Sidney Catharine Willson-Young 1955-2020

Written by Estero Bay News

August 28, 2020

Longtime Los Osos resident Sidney Catharine Willson-Young, 65, died peacefully July 21, 2020 at home in Paso Robles, Calif. surrounded by the love of her four children.

Born in the City of Orange on April 17, 1955, she was raised in the Southern California beach town, Corona Del Mar. She valiantly battled breast cancer for 10 years.

Sidney is survived by her four children, all of whom grew up in Los Osos: Amanda Rose Young Canter, 38, of Atascadero; Rebecca June Young Price, 36, AKA “Bek”, of Paso Robles; Janice Margaret Young, 33, of San Francisco; and John Forest Willson Beardwood, 25, of Santa Cruz. Also surviving are Sidney’s brother, Edward “Ned” Willson, 60, of Los Osos; and nephew Jesse Willson, 40, and niece Roseanne Willson-Ilar, 38, both of Aptos. Also surviving are John “Jack” Beardwood, 66, of Los Osos, father of Sidney’s son and stepfather to the girls; and many more who she loved dearly.

Ms. Willson Young, AKA “Sid,” was preceded in death by her parents, Murton Hitchcock Willson, Jr. and Dr. Margaret Harwood Thayer “Margi” Willson; and older brother Geoff. She was also preceded in death by Donald Leroy Young, who was her former husband and father to her daughters.

She always put her loved ones’ needs before her own. She gave her life to her children, making their childhood nothing less than magical.

Sidney had an encyclopedic knowledge of traditional American music and many of its offshoots. She also had the gift for musical composition. She performed for 25 years with Three Sheets to the Wind, a group dedicated to the sounds of the sea, and The Belles of Los Osos, an ensemble of four women who all penned their own originals.

She also studied the traditional music of several cultures, including the hymns of the Christian Church. She sang for many years in the St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Morro Bay. Willson-Young was also active in promoting Episcopal youth camps.

She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in visual and performing arts from UC San Marcos and an Associate of Arts in early childhood education at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo. She was also actively involved in Orff Schulwerk, a developmental approach used in music education. It combines music, movement, drama, and speech into lessons that are tailored to a child’s natural world of play.

In addition to parenting, for several years she worked as a court reporter in Los Angeles County, Orange County, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County. She also operated a day care facility in her Los Osos residence and was instrumental in the creation of the National Resophonic Guitar Company.

In lieu of flowers, etc. donations can be made in her name to Harmony Project. This wonderful organization provides high quality music instruction and social support to children year-round at no cost. For more information:

Due to the pandemic, it is not possible to have a Celebration of Life that she deserves. Once things start to get back to normal, there will be a gathering with family, friends, food and live music.

Just after she transitioned, her four children sat in the patio and watched a magnificent sunset together and witnessed Sidney grasp the tail of the comet Neowise, which carried her into the cosmos.

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