Carl J. Young: Teacher at Lincoln Jr. High School

The post-war years when Carl taught at Lincoln Jr. High School were busy and full.

After their honeymoon, Carl and Bernice moved into the upstairs apartment of Carl's mother's house. Several years later, they bought the house and switched places with Anna. This was more a rearrangement of an extend family's living space rather than a move. The three generations did most things together - not separately, but between the two floors of the house.

Although Carl felt contented to be in the middle of his family, he and Bernice took part in many outside activities. Some centered on Carl's role as head of the Board of Deacons at the First Baptist Church, then located in downtown Kenosha. Bernice's most important involved organizations such as the PEO, that promoted education and provided scholarships for women. Many of Carl's centered around young people with problems that the school system could not address. He was particularly active in raising money for young polio victims. He also spent considerable time reading and talking to children with the disease in the hospital and while they were relearning how to walk and how to make up for permanent damage done to them by the disease.

Leaders of the 1960 March of Dimes campaign: Fr. Edmund Olley, William Lipman, and Carl Young. The children from the Orthopedic School are Ruth Cramer and Randy Wix.

Carl's spiritual work outside the First Baptist Church took two strong directions. Although his main job was as a teacher, he worked as a substitute minister for churches in south-eastern Wisconsin that found themselves temporarily without a pastor. At least once a month, he preached in a different church.

He was actively dedicated to the growing Ecumenical Movement of the time. This was an alliance of practitioners of all Christian denominations and the faithful of other religions. Their goal was to find and emphasize what they had in common rather than what separated them. With the examples of WWII so close behind them, they particularly wanted to find ways for the religions of the world to work together to promote tolerance, understanding, and cooperation. In addition to the possibilities of such alliances preventing further nightmares such as WWII, he had learned in seminary how much active discussion deepens faith.

Ecumenicism played an important role in bringing him into his profession as a teacher and school administrator. He felt that small groups of fanatics could easily pervert even the strongest spirituality and turn it into its precise opposite if education did not play a major role in shaping a democratic society that could resist diseases of the spirit - Fascism being an example of something like a polio of the soul.

Aside from all other concerns, Carl loved teaching. He liked to see enthusiasm grow among young people, and understood how much learning could be a means of empowerment. He also remembered how much he enjoyed reading with his father when he was a boy and wanted other young people to have something like that.

He liked being a student himself. Though his main goals for continuing his own education were to expand opportunities for young people and address problems in the education system, he found the courses he took at night and during brief summer intensives at Northwestern University interesting and stimulating in their own right. He received a Masters Degree in administration, and all the auxiliary requirements in 1959.

He had, however, made one of his most important preparations for administration as a teacher elsewhere. In 1956 - 1958, he took a sabbatical from the Kenosha School System to teach in an Army School in Baumholder, Germany. Romel had trained his tank corps at this base and the U.S. army of occupation also found this part of the Rhineland perfectly suited to training tank troops. During the first part of his stay in Germany, Carl and his family lived in the nearby village of Heimbach, from which Carl commuted to the Army school where he taught by bus. Here the family lived with America's former enemy, where most of the men Carl's age had been in the German Army during the war. During the second half of the period of teaching in Baumholder, the family lived on the Army base itself.

When Carl left Europe at the end of WWII, it was a world in ruins and despair. The Germany of 1957 was rapidly regaining its prosperity, and thanks in large part to the Marshal Plan, which Carl saw as one of the greatest achievements of the war, Germany was no longer a deadly enemy or a defeated and hopeless pile of rubble, but a place where people rebuilt a new society, and had become one of the closest allies the U.S. had in the Cold War. For Carl, this meant that the war was truly over, that victory meant healing rather than simply beating the enemy, and that the bitterest hatreds could be turned into close alliances. The family traveled virtually every weekend and vacation during this stay in Europe. Trips included prayers at the graves where Carl had performed the funeral services during the war. They also included sight-seeing ventures to historical places and to the new Europe that was building itself.

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