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metal sculpture, bird sculpture, new england ponds, snow farm craft

In Memoriam: Bobbin Young

Barbara "Bobbin" Young
1948 - 2023
former president, Snow Farm Board of Directors

Bobbin Young was a cheerleader, advocate, supporter, and volunteer for Snow Farm since its founding over 35 years ago (known then as Horizons: The New England Craft Program). With her death in June, we have lost a dear friend.

“When I think of Bobbin,” says Mary Jo Murphy, Snow Farm executive director, “I remember her as a thoughtful listener, kind with her words, generous in spirit, dedicated to family, and a person with quiet strength who made a significant difference in the lives of people and organizations she appreciated and enjoyed. Her impact on Snow Farm is immeasurable.”

Bobbin began her career in craft at Faux Pas Leather Design in Northampton MA under David Bourbeau and branched out in 1972 to found Amaranth Leather with Jon Solins. Her work focused on laminated sculptural leather boxes and mirror frames and was sold throughout the country. During the wholesale/retail craft fairs of the 70’s, she became friendly with Jane Sinauer and Josh Simpson, who shared their dreams and concerns for the continuation of craft of America, particularly the lack of training opportunities for young adults. Later, Jane founded Horizons, a summer craft program for teens, and purchased the property in Williamsburg, MA where Bobbin and her family had been living since 1978. Bobbin was the best kind of neighbor. Jane Sinauer remembers: “At one point early on, when I was buying shrubs and trees and flowers…and planting most myself, she occasionally would pop by with a shovel. I remember Bobbin as a ball of energy and good will.”

When Horizons became a nonprofit organization and changed its name to Snow Farm, Bobbin became a member of the original Board of Directors. She served for 17 years, including as the president of the board from 2009 - 2014. Through her generosity, Bobbin supported Snow Farm in many ways including operational support and significant property projects. According to Eric Weber, Bobbin’s husband of 46 years, Bobbin loved the years when Snow Farm was “held together by duct tape and bubble gum. She was an eternal optimist and always believed there was a way . . . for anything.” Sometimes, the “way" was simply Bobbin herself, saving the day. 

(l) at a strategic planning meeting, 2013;  (r) at a flameworking workshop, 2012

Snow Farm Summer for high school students was close to her heart; she supported the scholarship fund, plus 2 weekend summits that allowed 10th grade students in Massachusetts to experience a Snow Farm weekend at no cost. “Bobbin’s generosity was bottomless, limitless,” says Karen Totman, former director of Snow Farm who worked with Bobbin for many years. “I learned a lot from her, about giving without getting back in return. She had strong opinions and when she didn’t like something, you heard it. Those messages were always firm and respectful. I adored her.”  

Over the years, Bobbin's family was also deeply involved in the Snow Farm community. For many years, she and Eric were the financial team behind the Seconds Sale, running between galleries to collect money and balancing sales at the end of each day. As committed environmental stewards, they were active on the Property Committee; Eric single-handedly fought the bittersweet on our campus.

They also funded and shepherded a project with the Conway School that looked at how to address the watershed with natural landscaping. Bobbin's children, Dave and Amy both had jobs at Snow Farm, in the kitchen and elsewhere. The iconic metal heron sculpture that stands by the pond (see above) was made by Dave in a welding workshop taught by Pat Bennett.

Snow Farm was not the only recipient of Bobbin's care and generosity; we are one of many.  As described in her full obituary, Bobbin will be remembered by everyone who knew her for “unfailing warmth, optimism, kindness and patience, and for her radiant smile.” She will be deeply missed, and at Snow Farm, we will always be grateful for her many gifts.

All are welcome
to celebrate Bobbin's life on
Saturday, September 30 at 1pm
Anne T. Dunphy School, Williamsburg, MA

The family suggests that memorial gifts be made to