Sen. Young’s wife Elaine dies on way to hospital
Elaine T. Young of Milltown, wife of Indiana Senate Democratic Leader Richard Young and a longtime deputy at the Crawford County Auditor’s Office, died unexpectedly Friday evening.
Young said his wife, 60, began having problems breathing after dinner. When she didn’t feel better within a few minutes, she asked him to take her to the hospital.
She died on the way to Bloomington Hospital of Orange County in Paoli. Young said doctors at the emergency room tried unsuccessfully to revive her.
Elaine was diabetic and had several persistent health issues, including congestive heart problems, but she had not been ill, Young said.
He met his future wife at a Louisville grocery store where he was working while attending the University of Louisville. He said she reminded him of a young Elizabeth Taylor. After a 1-1/2-year courtship, they married. They had celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary in August.
Elaine was the head check writer for Commonwealth Life Insurance when they married, but, except for a job she had briefly in Nashville, Tenn., where Young was transferred because of his job, she chose to stay at home with the couple’s five children.
She was involved in various women’s groups and activities, including raising and showing miniature poodles, but she gave up those activities when they had children, Young said.
‘She enjoyed people, but she also enjoyed being at home and being with her kids and taking care of her flowers,’ he said.
Elaine went to work in the Crawford County Courthouse when Young became the auditor there in the early 1980s. They worked together for six years. She was a deputy auditor, always serving as payroll clerk, for the past 22 years, Young said.
‘She enjoyed everybody in the courthouse,’ he said.
Young said his wife was a down-to-earth, caring, tender-hearted person, who didn’t think a thing about being married to a leader in the state senate.
‘She kind of took it in stride. She’s not an easy person to impress,’ he said. ‘She was the same person all the time.’
Besides tending to her flowers, Elaine enjoyed writing, Young said. However, because of circumstances, it remained mostly a hidden talent, he said.
State Sen. Robert Garton, Senate President Pro Tempore, said Elaine, as first lady of the Senate Democratic Caucus, was a member of the Senate family.
‘She was a charming woman with a terrific sense of humor,’ he said. ‘Our prayers are with Sen. Young and his family.’
A native of Jelico, Tenn., born April 2, 1944, Elaine Young was the daughter of Millard and Marie Thacker of Denver.
She was preceded in death by a brother, Freddie Thacker, and a sister, Judy Schmidt.
Survivors besides her husband and parents include her son, Richard D. Young III; four daughters, Bridget Young Linehan of Louisville, Angela Daigrepont of Kenner, La., Jennifer Young of Milltown and Victoria Young Chu of Danville, Calif.; two brothers, Dennis Thacker of Tifton, Ga., and Jack Thacker of Denver; three sisters, Brenda Winn of Colorado Springs, Colo., Jean Brown of Denver and Carolyn Dunn of Germany, and five grandchildren.
Visitation will be today (Wednesday) from noon to 7 p.m. at Denbo Funeral Home in English. A private funeral will follow. The body will be cremated.
The family suggests memorial gifts to the American Diabetes Association.