Doris Jean Young (1925-2018) left us this year for a kinder, better place without pain. She was a kindred spirit who loved people -- making new friends, seeing new places, delving into new cultures and, most of all, learning new things.
Her absolute favorite travel experience? She told us just a week or so ago that it was her journey in 2005 to the Pyramids in Egypt (see photo below). It was a dream for her -- getting close enough to touch the ancient stones.
Doris had an easygoing nature, truly cared for people of all ages and was beloved by many. We almost didn't have her with us the past three decades.' though. Many of you may not know that 30 years ago she almost "died" (or did die, as they interviewed her later about whether she "saw a bright light") on the table at a major medical center after a test gone wrong.
Her specialist (slated to do her routine heart catherization test) instead bowed out to participate in a press conference (about Pennsylvania's Governor, on whom he had operated a few days before). So a new doctor with little experience perforated her right coronary artery during the test, causing an immediate heart attack. They used the "paddles" and brought her back, but a few hours later she went back into cardiac arrest again and, again they brought her back.
Due to heart damage, she was told she might live -- if lucky -- only a couple of years. It's a testament to her fighting spirit, modern medicine and "can-do" attitude that 30 years later, she was still going strong with a pacemaker, the right heart drug combination (new drugs not available at the time of the incident) and a strong will to live.
Born in Bloomsburg, PA, Doris lived much of her life in the Hershey area, and then moved to Florida after retirement in the early 1990s. One of her favorite activities within Florida was watching the Space Shuttle soar into the sky during a night launch. She also loved to dine out, especially on freshly caught lobster at Boothbay Harbor, ME, (see photo above) and on fresh crab and shrimp at Dixie Crossroads in Titusville, FL.
After her husband Marvin died in 2006, Doris and her daughter Susan journeyed much farther across the globe on cruises that took them to Alaska, Italy's Amalfi Coast, ancient Palmyra in the Syrian desert, the Panama Canal and the Caribbean.
In 2016-17, though, Doris' jet setting travel days came to an end. She was hospitalized at least six times and her condition began to sizably deteriorate. She still enjoyed life -- savoring her lake view from her lounge chair, watching the kids catch bass and even a snake, waving at her neighbors and watching TV especially "Jeopardy," "Wheel of Fortune," "The Young and the Restless" and "Keeping Up Appearances," the BBC program of old. She also loved playing the lottery (never really winning big but having fun doing it) !
Most of all, Doris love the NBA Miami Heat.... She could always talk about the Heat players, their stats and the strategy of what the coach would (or SHOULD) do next. She truly loved sports of all kinds, though... including football.
I think anyone reading this will agree that she was a lovely, kind lady with a sharp mind. Did you know she was a member of what's believed to be the first all-female "production crew" in public television with WITF-TV in Hershey, PA? She retired from the station in the 1980s after 17 years there.
Before she became the organization's membership department manager, she was a technical director handling camera switching duties "live" in the station's control room (The director would say, "Go to Camera Two", for example). She's shown at the far left in the photo above.
Yes, in her WITF days, the simple girl from Bloomsburg, PA, hob-nobbed with the best of them -- putting make-up on Leonard Nimoy, meeting Jim Henson and Hubert Humphrey, and chatting with Jean Stapleton.
She loved doing new things, crafting and beading, and dressing up as Little Red Riding Hood for an evening outing to Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on Halloween week; she is shown in the photo above.
This week, in thinking about her next chapter, Doris reiterated that she wanted a very simple, small funeral service for a few family and close friends with no hoopla. So a small Christian service is planned at Bushnells (the U.S. military cemetery north of Tampa), and she'll subsequently be buried there alongside her husband Marvin (who died in 2006 at 86).
FYI, some friends and family members have already asked us about what, if anything, we prefer "in lieu of flowers" so here is what we are telling folks. Doris prepared years ago for her burial with an insurance policy but we've recently learned that it's quite small by modern standards and has diminished annually as she's aged (unlike many policies out there). So, IF (and ONLY IF ) you were planning to send condolence flowers, please instead consider donating that small amount here. It would be most helpful as we work to set up the very modest arrangements. Any remaining funds will be donated in Doris' name as a contribution to the Broward Rescue Mission, a nonprofit group which helps assist, feed, train, house and motivate homeless residents to succeed in life. It's a fabulous organization.
So, thanks for being a part of Doris' life over the past years. Thank you for loving her as we have. Her bright, sweet smile and kind spirit will be fondly remembered. We take comfort in knowing she is out of pain and in a better place. She was one-of-a-kind and we were privileged to know and love her.
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