YOUNG, Karen D., age 84, of Centerville, passed away on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. Karen was a graduate of the University of Montana and did post-graduate work at Northwestern University and the University of Cincinnati, where as a member of the Wright State University String Quartet, she was a recipient of the first Friedlander Fellowship in Chamber Music for advanced study with the LaSalle Quartet. A native Montanan, she began her teaching career in the Billings Public Schools where she met her future husband, Robert. Karen’s professional playing has included the Billings, Helena, and Missoula Symphonies, the Peninsula Festival Orchestra in Wisconsin, 22 years in the Dayton Philharmonic and 30 years in the Dayton Opera Orchestra.
In the 1970s she was principal second violinist of the Springfield Symphony and, for over 20 years, she played violin, viola, cello or bass as needed in the Wright State Community Orchestra. Karen was a founding faculty member of the Miami Valley Academy of Music, serving for 15 years as conductor of string orchestras there. She taught violin at Stivers School for the Arts and maintained a private studio for over 30 years, producing six concertmasters of the Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and five students who have soloed with the Dayton Philharmonic, the Springfield Symphony, and the Wright State College-Community Orchestra. Karen accompanied her students on the piano at all recitals and competitions. From 1997-2007, she was conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Junior Strings Orchestra, which often performed at the Dayton Art Institute. Becoming a docent at the Dayton Art Institute in 1992, Karen often assisted the education department with art and music-related exhibitions and tours, in addition to collaborating in the writing of numerous other tours used by the docents for tours of all ages. She served as president of the Docent Organization in 1997-98. The Youngs (including son, Eric, and daughter, Anna) were named Ohio Musical Family of the Year for 1985-86 by the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs. As a string quartet, they presented a full recital at that organization's state convention in Cincinnati in May, 1986.
Karen was preceded in death by her parents, Elzevir F. and Marie DuVall, and brother, Gary DuVall. She is survived by husband, Robert; children, Eric (Kayri-Havens) Young, Anna (Jason) Natwora; grandchildren, Zoe, Isabella, and Sophia; brother, Dennis DuVall; and several nieces and nephews. In memory of Karen, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice. The family would like to extend a special thank you to all of the caregivers for their excellent care of Karen. A celebration of life reception will be from 6-8pm on Monday, August 16 at Routsong funeral home, 81 N. Main St., Centerville.