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At Lavender Farm In Juab County, Mourners Gather To Remember Young Living Founder

Young Living

Hundreds of mourners gathered in Juab County on Friday to celebrate the founder of the Utah-based essential oils company, Young Living. Gary Young died on May 12 following a series of strokes. 


It was a funeral fit for the eccentric founder of Young Living. The service took place on the company’s 160-acre lavender farm in Mona inside a small rodeo arena where Young would sometimes hold jousting tournaments dressed in a full suit of armor. 


His funeral procession included bagpipe players, draft horses and a company-branded purple wagon carrying Young’s casket. 


Young founded his essential oils company in Riverton in the early 90s. He later bought the farm in Mona to grow and distill plants. The multi-level marketing firm has since grown into a global company with several thousand employees and offices in a dozen countries. 


Friends and company executives described Young as a pioneer of the modern alternative-health and wellness industry. They also described his penchant for adventures and overseas travel. 


Renae Spencer, an 18-year Young Living employee, stood in the bleachers with a plastic poncho and umbrella for the service. She said Young was more than just a boss. 


“He opened up a lot things for a lot of people in different ways," she said. "This kind of a job entails more than just farming.”


But Young was controversial, too. In the last year, his company ran afoul of the federal government for illegal oil trafficking. It also lost a multi-year lawsuit against rival distributer doTerra.

Young was 68. He’s survived by two sons and his wife, Mary Young, Young Living's CEO. 



Julia joined KUER in 2016 after a year reporting at the NPR member station in Reno, Nev. During her stint, she covered battleground politics, school overcrowding, and any story that would take her to the crystal blue shores of Lake Tahoe. Her work earned her two regional Edward R. Murrow awards. Originally from the mountains of Western North Carolina, Julia graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 with a degree in journalism. She’s worked as both a print and radio reporter in several states and several countries — from the 2008 Beijing Olympics to Dakar, Senegal. Her curiosity about the American West led her to take a spontaneous, one-way road trip to the Great Basin, where she intends to continue preaching the gospel of community journalism, public radio and podcasting. In her spare time, you’ll find her hanging with her beagle Bodhi, taking pictures of her food and watching Patrick Swayze movies.
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