JoAnne Young, 51, receptionist at Towson day spa, bank teller

March 17, 2000|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

JoAnne E. Young, the popular receptionist at About Faces Day Spa in Towson, died Tuesday of bone cancer at Stella Maris Hospice. She was 51 and lived in Conowingo, Cecil County.

Mrs. Young kept watch from her desk just inside the door of the spa, on the upper level of the Shops at Kenilworth, where she worked for more than a decade.

The spa was founded in 1978 by Helga M. Surratt.

With diplomatic aplomb, Mrs. Young raised the level of customer service to a high degree as she made and changed appointments, soothed the anxious, accommodated the desperate and functioned as cashier.

"She was a feisty woman who always gave 100 percent and I respected her for that," Ms. Surratt said yesterday. "She was always very accommodating, firm and direct with people."

"What a classy lady. She worked hard at making people happy," said Stacey E. Murrow, spa manager for 14 years.

"She had a way at calming people if they got excited and she never raised her voice. And she always made sure that a situation was taken care of."

Last year, when Mrs. Young had to leave work because of her failing health, friends and customers held a fund-raiser at the spa to raise money for her.

"Everyone came because they loved her," said Ms. Surratt.

Born JoAnne E. Britti, she was raised in Little Italy and Dundalk and was a 1966 graduate of Dundalk Senior High School. She was a teller at Provident Bank and other area banks before working at the spa.

In her spare time, Mrs. Young loved rummaging through thrift shops and used-clothing stores hoping to turn up some gem from the 1940s, '50s or '60s that she would wear as is or redesign.

"She loved the thrill of a bargain and was an excellent seamstress," said her sister, Helen Britti of Dundalk. "She could look at someone and make anything they wanted. She never needed a pattern."

Mrs. Young's marriage to Byron Young ended in divorce.

A memorial Mass for Mrs. Young will be offered at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Stella Maris Hospice Chapel, 2300 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson.

She also is survived by two daughters, Jennifer Drennen of Conowingo and Jacelyn Bracken of Baltimore; a brother, Joseph E. Britti of Baltimore; another sister, Pamela A. Britti of Rosedale; three grandchildren; and several nephews and nieces.

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