A memorial was held on November 7, 2010 in the memory of Martha Rashell Young who was born on October 31, 1972 and passed away from complications due to liver cancer on November 6, 2010.  The memorial was very moving - we gathered on the jetty off of Aquatic Park and each person was invited to write a word on a stone that characterized Rashell and then toss them into the Bay as a message to her.  We then went to the restaurant Ana Mandara and shared thoughts about her.  We toasted with red wine and dark chocolate (two of her favorites).  It was very intimate and touching.  As you know, she was an incredible person and touched many lives.  We will remember Rashell forever. 

Your thoughts and prayers are welcome and there is a scholarship fund set up at UC Berkeley in her honor in lieu of flowers or gifts.  If you wish to contribute, please make the check payable to the UC Berkeley Foundation, with a note (either on the check or separately) that the gift is for the Rashell Young Fellowship.  The check can be mailed to:

University of California

University Relations

2080 Addison St.  #4200

Berkeley, CA  94720-4200


Posted by Michelle Thomas on November 7, 2019
Forever thinking of you. I found myself reminiscing on advice you gave me over 16 years ago that I still give to others this day. It's these every day, practical reminders of you that makes me smile.
Posted by Michelle Thomas on November 7, 2018
Rashell is forever in my heart and mind. I find myself catching glimpses of her spirit and kindness in others, and it brings back a flood of warm memories. I am a better person because she was in my life.
Posted by Christel Wheeler on October 31, 2018
A friend of mine had a baby this morning and of course i immediately thought of you, Rashell! Miss you. Happy Birthday.
Posted by Rena Racoma on October 31, 2017
Happy Birthday, Rashell. I just had a major interview today here in the Bay Area, I know you were cheering me on from up above.
Posted by Rena Racoma on March 26, 2017
I never met Rashell, only heard wonderful stories from her family. Thanks to her, she let me dream! What an inspiration! I never thought I'd end up in the same city as her, I only wish she were here.
Posted by Michelle Thomas on October 31, 2016
Forever missed is correct! I often think I see Rashell when I am out and about and though I know it is not her, I always have to take a double look. I miss my friend and her beautiful spirit.
Posted by martha amram on October 31, 2016
Rashell just leaps out of these pages. How vivid she was! I can hear her still. Hello to all the extended family and friends who visit this site on Rashell's birthday. I know you miss her so much, as I do.
Posted by Joanne Myers on November 4, 2015
I loved and still love my niece so much. Even when she was a young girl she had a mind of her own and always did the right thing. The only time I remember her getting into trouble it was for riding the "Big Wheel" to fast. Other than that she was always the most wonderful young girl and woman. She will be missed tremendously by all of her family and friends. Missed, but Never Forgotten!
Posted by JANIE BRADLEY on November 2, 2015
Rashell was such a wonderful young lady and is truly missed. The mention of her name brings a smile to anyones' face who had the pleasure of meeting her. My cousin will truly remain in my heart always.
Posted by Deanna Lord on October 31, 2015
I miss you, Rashell. You were a phenomenal woman in every way.
Posted by martha amram on October 31, 2015
I can be driving down a street and suddenly, out of nowhere, Rashell will flash into my mind. I feel her courage and think about how she dealt with what life handed her. I see her smile. I feel her wholeness. Then I burst into tears. She remains so real.

Betty, Buddy and Chris -- I think of you too, especially today. 

