Tributes to Catherine Young

If you would like to send your tribute to Catherine Young, please send it vie email. Thank you!

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I met Catherine when Amy was 12 months old.  Somehow I got hold of one her magazines after Amy's birth.  It took almost a year of phone conversations and letters before Gord, Amy and I drove up to meet her.  We expected to meet some hippy chick and instead here was this incredibly conservative, chubby, opinionated sheep farmer without even a single breastfeeding illustration on her walls.  She introduced me to her neighbours as "a breastfeeding fanatic."  But she hooked me from the first, less because of TCM, more because I simply liked the earthy, straightforward kind of person she was.

I loved the fact that she was nuts, truly around the bend about many things.  I loved that she'd stand in her yard and unabashedly take some young person to task for having tattoos and earrings!  I loved that when I appeared at her house to help but couldn't walk she never pitied me, just scolded me for taking poor care of myself and set me to some task I could do sitting.  I loved that she'd get all excited about something new; a man, an idea, a project, and go at it with all the vim and verve in her being.

She'd shout its merits to the rooftops, convince others to take up the same enthusiasm, and two weeks later having explored the topic to the hilt she'd drop it as if she'd never been interested in the first place.  TCM was the visible evidence of her commitment to breastfeeding and probably the only steady thing in her life outside of her love of Rebecca, Mandy and Zack.

And TCM after all was simply an extension of the love they'd taught her about at the breast.  I don't think anything else in her life was nearly as clear.

I met Catherine just months before her diagnosis with breast cancer so the woman I know may be different from the woman many others know.  The woman I knew sat with me on the couch as we whispered the stories of our lives, cried for things painful in the past and shared our fears of the future.

We fought over my training as a traditional birth attendant and shared fury over WHO Code violations which meant death and despair for families around the world.  I watched her time and again put her faith in some new cure for the cancer which was paining her day after day.  Hope and persevere were her bywords.  She bossed me to within an inch of my life and I was grateful she still could do it.

I thought we'd never again see the likes of Catherine Young; radical, conservative, demanding, and oh, so generous.  Except on the day of her
funeral as I looked into the faces of her children and I saw it.  I saw Catherine's joy in Mandy's eyes, her serenity in the face of crisis in Rebecca's face and her determination to continue in the tilt of Zack's head.  She is all there in her children where after all, she always wanted to be.

With love,
Mary-Tim Hare

I want to express my sincere condolences to Catherine Young's family, friends and everyone who loves her. I did not personaly know her, but her work and courage inspired me to become a better mother and a better woman. She will be deeply miss and never forget. Peace to Catherine and all her loved ones.
With love and hope,
Eve Gagnon
Mama to Oph´┐Żlie (March 8th, 2000)

I am an aspiring natural CBE and someone said Catherine Young had passed away yesterday?  Is this true?  I am so so sorry.  She was a great person who made the world a better place.  She will be missed terribly..

Lara Nabours


The loss of Catherine Young is so very sad for families of the world and for those who loved her so dearly.  Catherine greatly influenced my life both as a mother and as a childbirth activist.

She fought a valiant battle against her disease.  She is now free and I'm sure was met at heaven's gate by a chorus of angels.  She was a good and faithful servant of humanity and goes to heaven
with the many other heroes today who tried so valiantly to save the lives of New Yorkers.

It has been such a sad day.

Laura de Jonge
Editor, Birthing Magazine
Calgary, Alberta, Canada


Dear Jodie,
I am a good friend of Sandee Luttkuss'...
Please know I am thinking of you all...

How strange...... yet not...

Our Catherine gone to be with all the souls lost at the same moment...
Perhaps she is a mother to them all as she has been to us.....

Love, Judy

Thank you for getting me addicted to the best magazine for natural mothering in the world.  You sent me a copy of your magazine, along with a fruit leather, back in 1986 or 87.  I was hooked!  I didn't hang on to those old magazines, they were needed by others so I passed them along. 
You advocated for babies when no one else would. In Spring of 99 you spoke for me when I opposed a public mohel circumcision.  You went so above and beyond what I expected.  I was so thrilled that such an important magazine editor would help me. 
Thank you for educating me.  Thank you for speaking for the babies.  Bless you.
Camellia May
11130 Sagewillow Ln.
Houston, TX USA



Thank you Catherine, for your words, your honesty, your thoughts and feelings, your commitment to speaking out and spreading the word in support of breastfeeding and natural parenting.  You have affected many lives.  You are loved by many and will be deeply missed.

