YOUNG, Elaine Baker, 93, passed away peacefully, with loved ones by her side, November 20, 2012, at Liza's Place, Wheeling, WV.
Mrs. Young taught piano until the age of 90. Her love of and extensive knowledge of music, her joy of teaching, and her endless, interesting stories of the lives of the great composers, kept her students fascinated and eager to learn more. Every year, Mrs. Young hosted a Halloween party for her younger students and a Christmas Tea for her older ones. She made learning fun and exciting.
Elaine Young was born in Baltimore, Maryland, August 20, 1919. She was the only daughter of Susie and George Baker. Elaine was nicknamed "wonder child" because of her many talents which included, piano, voice and dancing. She also played accordion and was a contortionist.
She graduated from high school at the age of 16, when she entered Ward-Belmont Womens' College, now Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Mrs. Young then studied privately in New York City, where she also performed as an exhibition ballroom dancer with Hal Kemp's band.
She then entered West Virginia University where she was a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority and where she met the love of her life, Dr. John P. Young, Jr.
Dr. and Mrs. Young moved to Chicago, Illinois, where Elaine entered Chicago Musical College and received both her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. While Dr. Young was finishing his residency in general surgery, Mrs. Young taught at Wells High School in Chicago. She was later on the faculty of West Liberty State College.
Elaine Young served as president of the West Virginia State National Federation of Music Clubs and president of the Thursday Music Club where she was also a member of the piano ensemble group, president of the Wheeling Symphony Society and served as general chairman of the Wheeling Symphony Radio Auctions where she raised thousands of dollars for the Wheeling Symphony
Elaine Young was also a concert pianist and a member of Young and Manning. They performed many concerts, one of which was for the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra where Young and Manning performed "Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra" by Francis Poulenc. Young and Manning also performed with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra.
Mrs. Young and her then 16-year-old daughter, Susan, appeared as soloists with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra in a performance of the Saint-Saens "Carnival of the Animals" for the Childrens' Concert Series at the amphitheater at Oglebay Park.
Mrs. Young was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. John P. Young, Jr., in 1983.
She is survived by three children: Susan Dodd of St. Clairsville, Ohio, Betsy Young Joseph of Wheeling, John P. Young, III of Severna Park, Maryland; eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Arrangements are private with Kepner Funeral Home.
A celebration of Elaine Young's extraordinary life will be held December 27, 2012, from 7 to 8:30 in the evening at Christ United Methodist Church, Washington Avenue, Wheeling, WV, with Pastor Ted Dodd officiating. Students and friends of Mrs. Young are invited and encouraged to say something or share a story involving their relationship with her.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra, 1025 Main St. # 811, Wheeling, WV 26003 or Liza's Place, 308 Mount St. Joseph Road, Wheeling, WV 26003.
Personal condolences may be made to the family at www.kepnerfuneral.com.