Donna Lee Young

The Dundalk Eagle - - OBITUARIES -

— Donna Lee (nee Ne­binger) Young died peace­fully sur­rounded by fam­ily at the age of 86 on Sun­day, Au­gust 2, 2020 fol­low­ing a short and un­ex­pected ill­ness. Born in Harrisburg Penn­syl­va­nia in 1934 to par­ents Richard

Wayne and Dorothy Ne­binger, Donna was a de­voted wife, mother, grand­mother, sis­ter, and aunt. She is sur­vived by her hus­band of 63 years, Harry (Sleepy) Young; chil­dren Nancy D. Young, Wayne E. Young (Angie); beloved grand­chil­dren, Michael Young (McKen­zie), Amy Young, and Amanda Howard (Gary). She is also sur­vived by sis­ters Janet May­nard and De­bra Zim­mer­man as well as her hus­band’s si­b­lings, James Young (Gay) and Kay Pukay (Jim). Beloved aunt to Stephen, Leanne, and Rick Ne­binger; Nate, Gus and Kate Zim­mer­man; and Lynne Car­leton and Jean Young; Chris Pukay, Scott Pukay, and Sharon Mc­Cormick; and, Paige Crump and Greg Young. Her legacy also lives on with great grand­son Gary and many great neph­ews and nieces. She also leaves be­hind a host of friends who felt her love like fam­ily. Donna is pre­de­ceased by her par­ents Wayne and Dorothy Ne­binger and brother, Dick Ne­binger.

A proud grad­u­ate of Dun­dalk High School’s class of 1952, Donna was the first of her si­b­lings to at­tend univer­sity, grad­u­at­ing from the Univer­sity of Mary­land Col­lege Park with a de­gree in bi­o­log­i­cal sciences and a mi­nor in theater. At a time when women were not en­cour­aged to study sciences, Donna cred­ited her fa­ther for be­liev­ing that there were no lim­its to what she could achieve as a wo­man — a be­lief she later in­stilled in her daugh­ter, grand­daugh­ters, and nieces. Ser­vices will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flow­ers do­na­tions may be made to The Jane Goodall Foun­da­tion, http://www.jane­goodall. org .

Donna’s fer­vent pas­sion for learn­ing led to a ful­fill­ing ca­reer as a high school ad­vanced place­ment bi­ol­ogy teacher and also hor­ti­cul­tural teacher, where she was known equally for her high stan­dards of ex­cel­lence and her com­pas­sion for her stu­dents. She started her teach­ing ca­reer as one of the first fe­male high school sci­ence teach­ers in Bal­ti­more County first at Dun­dalk High School and then at Pat­ap­sco be­fore mov­ing to Loch Raven High school in the early 70’s. Her nat­u­ral cu­rios­ity for the world in­spired cre­ative lessons in and out of the class­room, har­bor­ing a class­room full of in­sects, chick­ens, rep­tiles, and am­phib­ians and of­ten plan­ning trips to fa­vorite lo­ca­tions like Long­wood Gar­dens and Calvert Cliffs to make sure her stu­dents ex­pe­ri­enced the things they were study­ing. Her teach­ing eval­u­a­tions were con­sis­tent across the years: Donna was an un­usu­ally pas­sion­ate teacher who be­lieved in her stu­dents and found a way to chal­lenge the most gifted, to en­gage the most re­luc­tant, and to fight for her most dis­ad­van­taged stu­dents. She sim­ply loved her stu­dents and be­lieved ed­u­ca­tion was crit­i­cal to suc­cess in life.

Her pas­sion for learn­ing tran­scended the class­room, with ad­ven­tur­ous trips in the fam­ily VW Bus. Fa­vorite mem­o­ries in­cluded a cross coun­try camp­ing trip to Alaska across the Al­Can high­way in the 60’s so her chil­dren could wit­ness the north­ern lights, salmon runs, and the nat­u­ral beauty of the Alaskan tun­dra be­fore the de­vel­op­ment of the oil pipe­lines threat­ened pris­tine wilder­ness ar­eas. This pas­sion for learn­ing, na­ture, and travel con­tin­ued long after Donna re­tired from Loch Raven High School in 1994, tak­ing both Donna and her hus­band Harry on whirl­wind ad­ven­tures abroad. The cou­ple made count­less friends on their ad­ven­tures, but none as dear as Birthe Mon­rad and daugh­ter Jean­net Bors­dal-Hansen of Copen­hagen, who re­main close to the fam­ily to this day.

Even­tu­ally, Donna in­cluded her grand­chil­dren, nieces, and neph­ews in her trav­els, with an­nual trips to St. Martin, Shenan­doah, and Wil­liams­burg mark­ing the fam­ily’s cal­en­dar. North south, east or west, ed­u­ca­tional stops were a hall­mark of Donna’s trips, much to her fam­ily’s cha­grin at the time, though now some of their fa­vorite fam­ily sto­ries and mem­o­ries. It was not un­usual for her to stop the car and give a sci­ence les­son to her grand­chil­dren along the road. She cher­ished the coun­try’s na­tional park sys­tem and re­mained an avid sup­porter of the Na­tional Park Trust ful­fill­ing one of her bucket list dreams of hik­ing in Yel­low­stone Na­tional Park just a few years ago.

An avid reader, Donna be­lieved that “read­ing was like breath­ing” — she just couldn’t live without it. She would rarely be seen without a li­brary book close by. When she wasn’t read­ing, her hands were al­ways busy. A tal­ented baker, knit­ter, quil­ter, and craftswome­n, there were few things Donna couldn’t make. She put her col­lege theater ex­pe­ri­ences to good use. She sewed many school theater cos­tumes, every child in her fam­ily trea­sured the elab­o­rate

Halloween cos­tumes she sewed for them each year, and her hand­knit sweaters con­tinue to be passed to new gen­er­a­tions. She loved to gar­den and her beau­ti­ful gar­dens be­came a sanc­tu­ary for both hu­mans and feathered friends. No hol­i­day was com­plete without her cook­ies and pies — or the un­veil­ing of her lat­est molded but­ter cre­ation.

After she mar­ried her hus­band, Harry (Sleepy) Young in 1956, they es­tab­lished the suc­cess­ful Dun­dalk Teen Cen­ter to­gether as well as sev­eral other recre­ation pro­grams for youth in­clud­ing a girls soft­ball league and sum­mer craft pro­gram. Even though the fam­ily moved to Bald­win in north­ern Bal­ti­more County in 1970, Donna con­tin­ued to give back to the com­mu­nity she grew up in. Along with her hus­band she was in­volved with the Dun­dalk Pat­ap­sco Neck His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety serv­ing as Vice Pres­i­dent. Her vol­un­teer du­ties there in­cluded the Her­itage Fair, the De­fend­ers Day War of 1812 reen­act­ment held yearly at Fort Howard Park, the an­nual Christ­mas trip to Wash­ing­ton, D.C. to the DAR build­ing to see the Mil­i­tary Christ­mas show, and greet­ing chil­dren and fam­i­lies at the an­nual train gar­den. She was also an ac­tive mem­ber of the Dun­dalk High School Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion, Amer­i­can Le­gion Post 38, and the “I Am An Amer­i­can Day Pa­rades.” She served the YMCA pro­gram in Dun­dalk when it first started and was an ac­tive mem­ber of the Lions Club Women’s Aux­il­iary. She was po­lit­i­cally ac­tive and served at the polls on elec­tion days.

Not con­tent solely to travel or put­ter in her gar­den


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