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Priscilla Alden Young

Sep 15, 2017

Priscilla Alden Young, a long-time resident of Charles Town, passed away peacefully Aug. 31 at the Willows at Meadow Branch in Winchester, Virginia. She was 95-years-old.

A celebration of life and memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30 at Zion Episcopal Church Sanctuary, 301 E. Congress St., Charles Town. Priscilla was born April 28, 1922, in Lowell, Massachusetts, where she grew up during the Great Depression, an experience which strengthened her character for her long and rich life to come. During World War II she moved to Washington, D.C., to work for the War Production Board. There she met, and was courted by, her husband-to-be, Edward MacConnell Young. They were married in 1947 in Lowell, then made their initial home in the Washington, D.C. area, where their two daughters, Priscilla and Janvier, were born.

In 1957, Edward became a foreign service officer with the precursor to the U.S. Agency for International Development, and was assigned to a post in Indonesia. Priscilla and their daughters accompanied him on what would become a 10-year grand adventure in two very different societies and cultures, Indonesia and then Thailand. During this extended period of foreign service, Priscilla sustained and nurtured a safe and comfortable upbringing for her daughters, in challenging and sometimes dangerous situations. She also began to indulge what would become a life-long love of the arts, collecting many beautiful and unusual pieces of Asian art. Her appreciation and collection of fine art would continue in the years to come.

In 1966, the family returned to Washington, D.C., where Priscilla rejoined the Federal government, while Edward was assigned by the U.S.A.I.D. to a post in Vietnam during the war there.

In her 30-year Federal career, Priscilla achieved professional success as executive assistant to an office director in the Department of Interior. Her work responsibilities took her on numerous field trips to the West and to Alaska, where she developed a deep and abiding respect for the heritage and contributions of Native Americans. And, she never lost her love of her New England heritage, which was continually renewed by frequent family reunions in Massachusetts and Maine. During all these years, her first and foremost dedication was to her husband, daughters, grandsons, and other family members.

Upon their respective retirements, Edward and Priscilla made Charles Town their home. Priscilla became active in numerous volunteer groups, including service on the vestry at Zion Episcopal Church; the annual Farmers’ Market at Zion; membership on boards for the Old Opera House Society, the Republican Women’s Club, and several garden clubs; Meals on Wheels; and Briggs Animal Shelter.

Priscilla was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Augustus Elihu Alden and Mrs. Louise Dursthoff Alden, of Lowell; husband, Edward M. Young, of Charles Town (in 2007); brother, John Alden, of Portland, Oregon; and sister, Constance L. Alden, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

She is survived by her daughter, Priscilla Y. LeMaster and son-in-law, Carl L. LeMaster, of Romney; daughter, Janvier C. Young, of Washington, D.C.; grandson, Jonathan M. Degenfelder, of Romney; grandson, Adam W. Degenfelder, his wife, Caitlin S. Degenfelder, and great-grandson, Chase P. Degenfelder, of Shepherdstown; brother- and sister-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. G. Kenneth Young, of Paxonos, Pennsylvania: and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

We will all greatly miss our dear mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations to Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 West Cork St., Suite 405, Winchester, VA 22601; or Zion Episcopal Church, 221 East Washington St., Charles Town, WV 25414; or the charity of your choice.

Condolences may be offered and her obituary viewed at www.mtstrider.com.

Arrangements by the Melvin T. Strider Colonial Funeral Home, Charles Town.