20, Royal Canadian Legion, in St. George.

Janes, whom Young considered the "daughter" she never had, said one of her aunt's great joys in life was a camp she once owned at L'Etete. "She loved going to the camp and kicking back," she said.

Young also liked to put on big spreads on occasions like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

"She would cook up some wonderful meals," recalled Janes. "She was very much a family person who wanted everyone to love the Lord the way she did, and love family, and take care of one another."

SOURCE: New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal (Saint John, NB) - September 8, 2008.

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