His mistakes at the polls rarely hurt him. He was elected 25 times in a row, usually facing moderate and mild opposition, and five times received more than 70 percent of the vote. In 2020, he withdrew a strong challenge from Alice Calvin, a politically independent social activist who campaigned for dissatisfaction with the state’s economy during the corona virus crisis.
After the election, Mr. Young announced that he had been confirmed to have a corona infection. He was hospitalized for three days in Anchorage and isolated at home. He said he regrets the severity of the infection and refuses to wear masks but supports the use of masks.
On Friday evening Mr. News of Young’s death broke, and lawmakers and aides told stories of him, often sitting in the back aisle of the House and shouting at his colleagues, especially when a referendum had been dragged out for so long.
“His absence will leave Congress less colorful and, of course, less time consuming,” said Kevin McCarthy, California’s representative on minority affairs. “But his decades of service have filled every room and touched every member.”
Donald Edwin Young was born on June 9, 1933, in Meridian, California, the youngest of three children, James and Nora (Pussy) Young. He had two sisters, Beatty and Jane. His father was a Sutter County farmer. Donald graduated from Sutter Union High School in 1950 and received a bachelor’s degree in education from Uba Community College in 1952 and a bachelor’s degree in teaching from Chico State College (now university) in 1958. He was in the army from 1955 to 1957. Served in a tank battalion.
At the age of 26, Mr. Young emigrated to Alaska shortly after gaining state status in 1959. He acknowledged that it was drawn from Jack London’s 1903 novel “The Call of the Wild”, about a powerful, 140-pound dog named Buck, St. Bernard. Scotch Collie stolen from a farm in Santa Clara Valley and sold as a slate dog in the Yukon.
Mr. Young settled in Yukon Castle, a city of 700 just above the Arctic Circle. As the resurrection of London’s Klondike Wildlife in 1897 he sought to fish, trap and process gold. In the city, he taught elementary school classes and coached high school basketball and track teams. Burning stoves kept students warm in the winter. As the ice of the Yukon River broke in the spring, he drove his own trawlers and yachts to take supplies to the riverside villages.