Obituary: Marcella Jane (Hearing) Younce


Marcella Jane (Hearing) Younce

Port Townsend, Wash.

May 31, 1920 – February 21, 2017

“I’ve had 95 wonderful years,” Marcella smiled, recalling to those gathered around her a life filled with family, friends, travel and adventure. “And I wouldn’t change a thing! I’ve been so fortunate,” she added, her beautiful face glowing with memories.

A short time later, Marcella Jane Younce passed away peacefully in the same manner as she lived: her way, with quiet dignity and grace, at home, surrounded by her loving family.

Born May 31, 1920 in Bremerton, Wash. to her engineer father, John “Jack” Hearing, and homemaker mother Leona Kyle, Marcella, or Marce as many friends knew her, began travelling at a young age when the family moved to Seattle where her dad worked for the Black Ball Ferry line. In 1928, he heard that Crown Zellerbach was opening a paper mill in Port Townsend, applied for a position and was hired as engineer.

The family built a home on Taft Street and Marcella thrived in Port Townsend. In grade school, she became fast friends with Jeanette Lockhart and their entire clan, a bond that endured for her remaining 88 years and is enjoyed by current generations.

Marcella was proud to be a Port Townsend High School Redskin cheerleader, which led to her acquaintance with Jack Younce, a four-sport Redskin letterman who graduated in 1936. They fell in love and married on January 21, 1939, the year following her graduation. The dashing young couple bought a home on Fillmore Street and “settled down to a happy life in Port Townsend.” WWII changed that when Jack enlisted in the Army Air Corp, then re-enlisted after the war.

They liked the nomadic lifestyle and thoroughly enjoyed their tours in Panama, South Dakota, Texas, Guam, Massachusetts, Illinois and California. Port Townsend, though, was “the best place of all” and where their hearts remained. After years of summer visits home, they finally returned permanently in 1978, building a home on Adelma Beach property they had bought in 1966.

A compassionate, loving woman, Marcella hoped for a large family, but fate gave her just one natural child, Jill Younce (Buhler), born December, 1945. To her delight, granddaughter, Lori, came along in 1966. Marcella poured her heart, soul and love into both. In 1990, when daughter Jill married John Buhler, she proudly became step-grandmother to Christie, Cathie and Mike Buhler.

Marcella was always moving, in everyday life as well as to different locales. A do-it-yourselfer of the first degree, she left a legacy of beautifully wallpapered and painted homes wherever she went. She was an active member of the Cabin Fever Quilt club for many years, was president of her condo’s homeowner’s association while in her late 80s, and, until just two weeks before her passing, played countless rounds of Pinochle with Marge Abraham, Charlotte Lundgren and other dear friends. As testimony to her determination and mental acuity, Marcella was still driving to the store, having recently passed both the written and driving tests with flying colors.

Sadly for her family and friends, though, her amazing spirit couldn’t keep her body from failing her. Marcella’s passing came just two weeks after entering Jefferson Healthcare Hospice, which allowed her to stay at home under the loving care of her daughter and granddaughter, and following a wonderful gathering of her extended family.

Marcella was preceded in death by her husband Oscar John “Jack” Younce; brother Edwin Hearing; and son-in-law John Buhler.

Marcella will be greatly missed by daughter Jill Buhler; granddaughter Lori Moody; step-grandchildren Christie (Buhler) Reynolds and husband Mike, Cathie (Buhler) Zatarain and husband Hector, and Mike Buhler and wife Christy; step-great-granddaughters Jessica and Hannah Zatarain and Morgan Buhler; sister-in-law Maxine Hearing; nieces Holly (Hearing) Bean, Tracy (Hearing) Michigami; nephew Nels Kjellin and wife Nancy; and her extended Lockhart and Strain families.

The family thanks the compassionate and dedicated members of the Jefferson Healthcare Hospice teams for their loving care and support.

A memorial service with reception to follow will take place on Sunday, March 19, 12:30 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 609 Taylor Street, Port Townsend.

In lieu of flowers, we warmly suggest a donation to Trinity Methodist Church, Jefferson Healthcare Hospice, or a charity of your choice.


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