Judy Marie Rickard Young


(Mar. 6, 2001)

Powell native Judy Marie Rickard Young, known to loved ones as "the Salmon Queen of the Copper River," died quietly in her home in Glennallen, Alas., on Tuesday, March 6. She was 56.

Her quest to retrieve the largest possible number of salmon from her fish wheels in the Copper River was widely known. Those close to her knew as well that she lived her life with laughter and fun and always to the fullest, never stopping for a moment to let life's serious matters get in her way. Her life was devoted not only to her own children, but to any child with whom she came in contact.

She was born Oct. 24, 1944, in Powell to Hugh and Audrey (Shoemaker) Rickard. She attended Powell schools, graduating from Powell High School in 1963.

After completing studies at Northwest Community College, she was graduated from Eastern Montana College in Billings, Mont., with a degree in business education.

She and Ed Tollman were married in Powell on March 6, 1965. That fall, they loaded up their pickup truck, heading for her first teaching position in Glennallen, Alas. She taught business and computer education in the public schools and at Prince William Sound Community College off and on for the next 33 years.

In 1991, Judy returned to Powell and worked as administrative assistant at the Powell Valley Chamber of Commerce for three years, as well as instructing computer courses at Northwest College. When she returned to Glennallen in 1994, she assisted her oldest daughter as a pre-school teacher at the Copper Valley Learning Center.

She traveled whenever and wherever the opportunity arose, most recently having spent considerable time in Spain, Canada, Australia and Mexico.

On Jan. 4, 2000, Judy married Rick Young in Glennallen, gaining stepdaughters Angie, Shawna and Leah Young.

Her first love was people - her family and friends and her two grandbabies. She also enjoyed food, traveling, four-wheeling and preserving and cooking the huge quantities of salmon retrieved from her fish wheels in Alaska.

Survivors include her husband, Rick Young in Glennallen; son Dan of West Hollywood, Calif., daughter Suzie and husband Chris of Glennallen; daughter Casey of San Luis Obispo, Calif.; her father, Hugh Rickard of Powell; brother Ron Rickard and wife Delores of Cody; sister Terry Peterson and husband Bob of Woodland, Calif.; grandchildren Jody and Julia of Glennallen; her aunt, Vesta Phelan of Powell; five nephews; and Lynda King, "favorite 'ol cousin" of Powell.

A memorial service has been conducted in Glennallen. Her remains will be placed in the Copper River near her fish wheel.

For those who wish, the family would appreciate memorial donations in the name of Judy Young at the National Bank of Alaska in Glennallen, AK 99588.