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Our hearts are with Neil Young as we report the death of his former wife and mother to two of his adult children, Pegi Young.
Young, 66, passed away on January 1st after a lengthy battle with cancer, the news confirmed via Young’s official social media accounts. A statement attached to the announcement reads, “With great sadness, we confirm that on January 1st after a yearlong [sic] battle with cancer, Pegi Young – mother, grandmother, sister, auntie, musician, activist and co-founder of the Bridge School – passed away surrounded by her friends and family in her native California. We request that the families’ [sic] privacy be respected at this time.”
Born Margaret Morton on December 1, 1952 in San Mateo, California, Pegi was 22 when she met future husband Neil Young while working in a diner near Young’s ranch. The pair hit it off quickly, their courtship later immortalized in Young’s 1992 song “Unknown Legend” and by 1978, wedding bells were ringing for the Youngs.
They married that August, expanding their little family to include children Ben and Amber in addition to Young’s son Zeke from a prior relationship, not realizing that this would be the beginning of something far, far greater than themselves.
1986 marked the beginning of Pegi’s journey as an activist and philanthropist with the opening of the Bridge School. Together with Neil and her Bridge School co-founders Jim Forderer and Dr. Marilyn Buzolich, Pegi worked tirelessly until the ennd of her life to raise awareness and funding for special needs students who struggle to have their needs met in a traditional classroom setting via the school’s yearly Bridge School Benefit Concert, drawing rock legends from across the globe for a night of music for the school’s students and their families.
Though the Youngs stopped hosting the Bridge School Benefit Concert in 2017, Pegi stayed on as President of the Board of Directors until her death, serving for a total of 33 incredible years.
At the time of this writing, Neil has not yet issued a statement on the passing of his ex-wife. Stay tuned to Society of Rock for more updates as they become available.
The Young/Morton families have requested that their privacy be respected during this difficult time, and our hearts go out to Pegi’s loved ones as they navigate the painful reality that is life without her. Rest easy, good lady.
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