RIP: Claudie Young, “The Mayor of Ellsworth”

ClaudieYoung2

Claudie Young of Ellsworth Street died last Friday. He was 97, a World War II veteran, and a major presence on his street. Neighbor (in abstentia) Peter writes:

I just wanted to pass on news about another sad passing in Bernal: Claudie Young (the “mayor” of Ellsworth) was found dead in his home today.  He was an epic person and a fixture in the neighborhood chatting up everyone who walked by and waving at every car. Our son grew up watching and waving and trading mime routines with Mr. Young from our big window across the street.

Here’s a recent pic from our house. We are so sad and will miss him dearly…

If you have recollections or memories of Neighbor Claudie to share, please avail yourself of the comments.

PHOTO: Neighbor Peter

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27 thoughts on “RIP: Claudie Young, “The Mayor of Ellsworth”

  1. So sorry to hear about Mr. Young’s passing. I never met him officially, but when we’d wave to each other most days as I’d drive by it always put a Big smile on my face.

  2. Very sad to hear this. I also never met Mr. Young ‘officially’ but waved to him or said hello when on my way up to Bernal Hill over the last couple of years. His smile will be missed.

  3. I think we all waved to him and I hope it brought him as much happiness as it did to me and what seems to be many bernal residents.

  4. He was so sweet. I found him parked outside my house in his big car recently with the window rolled down a bit. It was a hot day so I went up to see if he was okay. Yes, he was just waiting for me to come along so he could hand me some letters and bills to be mailed at the corner mailbox. What sweet faith in neighbors he had. RIP.

  5. Walking home from Cortland was always better with Mr. Young sitting in his garage near the top of Ellsworth. Saying hello to him was my reward for the slog up that damn hill. It will not be same without him!

  6. I am really really sad to hear of this. He would always wave us when we would drive by.

    Last couple of Christmas’s we dropped off poinsettias to his place and he was so grateful. May he rest in peace. Thank you for letting us know.

    Sent from Anil Dutt

  7. I’m so sorry to read this news. While we never spoke, I always looked for him and waved as I went by. He was such a wonderful presence and will be immensely missed.

  8. He chatted me and my husband up for a good 20 minutes when we passed by on our way down from a walk on the Hill. Told us some stories from when he first came to San Francisco, people he ran with, how they hung out and had fun. He clearly enjoyed reminiscing and storytelling. Really nice man. Rest in peace.

  9. We always waved to him when we drove down our street. He used to comment on our passion flower vine and give gardening tips when we first moved in twelve years ago. I’ll miss seeing him on our street.

  10. I am Peter’s mother and am soo sad that Mr. Young died alone in his house. Whenever I was visiting, I would go over and talk to Mr. Young or bring him potato chips from the store. One day I found him washing the wheels of Grace’s (my daughter-in-law) car. He just thought they needed cleaning. If not that, then he would be sweeping the sidewalk or gutter on our side of the street.
    Lot’s of times I saw a car (even a police car) stop and a person get out and chat with Mr. Young for a while, and it usually was a long while because he had lots of stories to tell!!
    What a great man! I will miss him.

  11. Mr. Young indeed. I had not heard. How sad. What a name too for a 97 year old. I had a number of nice conversations with him. The first as he trudged by my house and we all trudge up Ellsworth…It probably kept him ‘young’! He lived almost at the top where it was steepest too. One conversation I had with him began with me asking him how he came to be here in that house. He said he was walking or driving by as was his usual, and he and his wife liked the view and area and observed this house being built. The builder and owner were one and the same and Claude asked him to sell it to him which the man agreed to do. The builder was building two houses right next to each other at the time. I am not all together certain about this fact, but i think Claude had difficulty getting all the loan and the builder helped him by lending him some of the money.

  12. He must have worn a hole in the floor by that window and his bottle of cocoa butter. He was always there waving (even on the fast downhill and the odd angle, people always knew to honk and look up)… or else he was on that chair in his garage. I watched him paint the floor of his garage baby blue with a single brush and when I looked closely he had just made circles around the chair and table legs in his garage that he didn’t want to move. And painted only up to arms length on the security gate before he just shrugged and stopped.

    He cut the neighbors’ hedges so he could “see their front door better” and he swept the sidewalks for the people he liked (which I believe was all but one). Fiercely protective and no push-over (plenty of f-bombs for that one neighbor and he hated the phone company), but lovable even in his half-hour soliloquies. If I left my garage door open, I swear he didn’t blink staring at it until I closed it.

    He used to shake his head at me trying to build that house for my family, but even when we got suspicious or annoyed looks from the other neighbors, he was out there directing traffic for my truck or giving me the thumbs-up every evening at quitting time. Totally epic in his neighborliness and neighborhood celebrity. I’m sure he’s already set up a chair and chatted up everyone at whatever place he is now.

    • Peter, thank you for posting Mr. Young’s picture. He loved his wife deeply and I know that her passing was very difficult for him. He struck me as an elegant man who was hard working with a strong sense of fairness. He was a cheerful and friendly neighbor whose presence fostered community. like other neighbors, I brought over a plate of food to him, now and then. He loved my mac and cheese :) His passing is a sad loss.
      Francis

  13. Thanks for passing along the news. I am sad to see him go, he will be missed on Ellsworth St. We looked for and waved to Mr. Young every time we drove by and chatted with him when we walked by and it was warm outside and he was sitting or hanging outside or washing his car. I was amazed when i saw him walk up the hill (he lived on one of the steepest parts) , or even get in his car and drive downtown. I remember hearing stories about when he moved here and about the neighborhood.

  14. Claudie was a great friend to me and my partner. Our hearts are heavy with grief over his passing. We lived across the street from him and his wife for over 15 years and spent countless hours together telling stories, sharing popsicles and enjoying parties with him. His beautiful blue eyes always revealed a sly sparkle that will forever be missed. One of my fondest memories of him was watching him dance in his driveway to his old worn out radio in front of the trunk of his precious car he kept so pristine. I went over to talk to him and see what the celebration was all about. He told me he was dancing with his wife, and there was a beautiful photo of her propped up in the trunk of the car. Such an amazing soul. I am grateful they are now together again in peace. But I will forever miss his friendship and love.

  15. Very sad. I have been waving to Mr. Young since I was a kid. He was and will always be a great part of Bernal Heights. Rest in Peace Sir.

  16. I will miss Mr. Young, coming home every day I looked forward to seeing him in the window and always having a big smile and wave. 97 years old, he had a blessed life!

  17. I will miss his stories. I will miss his jokes. I will miss his wave. I will miss his chuckle. Mr Young truly was a special person. We are so lucky to have met him. We love you Mr Young! We will miss you!

  18. It’s hard to believe he was 97 years old. I remember offering him a ride last summer after seeing him slowly walk up Ellsworth with two bags of groceries. It was one of the hottest days of the year and when I stopped, he smiled as though he had won the lottery and said, “This must be my lucky day!” Mr. Young will truly be missed.

  19. Services are scheduled for next Wednesday, Dec 12th, at Thompson’s Bayview Mortuary (5187 Third St.). According to neighbors, the details of the services will be posted on Mr. Young’s gate.

    • Some more information on the funeral:
      – starts at 11a
      – no viewing, no “quiet hour”
      – flowers can be sent to Thompson’s Mortuary, c/o Lewis and Ribbs Mortuary, 6424 3rd Street, SF, CA 94124. should arrive after 10a.

      • Update: According to the sign on Mr. Young’s gate, the funeral will be held at Lewis and Ribbs Mortuary at 6424 3rd Street, Wednesday 12/12 at 11a.

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