NORTHFIELD - Dorothea Carlene (Huntoon) Young, otherwise known fondly to all as "Dodo," died peacefully on the 72nd anniversary of "a date that will live in infamy," at the Menig Extended Care Facility in Randolph, Vt.
It all began almost 96 and a half years ago in Windsor, when she took her first breath on June 18, 1917, appropriately on the very same day that the Boston Red Sox in a thriller defeated the Chicago White Sox, 8 to 7, at Fenway Park. Although born in the town known as the "Birthplace of Vermont," she always considered Northfield her home, as her forebears first settled there prior to the Civil War, and that is where she resided most of her life.
She was the daughter of William Edward "Bill" Huntoon, a New Hampshire chef, raconteur and rabid Red Sox fan, and schoolteacher
Ida Mae (Houghton) Huntoon, known as "Pep," of Northfield, who both long predeceased her. They were divorced in 1925.
She attended schools in Claremont, N.H., for a few years while she lived with her mom and stepdad, Camille Giguere, until her mother's death in 1933, whereupon she moved back to Northfield to live with her grandparents William and Lucia Houghton at 16 Vine St. She graduated Northfield High School in 1936 and was the last surviving member of her class. Her senior yearbook, The Rambler, very aptly described her personality as one of Vim Vis Vigor. That portrayal would be accurate the rest of her life.
She met her future husband at a dance pavilion in East Montpelier, Vt., in 1937. As she alighted from her ride from Northfield to the venue, she noticed two men engaged in fisticuffs in front of the entrance. She cheered for the one she knew, but the one she did not know won the fray and eventually her heart. Peter Francesco "Pete" Young and Dodo eloped on Halloween in 1937, tying the knot in Chelsea, Vt., by a justice of the peace. The wedding date gave Pete license to brag that he married the "old witch." As a very young lad, their son Peter Jr. always thought his father was using a word that rhymes with "witch." Go figure.
Pete died on March 9, 1996. Their marriage was at times mercurial, yet it survived the trials and tribulations that all such unions undergo, to last for almost 60 years.
Their union produced two children. Jacqueline Freneda Brugnoni Comi (nee Young) was born June 7, 1938, and, sadly, left this world Jan. 2, 2005. Jackie's husband and Dodo's son-in-law, Charles Comi, survives her and resides in Northfield. Her son, Peter Francis Young Jr., came into this world July 24, 1943, and is still kicking. He also resides in Northfield with his wife, Susanne Richardson Young.
Dodo's vocation, to use politically correct words of today (Dodo was anything but politically correct), was as an administrative assistant. She worked for many years in the admissions department of Norwich University, retiring in the middle '70s.
She liked to party, to play golf, to barbecue, to party, to dance, to do ceramics, to read, to do crosswords, to party, to travel, to play cribbage, to visit with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and to have fun. She did not shirk her civic duties, however, as she was on the original steering committee that organized and founded the Northfield Memorial Park in the late '40s, one of the finest town-owned recreational centers in Vermont. She was also active for years in the local Republican Party.
Dodo was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and in past years was active in several organizations, including the Northfield Country Club, Northfield Bowling League, PTA and the United Church.
She is survived by all five of her grandchildren: Joseph Peter Brugnoni and wife Deborah, of Kansas City, Mo.; Judi Lyn (Brugnoni) Carlson and husband Ken, of Platte City, Mo.; Peter F. Young III and wife Shereen, of Windsor, Vt.; Michael John Young, of Milton, Vt.; and Amy Marie (Young) Bottomley and husband Scott "Cracker," of Bethel, Maine. Also surviving are four great-grandchildren, Jennifer Carlson and Matthew Carlson, of Platte City, Mo., Nicole Brugnoni Holicek and husband Brian, of Kansas City, Mo., and Rylan Peter Young, of Windsor, Vt. She is also survived by a step-great-grandchild, Holly Shelton, and her children, Lane and Jaden, of Kansas City, Mo. And, there's more. Dodo had one great-great-grandchild, Marley Holicek, of Kansas City, Mo., whom she never met but often spoke about. Her only sibling, who was a well-known local character in his own right, Glendon "Ponzi" Huntoon, died in 1987.
It was perhaps fitting that Dodo left us on Pearl Harbor Day, as some might describe her makeup as somewhat volatile. She could explode with the best of them and in the next moment project a calm demeanor. It was who she was. She was a pistol. She was Vim Vis Vigor.
We shall miss her greatly.
One two, buckle your shoe; three four, close the door; five six, pick up sticks ...
The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in her honor to the Northfield Historical Society, 75 S. Main St., Northfield, VT 05663. She was very proud of her Northfield roots. Her great-aunt, Laura Mead Boynton, the first of her ancestors to settle in Northfield circa 1859, was married to Capt. William Boynton, who led the initial contingent of Northfield Civil War enlistees into that great conflagration. His name is first on the Civil War monument on Northfield's common. In addition, her children, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, brother and mother all graduated from dear old Northfield High.
Calling hours will be held at the Kingston Funeral Home, 35 Slate Ave. in Northfield, on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, from 5 to 7 p.m. Her ashes will be inurned in the family plot at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Northfield in the spring of 2014.