Dorothy E. Young, 107, church organist and choir director - The Buffalo News

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Dorothy E. Young, 107, church organist and choir director

Jan. 26, 1906 – July 14, 2013

Dorothy E. Young, a church organist and choir director, died Sunday in ElderWood Care at Oakwood, Amherst. She was 107.

Born Dorothy Hammel in Buffalo, she graduated from Holy Angels Academy and was the high school’s oldest living alumna at the time of her death.

She was organist and choir director at St. Paul Catholic Church for 25 years, St. John the Baptist Catholic Church for 25 years and St. Timothy Catholic Church for nine years, retiring at age 98.

She married Edward Young in 1930. He died in 1989 after 59 years of marriage.

Mrs. Young was a longtime member of the Buffalo Choir Masters Guild, a professional group for choir directors. She was past membership chairwoman of the Kenmore AARP and music director of its Guys & Dolls singing group, which visits area nursing homes and other organizations.

Mrs. Young was a past president of St. Paul’s Women’s Sodality and a member of the Kenmore Choral Club, which staged Gilbert and Sullivan musicals and operettas.

She was a volunteer from age 105 in the Section of Geriatrics at Boston Medical Center, which called her annually for a memory test.

She visited schools to teach students about early 20th century life and completed the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life 1-mile course at age 98.

When she was 100, she told conductor Marvin Hamlisch during a performance at Kleinhans Music Hall that the secret to longevity was “hard work.”

She is survived by two sons, Edward and Paul.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered 10:45 a.m. Friday in St. John the Baptist Church, 1085 Englewood Ave., Town of Tonawanda.

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