In loving memory, Nancy Maria Young Sanderson

    “A person’s most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge, but a heart full of love, an ear ready to listen, and a hand willing to help.”

    With great sadness, we announce the passing of our beloved Mom, wife, daughter, and sister Nancy Maria Young Sanderson, who passed away March 15, 2024, in Billings, Yellowstone County, Montana, at the age of 77, just 6 weeks shy of her 78th birthday. Nancy left her family to journey beyond the veil to build a new home for her family that is yet to follow.

    Nancy, as she was fondly known by her loved ones, was born on the 26th day of April 1946, one day before her mom’s 18th birthday. She was born in Blackfoot, Bingham County, Idaho, in the Old Colonial Hotel that had been converted to a nursing home, to Donald Norman Young and Dolly Adrienne Parsons Young.

    Nancy’s 1st year of life was on the family farm along the Snake River in Pingree Idaho. Don and Dolly purchased land in central east Idaho. Nancy as a two-year-old grew up along the banks of Bear Creek in the shadow of Twin Peaks Lookout in the Challis National Forest, Challis, Custer County, Idaho. In the rugged lifestyle of not having modern conveniences, she learned that nature and animals were her friends. They lived in a little old one-room cabin with a dirt floor. This is where Nancy grew and developed her strength of character. Nancy endured many illnesses and life-threatening situations as a child. Her strong will, perseverance, and belief in God and prayer always pulled her through trials that developed her divine worth. Anyone who met her as an adult was drawn to her strength of character, integrity, charitable heart, wisdom, faith, and courage.

    When Nancy was around 6 years old, she was helping her dad on a loose-leaf haystack. She fell on a porcupine that was hiding in the haystack. Her whole backside was covered in quills. Instead of going to the nearest hospital, which was 75 miles away, Don took a pair of pliers and pulled the quills out one by one. Nancy endured the trauma and pain like a trooper. Nancy was raised in a poor financial situation, with a lack of running water, electricity, or other necessities of life. As an adult, she empathized with those less fortunate than her. Her home, finances, food, and heart were always open to those in need. There is no counting all who she gave service to through the years. All her children in one accord herald her as having the “biggest heart around”. She always went above and beyond to be of service.

    Nancy graduated from Challis High School in 1963. After graduation, Nancy worked in Salmon and Idaho Falls. Nancy would come home periodically to see if her high school crush was still too shy to ask her out. Eventually, She immigrated to Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada, and lived there for a couple of years. Her heart could not forget the sandy-red-haired neighbor boy. Nancy yearned to return home to Challis and was very determined to make “that man her husband.” Nancy had a plan and she was not going to waiver from it. She was done waiting for the shy man, her high school crush, to ask her out. She decided Cathy “needed” to go visit Fayone, Blaine’s youngest sister. Nancy found Blaine on the roof repairing it for his mom. Nancy found the perfect opportunity to corner him. She stood at the bottom of a ladder refusing to move and let Blaine off the roof until he promised to take her out on a date.

    Nancy married her long-time high school crush and neighbor boy, Blaine Journal Sanderson, in Challis, Idaho at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, on May 24, 1969. She always called Blaine “Honey” and Blaine called her “Sugar”.

    Their terms of endearment followed them through their 54 years of marriage. Her grandchildren thought that these were their names for a long time and would call them Honey and Sugar. They worked together and played together. Everything they did was together in a solid union, 2 bodies, 1 heart. Nancy was sealed for all time and eternity to her “Honey” on May 4, 1976, in the Idaho Falls, Idaho L.D.S. Temple. Her children were then sealed to her as well at that time. Family was Nancy’s greatest achievement and her heartbeat. There couldn’t have been a prouder momma than Nancy when she was able to have children, that is until her grandchildren came along. Her heart grew bigger and she sang their praises louder and longer than the meadowlark in the morning.

    Nancy held many positions of trust within the L.D.S. Church, teaching the primary children, working in Cub Scouts, and as a leader in the Relief Society.

    Nancy and Blaine Lived in the Frank Church Wilderness Area of Idaho for the 1st 2 ½ years of their married life, living off the land and working cleaning trails and doing maintenance. They moved to Dubois Wyoming and raised their family there. They lived in Crowheart and then Lander Wyoming at the time of her passing.

    Nancy was very ambitious and through her hard work was able to turn a “sow’s ear into a silk purse”. She built a chicken coop for her chickens. She built a root cellar to put her winter provisions in and finished building their home in Dubois. She worked with Avon, Amway, and Young Living. She crafted and painted and did fairs selling her handcrafted arts with her mom, and sister Cathy. Her porcupine quill beaded earrings were a top seller for her. She would also set up at the NRP team roping finals at the Cowboy Christmas Expo in Las Vegas NV.

    Nancy was a Diamond Distributor for the Young Living Company. She trained and traveled extensively to Mexico, Canada, the U.S.A., Hawaii, Europe, Thailand, Ecuador, and Turkey. She never let a person go by without talking to them or helping them. Whether in the grocery store, at the gas station, airport, or even when she was in the hospital in Lander before her passing, she loved her essential oils and loved telling everyone about them. She and Blaine worked for Gary Young in Canada, and in later years at his essential oil farms in St. Maries, Idaho, Mona Utah, and Ecuador.

    She earned many awards throughout her life such as the 2016, Wyoming State Fair 1st place Commercial Booth, and multiple Young Living Diamond Trophies. Nancy had a deep love for her country and was a very loyal advocate for the freedoms of the people. Even as she lay so ill in Billings Hospital she shared with her doctor how she felt about the President of the United States.

    Nancy loved working in her garden, especially her flower garden. She enjoyed putting up produce and preparing for the winter with her harvest. She loved to read to her children and grandchildren and taught them the importance of reading. She loved to sing and would sing out loud on Sundays to “Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel”. She especially loved singing to her babies “You are my sunshine”. Christmas and holidays with family were special. She would cook all week to make sure everyone had their favorite food.

    Nancy is survived by her husband Blaine Journal Sanderson and her 3 Children. Shane [Tina] Sanderson, Jodi [Frank] Rose and Marlena [Jim]. Grandchildren; Jonathon, Riley, Zak, Klayton, Josie, Josh, Isac, Morgan, Kimberlee, Katelynn, 2 Grandsons and 2 Great-Grandchildren. Siblings; Cathy [Ron] Streibel, Dana Clay [Cammie] Young and Toni [John] Post, her Aunt Carma Young (100 yrs. old this year), along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and countless friends. No one was a stranger to Nancy.

    Nancy is preceded in death by: Her parents Donald and Dolly Adrienne Young, sister Rebecca Ann Young, brothers: Don Gary Young and Jack Arthur Young, parents-in-law: James Journal and Vera Laker Sanderson, sister’s in-law, Sonja Sanderson, Joyce May Sanderson, Helen Gwen Sanderson Hussey, and brother-in-law Terry Sanderson. Nancy’s life is more than the dash between the dates of 1946-2024.

    She lived life to the fullest and loved it long. She was very thankful for her family and the joys of the earth and shared them with many.

    May those memories of Nancy that we hold dear in our hearts be a beacon of light and joy as we remember with fondness all that she stood for. In closing, a salutation taken from a term of endearment her dad would say to her: “Daughter Dear”, forever in our hearts you will always be.

    We Love you.

    The graveside service will begin at 10:00 A.M. at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Lander, Wyoming on, Friday, April 5, 2024.

    The memorial service will follow at 11:00 A.M. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (653 Cascade St, Lander, WY 82520) in Lander, Wyoming. A reception will follow.

    Please sign the online guestbook at:

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