The West Side is mourning the death of well-known activist Adell Young, 72, who died on April 9 at her home in Austin after a lengthy illness. Young’s death was confirmed by officials with the Westside Health Authority — the local community organization in which she was a vital member — in a statement released on April 13.

Young, who was affectionately known as Momma Dell, was a champion of a range of local initiatives, including a $2.5 million fundraising drive for the construction of WHA’s Wellness Center.

“She also started a support group for seniors raising their grandchildren at John Hay School and helped form a support group for women called ‘Women for Change,'” according to the statement.

Young was a founding member of WHA’s Every Block a Village initiative, an initiative that, according to its webpage, “builds community by organizing a single block at a time: engaging the residents, listening to their concerns, and identifying and supporting citizen leaders.”

Young was a citizen leader in the 37th Ward, where she “assisted other blocks in becoming connected so neighbors could share their assets and care for one another,” according to the release.

She also volunteered with the Austin Green Team, an organization dedicated to beautifying the community by planting gardens on vacant lots and raising public memorials, among other functions.

Young leaves behind four children — Lonnie, Melloney, Pawnda and Lisa — and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors.

A visitation for the for the longtime activist will be held Thursday, April 14, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Johnson Funeral Home, 5800 W. Division St. The funeral will take place on Friday, April 15, 10 a.m., at Johnson Funeral Home as well.

The family is asking that all expressions of support and condolences be sent to the Westside Health Authority, 5437 W. Division St., Chicago, IL, 60651. Call (773) 378-1878 for more information.

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