In her thus far storied life, Katherine Baylor-Young has been a dancer, registered nurse, activist, poet, ordained minister, professional clown and department store window trimmer, to name a few.
More recently as a resident of the San Pablo Healthcare Center, an assisted-living provider, the 83-year-old has become somewhat of an established artist with a rotating gallery featured in the center’s hallway.
While Baylor-Young has seemingly done it all, she recently reached a milestone that has made her most proud: She became a great-great grandmother.
Baylor-Young has eight living children — five boys, three girls. The latest birth in the family makes five living generations. Last month, she beamed as she showed us family photos.
“I’m the mother of 14 children; I lost six during childbirth,” Baylor-Young said.
The family remains tightly knit, although Baylor-Young laments that she is often the last to know when a member of the family is ill or injured.
“My mom is a worrier; we like to protect her,” daughter Sheila Marrow quipped, adding, “We all rally together.”
While growing up, Marrow said her family rarely remained in the same home for more than two years. Even so, Baylor-Young, who was born and raised in Spokane, Wash., never moved her family far once they settled in the Richmond area.
The family lived on 8th Street, Cherry Street, S. 17th Street, S.22nd Street and S. 8th Street, among other locations, Marrow said.
Marrow fondly remembers growing up with family parties at her home. She says her family is filled with artists. Baylor-Young was a dancer for 20 years, wrote poetry and painted.
Baylor-Young did at one point make an attempt to leave Richmond. Her husband at the time convinced her to move to Tucson, Ariz., but failed to tell her that he was really trying to avoid the Internal Revenue Service. When she found out he was trying to dodge his taxes, she came right back to Richmond.
“I lived out in Tucson, Ariz for 90 days,” she said. “Hot as hell.”
And that was a very good thing, because Richmond is where Baylor-Young has built her lasting legacy, not just in the youngest faces of her five generations but also the artwork that continues to brighten the halls at San Pablo Healthcare Center.
“I have been very lucky,” she said.