Rep. Young's widow asks Crist to stay away from funeral

Rep. Bill Young’s (R-Fla.) widow asked former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist not to attend her husband’s funeral.

Beverly Young made her request in an email sent Monday to Crist — a Republican, turned independent, turned Democrat — who is considering another run for office. The email was obtained by the Tampa Bay Times.

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“This e-mail is to officially advise you that your presence at my husband's memorial services will be unacceptable,” she said in the email.

“I have watched over the years, as Bill had, your transparent attempts to manipulate the political arena. I don't want my husband's memorial service to be another opportunity for that and I will not tolerate anyone turning this into a platform for political gain. Please honor my families request.”

Young told the newspaper that she also asked two former congressional opponents of Young not to attend the funeral.

"Bill specifically said he didn't want his memorial service to be a platform for local politicians to work the crowds,” Young told the newspaper. “He's right. It's not only wrong, it’s disgusting to see that happen.

“He gave me the names of the people he wished wouldn’t show up, that was just three, and we both know I don’t care about political correctness so I took it upon myself to honor his wishes,” she said. “I've been at many political funerals and listened to locals standing in groups planning their strategies. God gave people souls, but some don't know to take advantage of that God given gift."

Young died Friday at the age of 82 from complications related to a chronic injury. He was the longest serving GOP member of the House.

The House canceled its session Thursday so members could attend the service.

A public funeral for Young will be held in Largo, Fla.

— This post was updated at 1:13 p.m.