A giant thank-you card to Young collects dust on a shelf in a storage facility at St. Petersburg College. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
SEMINOLE, Fla. — What happens when a member of Congress dies in office? There is no standard set procedure and the internecine melee that followed the death of Rep. C.W. Bill Young, perhaps best illustrated by the exhaustive search for a handful of pictures and one Pentagon-approved memento, has ruined decades-old friendships and frayed family bonds seemingly beyond repair.
A corrosive mix of myopic estate planning, lax oversight and a moving truck-sized hole uncovered in guidelines governing continuing congressional operations has decimated those closest to the late congressman.
The 22-term Florida Republican died on Oct. 18, 2013; he was laid to rest on Oct. 24 not far from here, at Bay Pines National Cemetery in St. Petersburg. There’s been no such solace for those left behind, a group — including his widow, former House aide Beverly Young; the couple’s adult sons; newly minted Appropriations Committee member Rep. David Jolly and Young’s former chief of staff, Harry Glenn — currently at one another’s throats regarding the location of myriad keepsakes and the preservation of Young’s political legacy.