Rep. Don Young Marries on 82nd Birthday

Newlyweds Don Young and Anne Walton. Photo: Liz Ruskin
Newlyweds Don Young and Anne Walton. Photo: Liz Ruskin

Alaska Congressman Don Young tied the knot today, on his 82nd birthday.

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Young married 76-year-old Anne Garland Walton, a flight nurse from Fairbanks, this afternoon, in a little prayer room near the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Later, at his congressional office, Young was smiling ear to ear, still wearing a pink rose in his lapel.

“I think she’s sillier than hell to marry me, to be right up front with you,” he said. “But I asked her and she said yes and so that’s the way it goes, and … we’re partners.”

Both bride and groom are parents and grandparents who were widowed, he in 2009, she in 2001.

Walton, who will keep her last name, says finding each other was a gift from God. Marrying on Young’s birthday, on the other hand, was calculated.

“Absolutely. It was totally planned,” she said. “And the plan was, if we did it on his birthday the chances of him ever forgetting his anniversary were just about nil. So now, forevermore, all of his birthday cakes will say ‘Happy Birthday. Happy Anniversary.’ Now is that a plan or what?”

Young, meanwhile, did a little jig in the office reception area, because, he says, there aren’t many 82-year-old grooms, and fewer still who can dance on their wedding day.

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Liz Ruskin covers Alaska issues in Washington as the network's D.C. correspondent. She was born in Anchorage and is a West High grad. She has degrees from the University of Washington and the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia. She previously worked at the Homer News, the Anchorage Daily News and the Washington bureau of McClatchy Newspapers. She also freelanced for several years from the U.K. and Japan, in print and radio. Liz has been APRN’s Washington, D.C. correspondent since October 2013. She's @lruskin on Twitter. She welcomes your news tips at lruskin (at) alaskapublic (dot) org  | About Liz

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