Don Young

June 9, 1933 - March 18, 2022

From The Family of Congressman Don Young:

The Honorable Donald Edwin Young was the fourth Congressman to serve all of Alaska and the 45th Dean of the U.S. House of Representatives. He passed away peacefully while traveling to Alaska on Friday, March 18, 2022, with his wife, Anne, by his side.

Congressman Young was a veteran – serving in the 41st Tank Battalion from 1955 to 1957 – schoolteacher, trapper, riverboat captain and state legislator – serving in the Alaska State House from 1966-1970, and Alaska State Senate from 1970-1973. As Alaska’s sole Congressman for two-thirds of its statehood, he was the longest serving Republican in Congressional history.

While working on a highway project in California as a young man, a letter from his father prompted Congressman Young to change the course of his life and head North … to Alaska. This journey was inspired by Jack London’s Call of the Wild, “cooler weather and no snakes.”

Ultimately answering the call to public service, Congressman Young became one of the most effective members of the House of Representatives. While famous for his gruff exterior, those blessed to know him knew his heart was big as the Alaska he loved. His ability to work with varying perspectives and backgrounds enabled him to pass legislation that changed the Alaska landscape and impacted all Americans.

Congressman Young was born on June 9, 1933, in Meridian, Calif. He was the middle son of Lawhead “Sy” Young Sr. and Arlene “Nora” M. Young Harris. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Russell Lawhead Young Jr. and Douglas Wayne Young Sr.; first wife, Lula Fredson Young; and grandson, Eric Crombie.

He leaves behind a wife, Anne Garland Young; daughters, Joni Arlene Nelson (husband Arthur N. Nelson) and Dawn Vallely; two children by marriage, Gary Edward Garland and Gayle Anne Garland; 18 grandchildren, Wyatt Nelson, Guy Nelson, James Nelson, Caiten Crombie, Jessi Crombie, Alyssa Vallely, Dani Crombie, Nikifor Crombie, Payton Vallely, Donald Crombie, Penelope Crombie, Delaney Vallely, Seamus Vallelly, Hayden Garland, Hannah Garland, Lauren Nichols and Emily Griffin; and nine great-grandchildren.

After Congressman Young laid in state at the United States Capitol on March 29, 2022, a memorial service was held at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Great Falls, Va., on March 30, 2022. There was a memorial service on Saturday, April 2, 2022, at the Anchorage Baptist Temple in Anchorage, Alaska.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations are made to The Lu Young Children’s Fund, P.O. Box 91716, Anchorage, AK 99509-1716; and The Don Young Institute for Alaska, 3705 Arctic Blvd. #571, Anchorage, AK 99503.