Isobel Craven Young Lewis Drill, 98, died on September 27, 2014 in Raleigh.
She was born January 13, 1916 in Lexington, NC, the only daughter of Erle Bulla Craven and Johnsie Smith Craven. She was preceded in death by her parents and two older brothers, Dr. Erle Bulla Craven, Jr. and John Braxton Craven, and her husbands, Baxter Clay Young, Jr. in 1960, Carlyle Blackburn Lewis in 1980, and Walter Loyd Drill in 2000.
Mrs. Drill graduated from Lexington High School in 1933 and from Duke University in 1937 with an A.B. Degree in English. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity for over eighty years. From 1973 until her death, she served as Trustee and Trustee Emerita on the Duke University Board of Trustees. She received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Duke in 1989 and the University Medal in 2001 in recognition of her many years of devoted service and contributions to her alma mater.
Mrs. Drill’s great-grandfather, Dr. Braxton Craven, was the first President of Trinity College (1842-82), the predecessor of Duke University. She established numerous academic and athletic scholarships and endowments at Duke University, Peace College, Dillard University, Ravenscroft School, and Davidson County Community College.
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Following her graduation from Duke, Isobel Craven taught English at Lexington High School until her marriage to Baxter Clay Young, Jr. on June 14, 1939. After his death in 1960, she became President of the family businesses, Maybelle Transport Company and Buck Young Oil Company until 1972. She was a voracious reader who required proper written and conversational grammar, correct spelling, and perfect punctuation from all her family members and employees. Her prized possessions were her books, dictionaries, and paintings by North Carolina artists which she collected throughout her lifetime. She was an avid gardener and bird-watcher who made sure that her yard was full of roses, dogwoods, and magnolias and the kitchen window had nearby birdfeeders where she could name every visiting species.
In Lexington, she was President of the Charity League, President of the Women’s Society of Christian Service, a member of the O. Henry Study Club and the Daughters of the American Revolution, a charter member of the Dutch Club, and a volunteer with the American Red Cross. Mrs. Drill served on the Davidson County Community College Foundation Board and on the inaugural State Board of the North Carolina Community Colleges. Mrs. Drill was appointed by North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford to serve on the Research Triangle Board of Directors and the State Welfare Board. She was a lifetime member of the North Carolina Art Society.
From 1982 until 2001, Mrs. Drill lived in St. Augustine, Florida where she was an active supporter of the St. John’s County Library System and the Jacksonville Symphony.
At Duke University, Mrs. Drill served on the Council for Women’s Studies, Friends of the Library Executive Committee, the Duke Hospital Committee on Aging and Development. She was the Chair of the Trustees Building and Grounds Committee. At Duke she was a loyal donor to the Braxton Craven Society, the Iron Dukes, the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, the Library, the Divinity School, the Duke University Alumni Association, the Chapel, the Nasher Museum of Art, and the Davison Society. She established the University Archivist endowment because of her commitment to collect and to preserve the rich history of Trinity College and Duke University.
Born before American women had the right to vote, Mrs. Drill was a staunch and early supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, the Equal Rights Amendment, and Planned Parenthood. She was an outspoken advocate for the rights of women and children, animal welfare, and the arts. She was an adventurous traveler on six continents who embraced all cultures and peoples around the world. She and her husband, Carlyle Lewis, took a four-month voyage around the world on the Queen Elizabeth II in 1975, which they recorded in their book, Two on the Q. She had a keen interest in helping others, especially with their educational and career pursuits. She was a life-long member of The First United Methodist Church of Lexington, NC and the Democratic Party. Mrs. Drill was proud to be a seventh-generation North Carolinian and a direct descendant of Patriot Ancestors Peter Craven and Valentine Leonhardt.
Mrs. Drill is survived by her daughter, Mary Laraine “Larry” Young Hines and husband, Tom, of Raleigh; her son, Baxter Craven Young; her three grandchildren: Dr. Thomas Blair Hines, Jr. and wife, Tracey, of Beaufort, SC; Robert Craven Hines and wife, Christine; of Potomac Falls, VA, Mary Craven Hines Dawkins and husband, Burney; of Nashville, TN, six great-grandchildren, Thomas Baxter and Braxton Craven Hines, William Christopher and Audrey Jane Hines, Johnsie Claire and Jane Tatum Dawkins, four nieces, and three nephews.
Special thanks go to the caring staffs at Sunrise of Raleigh and Transitions Life Care and to Mrs. Drill’s special cousin, Perry Grimes Van Dyke. Mrs. Drill cherished her devoted friends Teenie Tilley, Jaye Bingham-Hinch, Cammey Cole Manning, Shirley Swing Bunce, Debra Webber, all the Braxton Craven Scholars, and her namesake, Isabella Grace Bingham Hinch. Her life was enriched by the loving and attentive care she received from Sarah Kandilah, Josie Bryan, Gwen Echavez, Maravic Gayden, Samba Ceesay, Dr. David Fisher, Dr. Anne Tuveson, and Dr. Darren Koch.
A memorial service for Mrs. Drill will be held at 2 pm on Sunday, October 5, 2014 at Hayes Barton United Methodist Church, 2209 Fairview Road, Raleigh. A private graveside service will take place at the Trinity Memorial Cemetery in Trinity, NC, where Mrs. Drill will be laid to rest beside her Great-grandparents, Braxton and Irene Leach Craven.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Mrs.Drill may be directed to the Isobel Craven Young Drill Scholarship at Duke University, Box 90581, Durham, NC 27708 or a charity of one’s choice.