Dina M. Young died in St. Louis, Missouri, on her 57th birthday, April 6, 2019, from a rare form of cervical cancer that had metastasized to her lungs. She handled her disease graciously throughout its 3-year course, choosing not to think of it as a battle, but rather as part of life.
Dina was born on April 6, 1962, and she grew up in Tonawanda, New York, with her parents, Harold Young and Dorothy Young, both now deceased, and her sister, Debra (Young) LaJoy and her brother, Douglas Young.
Dina moved to St. Louis in 1985 to pursue graduate education, receiving a Master of Arts in History from Washington University, and a Master of Social Work from St. Louis University. She worked for over 17 years as an Assistant Archivist for the Missouri History Museum, and collaborated on some of the original “Where We Live” neighborhood brochures. Just for fun and pocket change, she spent many summer evenings as a parking attendant in the VIP Parking lot of The Muny. She then followed her love of music and theater in 2011 by working in the box offices of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Opera Theatre of St. Louis.
Dina found joy through singing when she joined CHARIS – The St. Louis Women’s Chorus in 1994, where she became a strong member of the Alto II section. She met Susan McIntosh at a rehearsal in 2001, when Susan joined CHARIS as a singer and then accompanist. Dina and Susan began dating in 2007 and they were married in May 2011. Dina shared her sense of humor and writing skills with the chorus in her now famous announcement song lyrics, and as a co-writer of the libretto for “The Vegans of Provincetown,” which CHARIS performed in 2007, based on the Gilbert and Sullivan opera, “The Pirates of Penzance.”
Dina was admired for how beautifully she played the clarinet, and she performed in the clarinet section of Band Together for 17 seasons. She also shared her quick wit with the Band’s audiences by serving as a concert emcee for 4 of those years. Dina and Susan occasionally performed together as The Ginger Snaps, including several appearances at the Scott Joplin International Ragtime Music Festival, sharing their love of ragtime and early jazz music.
Dina had no children of her own, but her life was enriched by Susan’s three daughters, Emily Scott, Margaret Scott, and Angela (Scott) Herbst. Dina’s pets were also very special to her, and she often referred to her dog, Kobi, and her cat, Cecil, as her “fur babies.”
Dina had chosen the American Cancer Society to be the recipient of charitable contributions in honor of her birthday. Memorial donations may also be made to CHARIS through their website, CharisChorus.org, or to BandTogether at BandTogetherSTL.com. Dina’s ashes will be placed in Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis at a later date, along with a memorial service.