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SE Qns. trailblazer Young, 93, dies

The southeast Queens community will be gathering this week to remember the life of a political activist who made strides in the neighborhood.

Dora H. Young, the female Democratic district leader of the 29th state Assembly District Part A, died Saturday following a long battle with an undisclosed illness, according to her relatives and colleagues. She was 93 and lived in St. Albans her entire life, according to her grandniece, Jessica Thomas.

Aside from her duties as a Democratic district leader, Young was vice president of the Guy R. Brewer Democratic Club´╗┐, the co-leader of the Guy R. Brewer Democratic Club and a former city clerk who worked at the Marriage Bureau at Queens Borough Hall.

“She was always supportive, always dependable,” said former City Councilman Archie Spigner, who worked with Young for decades not only during his tenure at City Hall, but also as her co-Democratic district leader and co-founder of the Guy R. Brewer Democratic club´╗┐.

Although she was known to keep her personal life to herself, Young was remembered for being candid about her political beliefs and was outspoken about the community’s issues. Spigner recalled that there was rarely a debate where she lost.

“If she disagreed with you, she would argue for her point of view and then we would be united. She was that kind of person,” he said.

Young, who was a widow and had no children, spent 25 years at Borough Hall where she helped to approve hundreds of marriages. She is survived by several nieces and nephews.

Borough President Helen MArshall praised her work because it made strides for minorities and women.

“She simply cared about people and loved to contribute to the success of others. Many people, myself included, will never forget her,” she said in a statement.

State Assemblyman William Scarborough (D-St. Albans) remembered looking up to her as a role model not only because of her influence, but also her resolve to improve the area’s quality of life.

“She would call elected officials, call agencies and point out problems in the community and work to get it resolved,” the assemblyman said.

Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), who also worked with Young for years, called her an important historical figure for the city as she helped to campaign for presidential candidates such as Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

“Going forward, generations of Queens residents will forever benefit from the foundations that Dora built. She was truly a trailblazer,” Comrie said in a statement.

Her wake was scheduled for Thursday at the J. Foster Phillips Funeral Home, at 179-24 Linden Blvd., from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and her funeral was planned at St. Benedict the Moor, where she was a lifelong member, at 171-17 110th Ave., at 11 a.m. Friday.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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