With all my heart, Martha
Posted by Michelle Thomas on October 31, 2014
I was just thinking of Rashell last night and woke up to the reminder that today was her birthday. My dear friend . . . she is truly missed. Until we meet again.
Posted by Angel Martin on November 1, 2013
Missing good times over good food with a dear friend. Happy birthday Rashell. 'Til we meet again.
Posted by Peter Johnson on October 31, 2013
Thinking of Rashell today, and glad that the Fellowship in her memory is going strong.
Posted by Frank and Lisa Littler on November 8, 2011
Not a day goes by that we do not remember Rashell and feel a shock of sadness at her passing.
Posted by Kristen Agin on November 7, 2011
Rashell, I miss you so much! My second son will be born in 2 weeks. I want you to meet my sons! I miss our 8 years of living together and all of the memories. I bought lots of our favorite wine for the holidays, Arrowood - you would be so proud of the deal I got! Remember when we bought our first case of wine together? I think about you every day. You are missed and loved.
Posted by Razab Chowdhury on November 6, 2011
Can't believe it's a year already. Rashell remains alive in my mind. And missed.
Posted by JANIE BRADLEY on November 23, 2010
Rashell and I spoke not so very long ago about my coming to San Francisco to visit her and spend some time. As usual she was so gracious in extending the invitation never once mentioning what she was going through. The fact that I will not get to see Rashell in San Francisco saddens me greatly but I know that one day I will see her again in Heaven. Rashell, your memory lives on. Your Cousin Janie.
Posted by Ray Littlejohn on November 15, 2010
My wife (Maxine) and I never met Rashell, but knew of her through her parents (James and Betty). Our hearts and prayers go out to the Young Family. We believe there is a special place in Heaven for this wonderful, young lady.
Ray Littlejohn
Posted by Christel Wheeler on November 8, 2010
I visited Rashell last year, and droned on and on about sipping a Bacon Maple Latte. I was exhausted at the end of our weekend, but she insisted I get the latte, and even went as far as going to her house to get her grinder when we found out the one at Pirate Cat Cafe was broken! All that for me, and a drink she thought was totally weird (and she was right)! She never gave up.
Posted by Renu Bhatt on November 8, 2010
Rashell's laugh. You all remember Rashell's laugh? With her laugh, Rashell could make you feel funny, lighten spirits and remind us that we're happy. I am happier having known her, despite how sad I am today.
Posted by Tiffany Grimsley on November 8, 2010
My heart is filled with saddness at the passing of Rashell. She was such an amazing woman; so full of warmth, passion, and joy. She was one of those rare individuals that I knew I could always count on. I remember calling her one day and asking if I caught her at a bad time. "No; I'm just waiting for my chemo" she said casually. That was Rashell - taking life as it came and always with a smile.
Posted by Aurora Paragas on November 8, 2010
Rashell was a no-nonsense lady, someone you don’t mess around with. But she also had a warm smile and a compassionate heart, endearing traits that I will truly miss. At work, we were a team; she provided me with support where gaps existed. Up to the end, she was courageous and brave, and funny at the same time. I will miss her laughs and our talks regarding the latest restaurants she visited. I am grateful for having known her and continue to hold her spirit in love and in the light.
Posted by Terry Lloyd on November 8, 2010
A client, Lynn Rambo, added this:

Rashell was truly a remarkable woman. Indeed she had a rare and beautiful spark about her, and was a pleasure to have known and worked with.
Posted by Jett Pihakis on November 7, 2010
How can I begin to put into words how truly special Rashell was? Fortunately, most everyone reading this tribute will have known her, so you know exactly what I mean. The first word that comes to mind when I think of Rashell is LUMINOUS. She simply glowed! She was so filled with a beautiful light, and everyone she touched was made better simply for having known her. What a spirit!
Posted by Valerie Skarbek on November 7, 2010
Rashell-I just can't stop thinking about you. It is so fitting that writing about your extraordinarily bright spirit lights a candle here. From head to toe & every accessory in between, you are a rainbow of life-your smile so radiant & warm. God bless you, Rashell. May He hold you & your family close. Please pray for us. 'O LORD, you light my lamp. My God turns my darkness into light' Psalm 18:28
Posted by Margaret Booth on November 7, 2010
Rashell was my role model. She was the most fun, chic, sensible, well-balanced person I have ever met. She was the calm voice of reason when I had work or personal concerns and she taught me to live life to the fullest. I am a better person because of her influence and I will always be grateful to her.
Posted by Peter Johnson on November 7, 2010
The first time I met Rashell she was smart, funny, full of joy.... and wearing a funky velvet hat to hide the effects of her chemotherapy. No matter how much she endured, she always had a smile, a kind word, and her ever-present optimism.
Posted by Terry Lloyd on November 7, 2010
Two colleagues, Sam Renwick and Steve Kam, respectively:

"I always enjoyed working with Rashell and she was always such an uplifting and spirited person. Such a tragedy that it's such a good one that has been taken from us"

"She was very, very courageous and set an example of self confidence for each one of us. She was not boastful or prideful, and we all are better for having known her.

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Michelle Thomas on November 7, 2019
Forever thinking of you. I found myself reminiscing on advice you gave me over 16 years ago that I still give to others this day. It's these every day, practical reminders of you that makes me smile.
Posted by Michelle Thomas on November 7, 2018
Rashell is forever in my heart and mind. I find myself catching glimpses of her spirit and kindness in others, and it brings back a flood of warm memories. I am a better person because she was in my life.
Posted by Christel Wheeler on October 31, 2018
A friend of mine had a baby this morning and of course i immediately thought of you, Rashell! Miss you. Happy Birthday.
Recent stories

Rashells' Obituary

Shared by James young on December 1, 2010

Rashells' Funeral was held 21Nov.2010, in Chester S.C. At Cedar Grove Baptist church. Her mother and I are posting her obituary to share with all those who loved her.

