Ann Rowland Needham Young Obituary (1936 – 2021) – Resident of Sonoma, CA


Ann Rowland (Needham) Young
July 10, 1936 – October 8, 2021
Resident of Sonoma, California
Ann Rowland (Needham) Young, 85, of Sonoma, Calif., Passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by family and beloved dogs on October 8, 2021, after a recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. Mother, wife, teacher, artist, rider, gardener, nature lover, caring soul. Ann was born in Berkeley, California on July 10, 1936, to Aloyse (Goelitz) and Ernest Rowland. She was predeceased by her daughter Claire Ann Needham and her husband William Shorb Needham.
Ann spent an adventurous childhood with her family in Walnut Creek, Calif., And attended elementary school there and Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Calif., Maintaining strong friendships with many of her classmates throughout. of his life. She graduated from Holy Names College in 1958, where she studied art and education, beginning her inspired teaching career in Walnut Creek. After moving her family to Sonoma in 1977, she spent the next 42 years teaching at St. Francis Solano School and Presentation School, both as a full-time teacher and later as a popular substitute teacher. She was appreciated for her ability to substitute herself at any level and in all subjects with finesse and humor. For the past ten years, she has volunteered with 4 Paws Therapy Dogs with her Golden Retriever Bella at Dunbar School, Valley of the Moon Children’s Home and Prestwood Elementary School. Ann and Bella served as a team, supporting children and adults in their education and in times of need.
Her passion for horses began with her family rides on Mount Diablo on a Welsh pony named Bonnie who taught her no matter how many times she was pushed back she would always get over it. Throughout her life, she pursued her passion for riding Morgan horses with her family in the Sonoma Hills and along the cliffs of Point Reyes. She has supported her daughters in their many years of breeding and showcasing their Morgan horses. Ann has spent over 78 years hiking the East Bay and Sonoma trails with her family and friends. Animals of all kinds were an integral part of Ann’s life, including 9 loyal Golden Retrievers over the years.
A member of St. Francis Solano Catholic Parish, Ann had a deep faith and enjoyed spending time with her religious community making many friends over the years, including time spent teaching CCD classes. She was also a fierce competitor in the Sonoma Bocce League Sunday Team, a longtime member of the Wildflower’s Garden Club, Diamond A Trail Catering Team, Sonoma Garden Park, Bouverie Audubon Preserve Docent, Sonoma Valley Republican Women’s Federated Board Member and was a grassroots American Patriot.
From an early age she was an accomplished artist and continued her beloved watercolor painting throughout her life. She wrote and illustrated a children’s book and her watercolors adorn the walls of many homes across the United States.
Ann is survived by her 22 year old husband Roger Jack Young, children Edward Needham (Christina) and Nancy Needham Simpson (David), sister Mimi (Rowland) Graves, Herman Rowland, Sr., sister-in-law Barbara ( Needham) Dillard, the “Cousins”, grandchildren, Cody (Lacey), Kelsey (Justin), Kendall (Hunter) and Cassidy (Raziel), great grandchildren Kennadi, Atlas, Everett, Tate and the early arrival of Brixton, as well as many nieces and nephews. Ann radiated beauty, kindness, intelligence, compassion and was an example to all who knew her in the way she lived her life and the way she left this land with strength and grace. She has inspired generations of family and friends to draw inspiration from nature, to learn by example and above all to remain optimistic about the future. Ann was an unforgettable friend to everyone who knew her. She will be deeply missed.
A funeral mass will be celebrated on Friday, October 29, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. at St. Francis Solano Catholic Church, 469 Third Street West, Sonoma, California, followed by a Celebration of Life at the Seven Branches Inn (Ramekins Culinary School) 450 West Spain Street, Sonoma.
The family would like to thank Collabria Care Hospice at Queen of the Valley Hospital and the compassionate support of those who helped Ann on her journey. In lieu of flowers, consider donating to the Saint Francis Solano School Tuition Fund or Sonoma Garden Park in memory of Ann.

See online memorial for Ann Rowland (Needham) Young

Published by East Bay Times on October 17, 2021.


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