Bertha Ann Young, 89, of Shawnee, died Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, at a local nursing home.
Bertha Ann Young was born to John and Lydia Young on June, 22, 1928, in Eastland Texas.
Bertha Ann began serving the citizens of Shawnee as a cashier in the water department on Aug. 9, 1948, and retired after 51 years of loyal service as the city treasurer/finance director on Aug. 31, 1999. She dedicated her life to Shawnee City Hall and loved her work, colleagues, friends and of course Shawnee.
In 1978, Bertha Ann was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Oklahoma Municipal Retirement Fund and in 1980 began serving as the Board Secretary. Thirty-nine years later, she held her post up until April 28, 2017. Her dedication impacted thousands of lives and helped municipal employees retire well not only here in Shawnee but statewide.
Bertha Ann was a long standing member and past president of Shawnee BPW and served many years in Shawnee Kiwanis, the Historical Society, and her favorite, the SURA Board.
Bertha Ann loved her municipal work and wanted to share and mentor others. During that time, she virtually earned all of the professional certifications available for clerks and treasurers. She served on the State Commission for Training City Clerks, Treasurers and Finance Officers and became a certified municipal clerk and municipal finance administrator. In addition, she was actively involved in several professional associations and served at different times as president of: the Oklahoma Chapter of GFOA; Oklahoma Treasurers Association; Governmental Finance Officers Association of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Association of Municipal Clerks, Treasurers and Financial Officials (OMCTFOA).
She recalled attending the first ever Clerks Conference and there were only a few of maybe 25. Bertha Ann stated in her own words, “Still today, the conference is such a great foundation for learning for clerks, treasurers - both old and new. We found a place to network, to learn, to share and to grow. I remember when we first offered scholarships to new clerks who could not afford to come. I would always try to make sure that each attendee felt welcome and received the valuable training.” She added, “It’s hard to look back and name just a few favorite memories. But I do know that my life was impacted by what all I learned and did at city hall, and I sincerely hope that a few of my actions have helped others along the way.”
In 2005 Bertha Ann Young was inducted to the Oklahoma Hall of Fame for City and Town Officials. She was humbled and honored to be joining such a notable group. The Master of Ceremonies read this at her induction: “Bertha Ann Young achieved an unprecedented career of integrity, leadership, professional development and support for the appointed and elected officers and employees involved in municipal government.”
It is only fitting, at the Aug. 21, 2017, City of Shawnee commission meeting, the mayor and city commissioners dedicated and designated the City of Shawnee City Commission Chambers as the “Bertha Ann Young City Commission Chambers.” Her family was honored and received the resolution on behalf of their beloved.
She was preceded in death by her beloved parents Lydia and John Young, her much-loved sister and best friend Verna Nell Young, one aunt, six uncles, cousins and friends.
She is survived by her immediate first cousins, with their descendants, Penelope Smith, Carolyn Smith Miller, Kimberly Ann Lillard and Norma Ann Smith. Carolyn’s sons Chad Miller and wife Pam and Andy Miller and wife Marta. Chad’s children Lauren and Elena, and Andy’s child Keegan. Kimberly’s son Thomas Marion Lillard III (Tripp) and wife Melissa. Kim’s daughter Andrea Yondell Koepke and husband Will. Tripp’s children Gracee Ann, Maddison Nichole and Raedyn Lynn, and Andrea’s children Bella Rose and Scottlyn Marie, and many loved cousins that were also very special to Bertha Ann. The family wishes to thank Bertha Ann’s dear friends Jodi Cox and Diane Smith.
Services will be 10 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 26, at Central Church of Christ, 10th and Bell in Shawnee with Jimmy Hyde officiating. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery under the direction of Walker Funeral Service. To share memories or to sign the online guestbook, please visit www.walkerfuneral.com.
The family has designated the Shawnee Historical Society as appropriate for memorials.