Master Sergeant Marie Agnes Young White, 94, of Hillcrest Heights, MD, departed this life on Monday, January 12, 2015 at St. Mary’s Nursing Center, Leonardtown, MD. Born September 24, 1920, she was the daughter of the late Wallace and Beatrice Young and stepfather, Joseph C. Somerville.
Marie loved God, her family, church, and community. She was compassionate, hard working and a role model to many. She had a zest for life and a passion for traveling and meeting new friends. Marie also loved big family gatherings and going to the casinos.
She attended St. Joseph’s Catholic School, Morganza, MD and public school in Washington, DC. She entered the US Army from New York City in February 1944, taking basic training for two months at Fort Des Moines, IA. Marie was then transferred to Fort Benning, GA. Marie was discharged from the Army in March 1946.
Marie worked at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital until May 1947. Afterwards she re-enlisted in the Army Air Corps (Air Force) and was stationed at Lockbourne AFB, OH, which was an all black outfit under the Command of Colonel B. O. Davis. She worked as a clerk in the Mess Office while also taking night courses in Business Administration at Ohio State College.
While stationed at Lockbourne AFB, Marie sponsored a group of Women in the Air Forces (WAF’s) to entertain patients at the Chillicothe Veterans Hospital on Sunday afternoons. She attended Control Tower school at Scott AFB, IL and returned to Ohio to work at Base Operations as a dispatcher.
When the Army Air Corps was integrated and became regular Air Force, Marie was sent to Mitchell AFB, NY, in August 1949, where she performed duties as Control Tower Operator. She received her first white bunk mate who was from South Carolina and they became best friends. They managed the children’s nursery while parents attended church services.
Marie was stationed in Pepperrell AFB, Newfoundland, May 1951, where she worked as a Chief Clerk in Group Headquarters. She was a Stroke for two years in the Regatta Race which was held August 1st, every year in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
November 1952, Marie went to Frankfurt, Germany, where she worked in the I.G. Fabens Building, the only WAF assigned to the Squadron of about one hundred and fifty personnel. While in Germany she visited many friendly countries, including East Berlin, Tangier, Morocco, North Africa and London.
Marie visited Fatima in Portugal and while there had a chance to talk to the relatives of the children that saw the Blessed Virgin Mary, she went into the house where the children were born.
She went skiing in Switzerland and saw Bull Fights in Barcelona, Spain. Marie left Germany in September 1955, for Offutt AFB, Nebraska, she was selected outstanding NCO of SAC. While in Nebraska she met and married the love of her life the late Daniel White of Washington, DC.
In January 1960, Marie and Daniel were transferred to Ram stein, Germany where she took an active role in charity organizations; her favorite charity was a Special Needs Home for Elderly Ladies. Marie attended the play “Passion” at Oberammergau, Germany. She visited the Salt Mine, Hitler’s Eagle Nest in Berchtesgaden and the Concentration Camp at Dachau.
Marie visited many Churches in Rome and had an audience with Pope John Paul in Rome, Italy. Marie and Daniel returned to the states on the SS American Liner in February1963 to Patrick AFB, Florida. There she received the AF Commendation Medal for duty in Germany. She worked in Family Services after duty hours and received her 100 hours pin. Daniel was transferred to Saigon, June 1965, and Marie came to Andrews AFB, MD. She worked in the Command Post at the Pentagon. Marie was honorably discharged from the Air Force after 24 years of service, May 1969, as a Master Sergeant.
After retiring Marie became a member of the following clubs: AFSA, AFA, American Legion, 7th CDCFC, and Greater South East Hospital Auxiliary, Hillcrest Heights DIVIC Assoc., Holy Family Sodality, Pastoral Council, Leisure Club and Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 417.
Marie is preceded in death by four brothers, Louis H. Young, James Thomas Somerville, Joseph B. Somerville, and Leonard Lionel Somerville.
She leaves to cherish her memory her brothers, Joseph W. Somerville (Susie), Joseph W. Young (Cecilia), Leon Michael Somerville (Nancy); sisters, Mary F. Baker, Molly A. Weeden, Mary C. Dickerson (Joseph) and Henrietta M. Gross (Thomas). She also leaves a niece, Pamela Nelson, three Godchildren and many other nieces, nephews, a host of cousins, and friends.
Family will receive friends and relatives on Monday, January 19, 2015 for visitation at 10 am until Mass of Christian Burial at 11 am at Holy Family Catholic Church, 2210 Callaway Street, Temple Hills, MD. Graveside at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Cancer of Kidney Foundation.