Sept. 11, 1928 - June 15, 2019
Hilda Helen Youst, 90, of Allegany died quietly at her home June 15, 2019.
She was born in San Antonio, Texas, Sept. 11, 1928, the youngest of the six children of Jose and Adela Longoria Gaitan. Her brothers, David and Jesse Gaitan, and her sisters Stella Gaitan, Alice Perches, and Emma Guerra, all preceded her in death.
Hilda’s ancestors had settled in what is now Texas with a Spanish land grant in the late 1700's. After the Mexican War and Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, the boundary moved south to the Rio Grande River. Her great-grandparents, it is said, did not cross the border; the border crossed them. Growing up in San Antonio in a bi-lingual family she was equally comfortable in Spanish or English, experiencing the best of both worlds.
Hilda attended San Antonio Technical High School four years specializing in commercial art, followed by work as a retail clerk prior to becoming bookkeeper at the National Bank of Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. She had worked there nine years when she met Lionel Youst, a newly commissioned U.S. Air Force lieutenant from Allegany, Ore. They were married in San Antonio July 7, 1961. During the next 14 years as an Air Force officer’s wife she lived in a variety of places in the United States and overseas, beginning with a three-year assignment at Tripoli, Libya. She made many international friendships, that endured.
Their son, Oliver, was born Aug. 10, 1967, at Mt. Clemons, Mich. The next two years they lived at Angeles City, Republic of Philippines, where twin daughters Julia and Alice were born Jan. 29, 1969. There were assignments in Nebraska and California before her husband’s Air Force retirement and their move to his boyhood home at Allegany in 1975.
During her 44 years living a rural life at Allegany, she took a serious part in helping to hold together a changing community. She was active with her husband in attempts to limit the aerial spraying of dangerous chemicals during the 1970's; in the attempt to prevent the closure of the Allegany school in the 1980's; and in the successful establishment of the Millicoma River Park and Recreation District during the 1990's.
For 19 years she conducted a monthly community luncheon at the Allegany Community Center, doing most of the cooking for it. Her cooking reputation spread far beyond Allegany with her Texas-Mexican enchiladas, her North African couscous, her Philippine adobo, and many other culinary delights. Under her inspiration, her three children have carried on the tradition of international gourmet cooking.
She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Lionel Youst; son, Oliver Youst and his wife, Christina of Watertown, N.Y.; daughter, Julia MacRae and grandsons, Desmond and Everett MacRae of Portland; daughter, Alice Otten and her husband, Larry of Sheridan.
In San Antonio, Texas, she is survived by nieces, Sylvia Cavasos, Molly Yeager, Rosemary Gaitan, Roseann Gaitan, and Mary Alice Perches Larose; nephews, David Gaitan Jr., Jesse "JL" Gaitan; and many great-nieces and great-nephews.
In 1946 one of her teachers gave Hilda a book of “One Hundred and One Famous Poems.” Inspired by one of the poems, for Hilda she wrote the following on a blank page:
“I shall not pass through this world but once; any good thing, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now – let me not defer it nor neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.”
Hilda received those words from her teacher when she was 17 years old. She lived those sentiments with intensity all the years of her life, a life to be emulated.
There will be a remembrance lunch and party at the Black Market Gourmet, 495 Central Ave., in Coos Bay, beginning 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4. All who would like to share in honoring Hilda’s memory are welcome. Please call 541-267-3762 for more information.
Cremation rites are under the direction of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.