God Bless

James and Betty Young


Martha “Rashell” Young (lovingly named after both grandmothers Martha M. Young and Rachel Alston), was born October, 31 1972, at 9:40 a.m. at Moncrief Army Hospital, Columbia S.C., to James and Betty L. Alston Young, currently of San Antonio Texas.   She passed away on November 6, 2010, at 8:40 a.m., San Francisco, Ca., after a long struggle with cancer. 
Rashell, lived a short, but productive life. She was an intelligent enthusiastic young lady, eager to accept the challenges placed before her. Rashell, shared a military life with her family. She attended grammar schools in Valdosta, GA. and Mountain Home, Idaho, and High Schools in Zaragoza, Spain, completing her Senior Year in 1991 at Vanden High School in Fairfield CA. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley) in 1995, and Dual Masters Degrees in Business Administration and Public Health Care from UC Berkeley’s Walter A. Haas School of Business, in 2005.
Rashell, as a child and an adult, was a loving, caring, compassionate daughter and sister. She made life more joyous for those in her presence. Her personality endeared her to others. Her light seemed to shine on those around her, and things seemed a little less bright at her departures.   Rashell was a courageous and fearless woman who suffered quietly. She always placed family and friends first, trying to preserve the happiness of loved ones, even above the pain and stress of her own illness. Integrity was a strong point in Rashell’s character. She was a woman who did the right things even when no one was watching her. Her personal faith, hope, and belief in God allowed her to battle cancer for 9 years.  
Rashell called the Bay Area home for the last thirteen years and couldn't imagine living elsewhere. Her love affair with the Bay started in her undergraduate years. Shortly after graduation she joined the Analysis Group Litigation Consulting Firm. She soon realized that she had a knack for research and analysis. In 1999, she decided to work independently providing project management, research and analysis to litigation support firms and independent experts. Although challenged and excited to run her own business, a stint in the health care system as a cancer patient opened her eyes to a new career path. The experience alerted her to tremendous needs within the healthcare industry. She knew that this fascinating and complex business was where she could be instrumental in contributing to the welfare of others. This inspired her to return to school, earning MBA & MPH degrees. She utilized those degrees to consult with The Council of Accountable Physician Practices and with clients on numerous finance and strategic issues both within and outside the health care industry. She worked frequently with start-up biotech, medical device, and pharmaceutical companies in evaluating and quantifying future income opportunities. She also has worked in health care delivery, focusing on implementable operational strategies in trauma injury prevention and continuity of care. She has worked with Kaiser Permanente, Blue Shield of California, Finance Scholars Group, Cogent Valuation, the Huron Consulting Group, and BDO Seidman, the national accounting firm. She has been published on accounting, finance, and integrated health care delivery topics and has been qualified as an expert witness. She is also a mentor in the Young Entrepreneurs at Haas program (YEAH) and is an active member of the Black Business Students' Association. She also served in her community helping with Meals On Wheels Thanksgiving Day dinner in San Francisco. In her free time she enjoys yoga, reading, running and traveling.

My Niece

Shared by Joanne Myers on November 22, 2010

I am Rashell's aunt and I called her Ra Ra because she was so special you had to say it twice.  As I sit her typing the tears continue to roll down  my face because she  was such a special and beautififul young woman.  I wish that I had had the the opportunity to know her better, but through the testimonies of the friends from California, Michael, Stacey and Martha, I got to know more about my niece.  I thank them for shaing with me the WOMAN Ra Ra had become.  I didn't know of all the wonderful ways she had touched so many people's lives through ordinary everyday things, such as BMW's voice activation system, or the way that she dedicated herself to helping others deal with devasting and complicated illnessess; but this I know, she impacted everyone she met.  There are no words to express our grief as a family, but the Lord has gained a wonderful Soldier and Angel in His Army and I know that we have her looking after and watching out for us forever until we meet in Heaven.  I have a little greatgrand son who died on November 11, 2008, and now Rashell has that beautiful little boy to love and call her own until we all get to heaven.  I thank you Lord for giving us this wonderful, vibriant young woman to be my niece and for loving  her enough to bring her  home, where there is only the JOY of the Lord.  Rashell I promise to help your parent's and brother as much as I can.  We LOVE you and will alway miss you until we see that beautiful smile of  your's standing beside our brother Jesus and our Father the Lord.  Always missed, but new forgotten.  Aunt Jo 

Forever Young

Shared by Bill McCarty on November 15, 2010

I knew Rashell for 9 years.  We met right at the time she was diagnosed with cancer.  I was always amazed at how she handled this disease and adversity in general.  Whenever there was something new to tell about her condition she'd say that she'd spend the next 5 minutes talking about it and then on to something else.  She was straight to the point but had no need or desire to dwell on the negative.  I always admired and respected her for that.  I don't know that I could have done the same.  She had the ability to make me feel better about everything that she was going through.  All through the heartache of dealing with this loss there is one thing that's helping me keep it together.  She lived a great life.  Her time here may seem way too short but man did she accomplish a lot and live a lot.  Even through the battle of cancer she managed to keep her head up and live a life anyone would envy. 

I know we're not supposed to post copyrighted material here but this song has been in my head.  It's got Rashell's name and it rings true to her courage, conviction and spirit.  So....

May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous
May you grow up to be true
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you
May you always be courageous
Stand upright and be strong
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
May you stay forever young
Forever young, forever young
May you stay forever young.