Congressman C.W. "Bill" Young funeral draws state, local and national politicians

6:36 PM, Oct 24, 2013   |    comments
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Largo, Florida -- Republicans, Democrats, current lawmakers, past lawmakers and members of the military joined others Thursday in paying their respects for a man called a "legend in the people's House".

"He was a man who in this order loved God, his family, his country and the House appropriations committee," said Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner as the crowd inside the First Baptist Indian Rocks church laughed.

Boehner went on to describe Young as someone who had what he called "a fundamental sense of decency".

"When you think about all the tall orders that he fulfilled and all the people he had to wrangle with and yet, somehow, he never uttered a cross word, never acted in bad faith and I always really admired him for it."

Also speaking during Young's funeral service was the second ranking Democrat in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

"Bill was much more than the sum of his achievements he was a man of character, of decency, of compassion, of integrity and of extraordinary patriotism," Hoyer said.

"We remember Bill him for his humility that was so very genuine, for the wisdom he possessed and the common sense he exercised, for the legislative skill that he displayed and the and life of integrity he lived."

Although he didn't attend, former President George W. Bush sent a letter saying Young, "was unrelenting in using his influence to support men and women in uniform. He knew that they deserved the best equipment and care our country could possibly offer".

A number of local and state politicians also attended Thursday's ceremony including Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and Senator Bill Nelson who praised Young for his bipartisan leadership.

"Bill Young represented the kind of person who would reach out and respect the other fella and then work out the differences in a bipartisan way, what a contrast to what we're seeing today where it's so ideological driven and so partisan," Nelson told reporters before the service.

Former state Attorney General Bill McCollum also described Young as a wise and thoughtful person. McCollum said Young also learned a valuable lesson early on in his career.

"There's a lot more to being a Congressman then going and voting and passing legislation there's an ability to use the office to do good," said McCollum who served for a period in the U.S. House with Young.

Other notables who attended Thursday's service included Pinellas County Board Chair Ken Welch, former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Backer, current St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Kriseman and former Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard.

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