Lu Young honored at memorial

Posted: Sunday, August 16, 2009

FAIRBANKS - Politicians and Alaska Native leaders were among a crowd of about 200 people at a memorial service for the wife of U.S. Rep. Don Young on Friday.

Lu Young had an unabashed affection toward her husband, said Dawn Young Vallely, the couple's daughter.

"She'd go into his office. She'd put her arms around him and she'd kiss him," Vallely told mourners at Sacred Hearth Cathedral in Fairbanks. "She didn't care who was there."

Lu Young died of natural causes Aug. 1 at the couple's home in northern Virginia. She was 67 and had been married to Don Young for 46 years.

The Republican congressman and his two daughters greeted every mourner after the service. Don Young told one mourner he felt like he had lost his right arm.

Vallely described her mother as a talented caregiver and the most important person in her life.

"I was never lonely," she said in the eulogy. "I was never afraid. I always knew I could call her. I want to do that for my children."

Lu Young, the third of 10 children, was a bookkeeper in Fort Yukon almost a half century ago when she met Young, then a schoolteacher. Later, she was a fixture in her husband's congressional office in Washington, where she welcomed visitors from Alaska, mourners said.

Another memorial is planned Tuesday in Anchorage.

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