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Obituary of Ann H. Young
Our beloved sailor, sister, aunt and friend, Ann Horan-Young passed away peacefully Jan. 13, 2022. She faced dementia with characteristic will and determination, skill, good humor, fortitude and, of course, lunch with friends at “the Club.” She was tough as nuts, kind as all get-out. Lida Ann Harrah was born in Norwalk, Aug. 19, 1937, the middle child of George Raymond Harrah and Lida Ann Harrah, (Ellsworth). They came to Essex in the 1940s, where the children grew into accomplished sportspeople. Ann’s love of sailing was renowned, her prowess as skipper legendary. She was a young skipper at Pettipaug Yacht Club, and barely out of her teens, joined the Essex Yacht Club in 1957. Young Ann could sail a Blue Jay like a demon, and served as a feminist role model for women’s self-determination with aplomb, and an all-female crew. She also sailed with the Frostbite Club, was a founding member of Essex Corinthian Yacht Club, and a surviving spouse of Cruising Club of America and the New York Yacht Club. She had walls of trophies and was a member of the Essex Yacht Club longer than anyone else then alive, 65 years. Ann loved Essex, and made it her lifelong home, naming every house “Mariner’s Rest,” a place to bide the time between boating adventures. Her sea stories became as renowned as her sailing exploits and, even near the end, Ann held court surrounded by admirers at assisted living. Ann had a deep and abiding passion for people. Never one to rest in the doldrums, navigating a conversation with Ann could be challenging, but somehow, you always knew her heart was open and the sea would calm once she rounded the mark. She fell in love easily and often, outliving three spouses: Donald “Shep” Shepard — gone far too soon; Stanley G. Horan III, with whom she successfully operated Essex Wines & Liquors and Yacht Interiors of Essex; and the blue water skipper John “Jack” Flynn Young, her last, best companion. When, at last, Ann and Jack stowed their sails, their beloved motor vessel Storm Runner became a home at sea. Ann’s favored harbors and gunk holes were Block Island, Hamburg Cove, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, and the Maine Coast, where she and Jack “sailed” aboard Storm Runner. Don’t be surprised to see them again, rafted up at an old haunt on any seasonal Saturday, raising a glass to a nor’easter. Please remember Ann well as she crosses the bar and, with that Cheshire grin, leaves us all in her wake. May she find peace, a fair wind, and, of course, lunch with friends at “the Club.” Ann is survived by brother David Harrah of Fallbrook, Calif.; sister Constance Harrah of Killingworth; five nephews; two nieces; her extended families through marriage; and her yacht club family. She loved you all. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Essex Community Fund or the Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. The Essex Yacht Club will host A Celebration of Ann’s Life from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13th. All are welcome.