Helen Young (nee Dinge) was born April 9, 1931 in East Orange New Jersey to her parents Ferdinand and Martha. She was the middle child between two brothers, Richard and David. She liked to remind us that as a child, there were no school buses and she had to "walk a mile up the hill in the snow" to get to school. When she started college, she thought she'd study medicine like her father but soon found that her true love was music. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the Mt. Holyoke College and Master’s degrees from Radcliff as well as the University of Michigan. At Michigan, she met her husband and together they had three children (Martha, Anne and William Geoffrey).
Helen taught music for over 20 years in Highland Park Public Schools while raising her children. When the kids were grown up, she became active in choral groups through Christ Church Grosse Pointe and the Oakland Choral Society; she enjoyed traveling to Europe with the chorale on several occasions. Helen survived breast cancer in 1992 and walked for several years in the Race for the Cure. She was a very active volunteer at Christ Church for a number of years, practiced the organ there. She was generous with her time and treasure to help the less fortunate.
Helen became a proud grandmother of three girls in 2003 (Amelia, Maddie, Olivia), of another girl in 2004 (Tatiana) and finally a grandson in 2014 (Luca). She enjoyed visiting Cincinnati and Orlando to visit the triplets. On her last trip to Florida, we took her to Handel's Messiah and she said it was the best performance she had ever heard. She was in the same room with all her children, their spouses and the grandchildren just after Christmas 2016 at a reunion in Rockville, MD. Her health started failing shortly after and she moved from her condo to independent living in May.
Helen suffered an initial stroke on January 13th. After finally settling into rehab, she suffered a more severe stroke on January 29th which left her without the ability to communicate or swallow. Those that knew her know that she was a talker, so losing the ability to share with others along with the negative prognosis for her recovery led us to hospice. In her final weeks, mom had several visitors who sang and prayed with her throughout the day. Her love of music is survived through her family and friends, and we know she is with God singing with the angels again.
A celebration of Helen's life will take place at Christ Church Grosse Pointe on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 11:00am