It is with great sadness that Forest City Gear announces the death of Wendy Young, president and CEO. Wendy passed away on Tuesday, February 22nd, peacefully, with her family at her side, after a tenacious battle with cancer. Although semi-retired for the past 2 years, Wendy has been an integral part of the company, alongside her husband, Fred Young, for nearly 4 decades. The Young family and the greater Forest City Gear family are grateful for the support of the industry and the community.
Wendy Joy Nutter Young, 69, of Roscoe was born October 7, 1952, in Anoka, MN; daughter of Arnold and Carol (Rehbein) Nutter. Graduate of Forest Lake High School, class of 1970. In a ceremony reflective of their shared love of kayaking, Wendy was canoed down the Wolf River on June 6, 1981, in Fremont, WI where she married Fred at the river's edge. Wendy obtained her BA in Economics and MBA from Rockford University. Her three daughters were her greatest joy and she treasured being able to stay home and rear them. Wendy's girls, along with their families, brought her immense joy. She was a devoted and treasured Oma to her grandchildren. She was involved in the community, serving on multiple boards over the course of her lifetime including the American Gear Manufacturers Association, Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Stateline YMCA, and as an Executive Committee Member for the Rock Valley College Foundation. Wendy worked alongside her husband at the company founded by his parents, Forest City Gear, located in Roscoe, IL, and was CEO & President of the company for nearly ten years. Wendy's leadership was an integral part of the growth and expansion of the company. She was named the Individual Business Catalyst of the Year in 2021-a prestigious award from the Rockford Chamber of Commerce. In 2022, she was selected to receive the AGMA's Chairman's Award as someone who has contributed in a meaningful way to the gear industry. In her younger years she was a gifted kayaker and outdoor enthusiast. She enjoyed attending Rockford Symphony Orchestra performances, creating beautiful and memorable holiday celebrations for her family and employees, and spending peaceful weekends at their lake home in Wisconsin. Survived by her loving husband, Fred; daughters; Appy (Rustin) Mikel, Kika (Anthony) Risa, Mindy (Ryan Davis) Young; grandchildren, Joey, Kysa, Levi, Addy, AJ, Nollie, Clementine, Charley, Evie, Wilder; step-grandson, Felix Davis; siblings, Lori (Roger) Brandel, Todd Nutter; numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins; God Parents to her daughters, Dan and Becca Ivancich and a circle of treasured friends too numerous to mention. Preceded in death by her parents; sister-in-law, Mary Nutter and brother, Greg Nutter.
Visitation Friday, March 4, 2022, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Grace Funeral & Cremation Services, 4301 N. Main St. Rockford. Additional visitation on Saturday, March 5, 2022, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the funeral home, followed by a funeral service at 11:00 a.m. Pastor Doug Thiesen will officiate. Live stream of service can be viewed here: https://my.gather.app/remember/wendy-joy-nutter-young.