Caroline Young, 81, achieved her longtime dream

August 04, 1996|By Jim Haner | Jim Haner,SUN STAFF

Caroline W. Young nurtured her dream longer than most women of her generation -- through the Depression, during her World War II days in a "Rosie-the-Riveter" aircraft assembly job, and while she raised her family. The Dundalk homemaker yearned to go to college.

She finally saw her chance in the late 1960s. When word first came that Dundalk might get a community college, she jumped on the bandwagon, lobbying politicians and cajoling local officials. And when the school opened in temporary quarters at Dundalk Methodist Church in 1971, she was first in line to register.

Mrs. Young, who died of heart failure July 28 at Carroll County General Hospital at 81, graduated from the community college two decades ago and earned bachelor's and master's degrees at the Johns Hopkins University.

"I think it always bothered her that she was the one in her family that didn't get to go to college because of the Depression and all these other things," said her daughter, Robin Krummer, 63, of Finksburg. "So when she got her chance, she really went after it."

Born Caroline Wood in Brooklyn, N.Y., she was raised in Roanoke, Va. Her mother was a teacher, and her father had a construction business that collapsed at the onset of the Depression, forcing the family to pull up stakes. They landed in Maryland briefly, settling outside Frederick for six months.

She was there long enough to meet the boy she would eventually marry. When her family moved on to New York in search of work, she stayed in touch with Walkersville High School classmate Harold K. Young by mail.

Years later, they reunited, married and, in 1940, moved to Dundalk, where Mr. Young was an engineer at Bethlehem Steel Corp. At the onset of World War II, she became a riveter at Eastern Aircraft, building Grumman Avengers from 1942 to 1945.

After that, Mrs. Young settled into her role as a homemaker and mother, reading and writing poetry to keep her dream alive as the years passed. Her daughter was grown when Mrs. Young threw herself into the college campaign -- working with such vigor that she was invited to turn a shovel of dirt at the groundbreaking for the Sollers Point Road campus.

But by the time the campus opened, she was already a Dundalk graduate and taking up studies at Hopkins. She earned a bachelor of science degree in 1980 and a master's of liberal arts degree in 1982, and at 67 was named to the Phi Delta Gamma national honor society.

Then Mrs. Young came full circle, returning to her Dundalk Community College -- this time to teach freshman English for two years. Later, she indulged her dream of travel with trips to Russia, Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

Mrs. Young belonged to numerous academic and civic organizations, including the Johns Hopkins Club, Sparrows Point Country Club, League of Women Voters and Baltimore Symphony Associates.

A memorial service was held Thursday.

In addition to her husband and daughter, she is survived by three grandchildren.

Pub Date: 8/04/96

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