Erin Lindblom, Michigan


I'm from Sudbury Ontario, and I was only introduced to this wonderful magazine after their birth of my daughter.  This magazine has given me tears and joy.  I nurse my 15 month old and read every single word inside.  I have harvested my own raspberry leaf tea.  I have become obsessed with breastfeeding, and the promotion of natural birth, and the wonders of Doulas, in particular my Doula, Linda Middleton.  I have learned so much from the Mother, and I have corresponded with Catherine within the past few months.  I cry tears for her family, she will be missed.
Love and Condolences
Liz Conrad
Sudbury Ontario.
Please Print this letter.

of course I am sitting here completely in tears, feeling awful that I had never gotten around to telling Catherine she was right:

I ordered a huge batch of The Mother tea when I was seven weeks pregnant, drank quarts and quarts of it, throughout my pregnancy, Catherine had told me when we spoke that if I drank the tea throughout I'd have a five hour labor, at home, and you know what?  I did! 
AND...  it was a home VBAC, with a ten pound twelve ounce baby girl, Clara, over an intact perineum.  Catherine was one of the amazing women who helped me along my way, to the amazing birth of Clara.   I don't know what I would have done without her, helping show me my way.

I will miss you, Catherine.

"NY tea drinker" as I was known on one of Catherine's mass email routing lists New York City


My tears flow freely as I write this tribute to you Catherine, you are the true compleat mother. I have been pregnant and/or breastfeeding for over 12 years now and you have been there for most of it. It was your magazine that verified that the decisions I had made were the right decisions for myself, my children, my family.  CM was my best-friend when I didn't have any and was living out in the country with my husband and new baby but had no friends and no family near by. I felt like a standing lone pine.

Reading about all the other womyn and mothers and their babies and children in CM made me feel I was no longer alone. Each of them became a tree beside me and together we became a forest.  I have friends now and we all clamour to read CM word by word, cover to cover. It was your magazine and suggested web-sites that helped my convince my husband that any of our sons would not
be circumsized. 


It was CM that made me question vaccinations. It was CM that made me want to boycott Nestle. It was CM that made me glad I had chosen to birth all my babies naturally and to breastfeed them until they chose to wean. CM was my life-line when I needed one the most. When I read CM I felt that the choices I made were "normal" to and supported by others in the world. CM empowered me as womyn and a mother. The CM web-site is far reaching in this world and allows mothers to help mothers.

Catherine thank-you for your unending commitment to CM and to all the womyn, mothers, children and families whose hearts you have touched. I have thought of you everyday in your journey and will think of you everday as your newest journey begins.  A part of you lives on in the memory of every person that you have touched. Your spirit has passed from you through others to our children who have all benefited from CM.  We will miss you very much, but our paths shall cross again.

Catherine your pain is gone now, and you are in your beautiful place.

My thoughts and prayers are with your family and friends in their time of sadness.


Kerri Paquette SAHMom to Amanda (11), Emma (9), Maddison(7), Jonah (4),
Saige and Claire ( 14 months)


Please accept my deepest sympathies.  I never met Catherine in person, but feel like she was a dear friend.  I admired and respected her, and am grateful to her for opening my eyes to the choices that were always available, but discouraged by our "progressive" society.  Her commitment and dedication to natural mothering made it possible for me to have a better experience pregnant, breastfeeding and parenting, and I will continue to honor her memory by trying to reach out to other women who may not realize the significance of their mothering decisions.  Catherine Young has left a
great legacy with the power of her pen, the strength of her soul, and the courage of her convictions.  I will never forget her.  May God bless and keep you.  Johanna Alger


I am a La Leche League Leader in Victoria BC Canada, but have just returned from two years in China. Two years ago, I put out a request to Catherine for
anything she happened to have in Chinese and she so graciously sent me a wonderful packet of the posters and some magazines as well. I was pleased to be able to have something for the mothers I was trying to help.

