Barbara Frances (Young) Yancy

Tributes~Barbara Frances (Young) Yancy

Barbara Frances (Young) Yancy
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Date of Birth: 
March 25 1933
Date of Death: 
April 24 1996

Barbara Frances Young Yancy, 63, of Morningside Terrace, Jackson, MS, a former state senator, died of heart failure Wednesday, April 24, 1996, at her home.

Services are 1 p.m. Saturday at Bruce United Methodist Church in Bruce, MS, with burial in Bruce Cemetery next to her husband, Senator Jesse L. Yancy, Jr., with Parker Memorial Funeral Home handling the arrangements.

Mrs. Yancy was a Vardaman native. She was the widow of Jesse L. Yancy, Jr. After their marriage, she lived in Bruce where she reared her family and was active in civic and political affairs for many years. She represented Calhoun, Chickasaw, Clay, and Monroe counties in the Senate from 1970 until 1971 after defeating two opponents to fill the unexpired term of her husband who died while in office in 1970.

Mrs. Yancy, a Democrat, did not seek re-election. She spent the remainder of her professional life in state government. She was employed by the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks at the time of her death.

A 10th generation Mississippian, Mrs. Yancy's interests included Mississippi's history and artistic culture and she was a skilled artist and craftsman.

Mrs. Yancy's son, Tom Yancy of Washington, DC, said his mother ran for his father's legislative seat because he left some unfinished projects, including a measure establishing a procedure for investing state funds to earn interest, which was not the practice at the time. "He was a populist, good-government kind of guy," Yancy said. "It was not uncommon for widows to run for their late husband's offices in those days, but it was unusual in that Mother faced a pretty tough fight. She was one of the few women legislators in those years. She didn't see herself as one of those women who were breaking new ground. I think she saw it as her duty to my father's legacy, and to the people who elected him."

Mrs. Yancy never had any formal art training but always dabbled in the arts. "Even up until her death, she did all kinds of things with what you might call folklore Sana Claus figures," he said. She was a fine painter, but didn't really pursue that. She had a full-time job with us kids, and after my father died she went to work.

During the late Gov. Cliff Finch's administration, Mrs. Yancy operated a governor's hotline helping people get help from the government, her son said. "She survived a couple of administrations," he said.

In Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, Mrs. Young served as assistant to the director of parks division, and, until her health declined, she conducted arts and crafts workshops for lay people at all the state parks. "It was just everyday stuff, like making Easter egg baskets out of all sorts of things," Yancy said. "She was a talented woman and a strong woman who had ideas and wanted to do something beyond the traditional role."

Yancy said his sister Cindy followed their mother's path to a job with the state Senate and he himself is a journalist covering national government issues for specialty publications. Mrs. Yancy "came from a long line of proud Mississippians, and I hope it continues with us," he said.

Other survivors include daughter, Cindy Yancy of Jackson; son, Jesse Lee Yancy, III, of Oxford; mother, Monette Morgan Young of Jackson; brother, James M. "Sonny: Young of Fort Walton Beach, FL; and sister, Diana Young of Jackson.

Memorials may be made to the Jesse L. Yancy, Jr., Memorial Library in Bruce.

Place of Birth: 
Vardaman, Mississippi, United States
Place of Death: 
Jackson, Mississippi, United States
Primary State of Residence: 
Bruce and Jackson, Mississippi, United States

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