Joan Esplin Young, age 78, of Paoli, Pennsylvania, passed away peacefully of pneumonia with complications due to COVID-19. Joan was born in Payson, Utah on March 1, 1942 to Thomas Lavoy and Phoebe Lytle Esplin, the oldest of five children. She spent her formative years in Kanab and later in St. George, Utah. She graduated from Dixie College and The University of Utah with a bachelor of arts in English and language arts.
She taught English and drama at Bonneville Junior High School. In 1966, she married Lowell Spencer Young in the St. George Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for time and all eternity. In 1967, after the birth of their first daughter, Lowell and Joan moved to the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area, for Lowell to attend graduate school, where they have remained ever since.
For her entire life, Joan was a devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served faithfully in numerous leadership positions. She had an innate ability to sense and fulfill the needs of others. Joan and Lowell were blessed with four daughters: Elizabeth Ann, Yvette, Rachel and Caroline.
Throughout her life, Joan nurtured not only her children but those outside her immediate family. She taught at the Wetherill School, a Montessori-based preschool in Gladwyne for many years. She combined her love of writing, dramatic play and music to foster a lifelong love of learning and expression. She was also an avid bibliophile and a dedicated journal keeper, family history recorder as well as a prolific letter writer.
In addition, she was a gifted thespian and also wrote and directed several plays in the church and in the community. In college, Joan performed in several plays, portraying Emily Webb in a production of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town, and won a best actress award from her college’s drama department for her portrayal of Anne in The Diary of Anne Frank. Renowned for her quick wit and sharp intellect among her array of family and friends, she was the source of great conversation and joyful family gatherings.
Joan was blessed with 15 wonderful grandchildren, each of whom she wrote to on a regular basis and shared her love of literature as she read picture books with them on her couch. Joan is survived by her loving husband Lowell Spencer Young of nearly 55 years, her brother Thomas Lavoy Esplin II, her sisters Lucinda Esplin Bowers, Susan Esplin Blazzard and Jane Esplin Campbell, daughters Yvette Young Hadley (Chet), Rachel Young Johnson (Marc) and Caroline Young Sadler (Dee) and 15 precious grandchildren: Spencer, Katie, Lorenzo, Samuel, Sterling, Elijah, Emma, Maxx, Jacob, Luke, Jack, Christian, Johanna, Asa and Zoe. She is preceded in death by her daughter Elizabeth “Liz” Ann Young Ott (Ed).
A private burial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021 at Valley Forge Memorial Gardens. A memorial service is planned in the coming year when conditions permit. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Humanitarian Fund of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.