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What people are saying about C.W. Bill Young

Published Oct. 19, 2013

Updating list here.

House Speaker John Boehner: "It's only been a week since we began trying to imagine the House without Bill Young — an impossible task in its own right — and now he is gone. In our sorrow, we recall how not a day went by without a colleague seeking Bill's counsel as he sat on his perch in the corner of the House floor. There was a good reason for this. Here was a man who had seen it all and accomplished much. Looking out for our men and women in uniform was his life's work, and no one was better at it. No one was kinder too. I will miss Bill, as will countless others blessed by his life and service. To all those Floridians and Americans – especially his wife, Beverly, his family and friends – I extend the condolences of the whole House."

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.: "Floridians have lost one of the greatest public servants we've ever had in our state's history. For over a half century, Bill fought tirelessly for the Tampa Bay region and to strengthen Florida's role as a critical part of our national defense. Largely because of Bill Young, many of our nation's brave men and women in uniform have called Florida home at some point in their careers, with many of them spending their golden retirement years here. Throughout Bill's career, our military and veterans have had no greater champion than him. My thoughts and prayers are with Bill's wife, Beverly, and their entire family."

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.: "Bill Young was one of the exemplary figures in Congress who achieved legislative consensus in a bipartisan way. He put the good of the country and his constituents above partisan politics and he is going to be very much missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott: "As Florida's longest serving member of Congress, Bill will be remembered as a true statesman and champion for the Tampa Bay area. He served with eight U.S. presidents throughout his career, always putting the families of Florida first, and working across the aisle to find solutions. His work to support military families, our veterans, and his own service with the Army National Guard and as a reservist, will leave a lasting legacy. Representative Young will be missed by his constituents and our entire nation. Ann and I offer our support and prayers to his wife Beverly and his sons and grandchildren during this difficult time."

Charlie Crist, former Florida governor (via Twitter): "My prayers are with the family of Congressman Bill Young. He served our county, state and country with distinction."

Allison Tant, chair of the Florida Democratic Party: "Congressman Bill Young was a dedicated public servant and a true gentleman. For over 40 years, Congressman Young's dedication to Florida and consistent civility has set the standard for all of Florida public servants. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his many close friends today. Let us honor his service and the long legacy of accomplishment for our state and our country that he leaves behind."

Don Gaetz, Florida Senate president: "For more than 50 years, Congressman Young dedicated his life to serving the people of Florida in Tallahassee and in our nation's capital. As a young man, he took standing for your principles to a new level, literally standing by himself on the floor of the State Senate as the lone Republican voice in Tallahassee. As a member of the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Young will long be remembered for his dedication to our nation's active duty military and our veterans."

Will Weatherford, Florida House speaker: "I am saddened by the news of Bill's passing. He was a tireless advocate for the people of Florida, our military and our veterans. Bill understood the unique challenges facing our members of the military and veterans because he was one of them, serving as a member of the Army National Guard and the reserves. During his more than 50 years in public service that brought him to the Florida Senate and the U.S. Congress, Congressman Young always put the interests of his constituents first. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife Beverly and their family."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.: "Bill Young dedicated his life to serving the people of Florida, and his loss is a great one for his constituents. For over 13 years, I considered Bill to be a dear friend and a colleague that could always be counted on to provide sage advice based on decades of experience. The families of veterans and wounded soldiers will never forget his steadfast commitment to their needs. The U.S. House of Representatives is a better institution as a result of his leadership. The thoughts and prayers of my family and staff are with the Young family today."

U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland: "Bill dedicated so much of his life as a public servant. It has been a privilege to get to know him better as we've both represented central Floridians in Congress. Cindy and I extend our deepest condolences and prayers to Beverly, Rob, Billy, Pat, and the whole Young family during this incredibly difficult time."

U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor: "Chairman Young, who I always referred to as 'Chairman' because of the respect he commanded, was a mentor and someone I admired greatly for his wisdom and humility. I am extremely thankful that I was able to express my gratitude and admiration to him two nights ago when I visited with him at his bedside. I know he will be remembered for his pure and honest leadership on behalf of all Tampa Bay residents, especially its veterans and members of the armed services. I pray that God blesses Beverly, his children, his grandchildren and all of his loved ones with peace and comfort knowing that his memory will be eternal."

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J.: "The Congress has lost a leader. The nation has lost an experienced authority on national security. Our Armed Forces have lost a valuable partner. And whether they realize it or not, our troops and their families have lost one of the best friends they ever had in Congress. May our prayers be a source of comfort and strength to his wife Beverly, and to sons Billy, Patrick and Robbie and the rest of the Young family and his loyal, long-serving staff — past and present."

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster: "Tonight, our country lost a national treasure; our state lost its finest representative; our city lost its biggest advocate; and me — my friend and mentor. God bless Congressman C.W. Bill Young and his family. Well done good and faithful servant."

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn: "Bill Young's love for his country and our community was best shown in his dedication to public service. Tonight, we lost a champion who never forgot where he came from and always had Tampa Bay at the top of his agenda. He was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather. He was also a man who served our community in more ways than one: first in uniform and later in public office. Bill Young represented what a public servant should be. Country before party, progress before partisanship, and service above self. He was my friend, a friend to Tampa, and a friend to anyone who has worn this country's uniform. My thoughts and prayers tonight are with the Young family."

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam: "Florida lost a statesman tonight, in every sense of the word. Bill Young rose from humble beginnings, invented the modern Republican Party in Florida, was friend and counselor to U.S. and foreign leaders, and helped shape today's military. Bill was a tireless supporter of our troops and made sure the support continued when they became veterans. He and Beverly never missed an opportunity to give comfort and support to the wounded and their families. He saved MacDill for Tampa Bay and saved the Everglades for all of us. His leadership aided our state in the aftermath of multiple hurricanes and rebuilt the beaches for the world to enjoy. I never once heard a cross word uttered by him or about him. Once, when a major vote was pending, and the vote was tight, Bill asked the White House Legislative affairs director if he could speak personally with President (George W.) Bush. The staffer walked out with me and shared that, as it was past 2 a.m., the president was asleep. 'What are you going to do?,' I asked. 'Wake him up for Mr. Young,' was the reply. Many will say or write over the next few days, 'They don't make them like Bill Young anymore.' The truth is, they never did."

Chris Latvala, a Pinellas Republican candidate (via Twitter): "No one will ever fill Bill Young's shoes. He made our county, state and country a better place."

Rick Baker, former mayor of St. Petersburg: "When I was mayor, and the city needed help from the federal government, I didn't get a lobbyist. I just called Congressman Young."

Eric Eikenberg, Everglades Foundation CEO: "A powerful advocate for protecting Florida's environment, Congressman Young was a champion of restoring and protecting America's Everglades. As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Congressman Young succeeded in winning approval for millions of dollars to invest in Everglades restoration."

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., chair of the House appropriations committee: "Bill was a Lion of the House, a natural leader who fiercely defended this institution and who fought with everything he had to make this land a better place — not just for the people of his district, but for the nation. His valiant and unwavering commitment to protect and defend our country, to support our troops, and to ensure the respect and care of our veterans will remain forever unparalleled. He served the House and the Appropriations Committee with distinction, compassion, enthusiasm, and sometimes with stubborn determination, but always with the rare and quiet grace of a truly great man. He will be truly missed, and I know that the House — and the country — will be a lesser place without him."