As fireworks lit up the skies across the country this 4th of July, the brightest, sweetest light in our lives went blazing into eternity and outshone them all. Tudy Youngberg, 84, died peacefully that night.
Tudy was born on April 2, 1937 in Lawrence, Kansas to Irvin and Eleanor (Ingenthron) Youngberg. Tudy was raised and spent the majority of her life here in this town she loved; brought up by parents who were deeply involved in the University and were equally invested in building and maintaining a thriving, inclusive community, Tudy embraced their values of kindness, compassion, and grace early on and focused on serving others her entire sober life of 36 years. Tudy graduated from Lawrence High School in 1955 and received her BA in Education from the University of Kansas in 1959. She taught at both Pinkney and Sunset schools and also worked at KU Endowment.
She is survived by her daughter Kerry Sutorius and Steve, her son Scott Stuart and Shana, their children Kaela Stuart and Scott Parrigon, Ryson Stuart, Darra Stuart, and Logan Stuart; she is also survived by her bonus daughters Tanya McNeely and Rick, Michelle Babcock and Rob and their children Phaedra, Bianca and Ian, and three great-grandkids. Tudy was married to Phil Stuart in 1960 and to John Haller in 1996.
Tudy was actively involved in Trinity Episcopal Church, the University of Kansas Endowment, her sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma, the Mortar Board alumnae, P.E.O., and her high school reunion group. Through the church she helped develop the Friendship Circle, the TLC group, and the Lay Eucharistic Visitors.
On August 25, 1985, Tudy began her sobriety journey and was active in Alcoholics Anonymous for the rest of her life. Mom’s decision to make a commitment to sobriety and AA was truly a life-changing event that took her on a pathway to service and a deep and evolving spirituality that touched countless other people. A 180-degree life change describes her transformation well. The struggles she had and overcame helped to shape the person we all know and love, and gave her a passion for those who are alone and people who need support and encouragement. Her commitment to the practice and spirituality of AA and to her Christian faith helped her to develop an incredible community of friends who walked with her through her life. She was a mentor and model for many others, and an inspiration for those seeking to find renewal.
We are all blessed that she lived a full and meaningful life to the day she died, spending time with family and friends, doing the artwork she loved, living independently and reaching out to help others. While her death was sudden, her faith and ours gives us assurance that she is walking with God and partying with Jesus, and is surely joyfully asking them to pose for a Father and Son sculpture.
Funeral services will be held this Friday, July 9th, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lawrence. A reception will follow at the church’s fellowship hall and a graveside service will be held at 1:30 p.m. at Pioneer Cemetery. All are welcome to join us at any time during the day to mourn and celebrate Mom together.
Memorials can be directed to Van Go Inc., an art program for disadvantaged youth and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.