Given Yup’ik Name Alulaq (To Steer or Tiller) for His Leadership.
Calista (chu-lis-ta) Corporation leadership sends heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of U.S. Representative Don Young, who passed away Friday at the age of 88.
We join the thousands of Alaskans who mourn the passing of a great man who meant so much to so many people, said Andrew Guy, Calista Corp. President/CEO. Representative Young was a fierce advocate for the people of the Yukon Kuskokwim Region, and for all Alaska Native people.
Years ago we gave him the Yup’ik name Alulaq, which means steering wheel or tiller. As a former boat captain this fit Representative Young. This also fit him because he listened to our needs and he took them back to Washington, D.C. Don Young never forgot us, and always fought for what he believed was right. We will miss him representing us in Congress, but more than that, will miss our friend. We take comfort in the legacy he leaves behind, and the fact that his hard work made Alaska what it is today.
Murkowski Statement on Congressman Young’s Passing
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski issued the following statement following the passing of Congressman Don Young:
Alaskans are devastated by this shocking and sad news and I am saddened beyond belief about the loss of my friend. We have lost a giant who we loved dearly and who held Alaska in his heart—always. Don was coming home to the place that he loved, and to the people that loved him best. We love you, Don.
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski
Sullivan Mourns Passing of Congressman Don Young
U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) issued the following statement after hearing the news that Congressman Don Young passed away earlier today:
Like all Alaskans, Julie and I are saddened, shocked, and devastated by the sudden passing of our Congressman Don Young. His spirit—authentic, tenacious, indomitable, a man of the people—epitomized our great state to such a degree that there was a sense he’d always be with us, that he’d live forever.
He was a dear friend and mentor, and I have learned so much from this great Alaskan.
The Alaska that we know and love today is a reality because of the tireless work of Don Young.
Julie’s and my deepest condolences go out to his wife, Anne, his daughters, Dawn “Sister” and Joni, and his many grandchildren. Rest In Peace, Don Young.”
U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan
The Congressman for All Alaska
The Alaska Federation of Natives joins the state and country in mourning the passing of Congressman Don Young.
In the coming days, the Congressman’s accomplishments in the United States House of Representatives will be compiled for all to reflect on. The list will be long. The achievements he championed from concept to completion on behalf of Alaska Natives will not be forgotten.
However, his friendship is what the Alaska Native community will miss most. Congressman Young’s word was his bond, and he was not afraid to speak his mind. No one ever had to second guess where they stood with him.
“We did not always agree,” said AFN President Julie Kitka, “however, he was always willing to listen. And if he could help, he would.” Kitka remembers how the Congressman would often pick up the telephone and call a cabinet member or federal official to “take care of it” right in the middle of their meetings. “That was how much he cared about the Alaska Native community,” Kitka added.
AFN Co-Chair Joe Nelson recalls Congressman Young’s appreciation and deep understanding of Alaska’s unique forms of tribal self-governance and Native self-determination and how he made it his mission to make sure the rest of Washington, DC did as well. Nelson surmised, “we could not have asked for a better advocate.”
Co-Chair Ana Hoffman said she still has the moose brisket that the Congressman asked for last fall sitting in her freezer. She will remember him as a “staunch defender of Alaska Natives and rural Alaska, as well as our ways of life.”
AFN extends our thoughts and prayers to Congressman Young’s wife, children, friends, colleagues, and staff — thousands of whom go into this weekend with heavy hearts.
Alaska Federation of Natives
Alaska Congressman Don Young Passes Away
We are genuinely saddened by the recent loss of Congressman Don Young. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, especially his wife Anne who was with him, and his staff. The Congressman was a towering figure in Alaska for more than half a century. He provided great courage and leadership during many of the most important policy debates that molded Alaska’s future. Our caucus was looking forward to meeting with him next Monday during his annual visit to the State Capitol. I know many of us in the House Republican Caucus feel a special connection to the Congressman because of his previous service in the Alaska State House.
Alaska and our nation have lost a truly great man. Farewell Don Young, Congressman for all Alaska.
Rep. Cathy Tilton (District 12)
Alaska House Minority Leader