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Dora Jean Young


1929 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Dora Jean Young Obituary
Dora Jean "DJ" Young

1929 - 2016 Dora Jean Young, 86, Educator and Community Leader, Dies. Dora Jean "DJ" Young, a committed community leader with a lifelong dedication to arts and education, died September 23, in Lenox, MA from complications following a stroke. She was 86 and had for many years divided her time between Lenox, Washington, DC, and Hedgesville, WVA. Born in Garden City, NY in 1929, DJ was the daughter of Mamie Miller Irvine of Silver Spring, MD and Ralston Robert Irvine of Provo, Utah. He was a founding partner of the New York City-based law firm of Donovan, Leisure, Newton and Irvine. DJ grew up in Scarsdale, NY. She met her future husband, Herrick Jackson "Jack" Young, the son of educators who met in Iran as Presbyterian missionaries, at Scarsdale High School. The couple struck up a friendship that evolved into a courtship and ultimately resulted in a 53-year marriage. Jack, a longtime executive with the Edison Electric Institute, died in 2006. DJ attended Vassar College. She majored in English, continuing a passion for books that began early and never abated. She graduated with honors in 1951. The Youngs were married in 1953, and spent their first 18 months together in Kyoto, Japan, where Jack was serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. DJ was blessed with an active mind and restless energy so she found a job teaching English. Her experience fueled a lifelong love of Japanese culture. The Youngs returned to live in New York City for five years, before moving their family to Larchmont, NY in 1960, where they lived until 1981. In Larchmont, DJ was a committed community leader, serving as the President of the Junior League of Westchester-on-the Sound; Secretary of the Community Action Program of Mamaroneck; and Vice-President and a founding member of the Day Care Council of Westchester. When the Young's third child reached school age, DJ returned to school herself, receiving a Masters in Library Science from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. She then worked as an elementary school librarian and as chair of the library department for the Pelham, NY Public Schools from 1972 through 1981, when she moved with her husband to Washington, DC. From 1982-1994 in Washington, DJ was the Head Librarian of Beauvoir, the National Cathedral Elementary School, a position she held until her retirement. In retirement, DJ began working as a school docent at the National Gallery of Art and at the National Cathedral. In addition, she and was a board member of Young Audiences of Washington, DC, a nonprofit arts appreciation and education organization. She was also an active member of the Washington-Tokyo Women's Club, Capitol Speakers Bureau, and the Asian-American Forum, DC. A summer resident of Lenox for the past 15 years, DJ entered the community and immediately looked for ways to become involved, focusing her efforts on her passions for dance, music and theatre. She volunteered at Jacob's Pillow, the dance festival in nearby Becket, MA, as well as at Tanglewood and Shakespeare & Company. DJ is survived by her sisters Mary Ann Irvine Sartin of Evanston, IL and Barbara Irvine of Chatham NY; by her daughters Catherine Young of Brooklyn, NY and Elizabeth Young Fina of West Stephentown, NY; by her son James Young of Montclair, NJ; and by five grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of DJ to the Jacob's Pillow Dance Archives, 358 George Carter Rd., Becket, MA 01223 or by donating online at jacobspillow.org
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Oct. 2, 2016
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