Her passing is great loss to the breastfeeding community.

In sympathy

Ruth McAllister


My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Catherine.........
Although we have never met, I always knew that Catherine was there supporting and encouraging me and so many other women with our birthing and parenting choices....... Catherine's wisdom is a constant source of strength and inspiration...... she will be sadly missed.
Some people come into our lives and quickly go.
Others stay for a while and leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same.
Trudi Kluge
Flagstaff Hill, South Australia  



I never spoke with Catherine, but through her writings and her magazine, I was given strength to continue to listen to my heart and to my intuition as a mother.

Though the various treatments that she sought did not make her live to an old age, she did live the years that she had with passion and love.  Her words always struck me with emotion and I always felt that her choices were definitely well chosen.  She walked her path with dignity and strength, and I hope that we may continue the journey as she began it, with our heads held high while we gather to support and promote pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding throughout our world. 


Thank you Catherine,
for your search for truth.

Laura Taylor
Chepachet RI
[email protected]


Thank you Catherine for validating my thoughts and letting me see that I was normal.  My sympathies are with your children, other family members and friends.

Melissa from Australia


What a horribly sad day. 

Catherine was so wonderfully giving!  Whenever she sent out packages, she would always add extras.  Extra posters, magazines, post cards....

I felt like I was connected to her, just from reading current magazines and back-issues.  The few times we corresponded, by e-mail, she was so considerate, and lovely in every way.

She was so full of LIFE!  I never got the feeling that she wasn't going to beat this.  I just can't believe it.

I will continue to boycott Nestle, in Catherine's memory.  I will continue to support The Mother.  I will miss Catherine's words, and spirit.

With much love,

Saara Harvie
Flin Flon, MB


I just found out about the loss of Catherine Anna Young.  I had only just found the Compleat Mother & I will now subscribe in her honor.  I am so sorry she couldn't stay with us...she was an amazing woman, an inspiration to others.  My thoughts are with her family & friends.  


~Cheryl Clifton, RN


My deepest sympathies go to Catherine's family.  She has touched many many lives, the lives of countless women and their families.  Because of her, so many have been empowered to follow their hearts and souls. 

Thank you Catherine, you will be missed.  God Bless

The Traynor Family
Little Silver, NJ


I am saddened beyond words.
My heart aches.
Catherine was a beacon of light and inspiration.
A rebel with a great cause.
I have never been more inspired or admired anyone more. She was my heroine.

I'll never forget the first time that I had contact with her.
After complaining one day that even Mothering Magazine was no longer radical enough for me, my best friend, put me onto the Compleat Mother.  I just had a phone number, so I called.  I had no idea I was calling Catherine directly at her farm.  She was unbelievably kind and unpretentious.  I just felt like I was having a nice chat with another mom.  She took the time to ask about my children and assured me that her publication would indeed support me in my extended nursing journey.  She offered to send me a bunch of back issues (for free!) to tie me over until the next issue.

Nothing more exciting than the Compleat Mother has ever landed in my mailbox.  I'm like a little girl at Christmas every three months.  Reading the Mother for the first time was like a home coming.   Several months later a friend dropped off a stack of old back issues, dating into the 80's.  The first thing I did was arrange them by date and read each of the editorials.

I felt as if I had made a new friend. She sent me into fits of laughter with her words, supported and validated my decision to not vaccinate,  made me angry enough to write letters to the health minister and companies who violate the WHO code, soothed me with her raspberry leaves during nauseous months of pregnancy, gave me the courage to nurse my toddler in public, knocked sense into me so that my son's penis was spared the knife and ultimately inspired me to have my last baby unattended, at home, with a lotus birth...miraculous and magical!  Yes, she had a great and positive impact on my life and that of my children.

I will continue to boycott Nestle, now with even greater passion, in her memory. Our world will be dimmer without Catherine's light. The irony of Catherine's passing, from the cause to the date are unnerving.

My sincerest and deepest sympathies to her children, her deepest passion. Words escape me.  My prayers and thoughts are with you.

Love Julie Giraldo

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