Thousands are expected to pay their respects to Congressman C.W. Bill Young this week.
A public visitation is scheduled from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Bill Young Armed Forces Reserve Center, 2801 Grand Ave. in Pinellas Park. A public funeral is Thursday, Oct. 24, 1 p.m., at First Baptist Indian Rocks, 12685 Ulmerton Road, Largo. A private burial will follow at Bay Pines.
Dignitaries are flying in from Washington D.C. to attend Thursday’s funeral service. State officials also are expected to attend, as are high-ranking military personnel.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office are advising motorists to avoid the Gateway area just north of Gandy Boulevard between U.S. 19 and 28th Street until about 9 p.m. today due to expected heavy traffic as the public attends the Congressman’s viewing.
Delays along Park Boulevard from 113th Street to 28th Street also are expected due to a motorcade along the route from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
On Thursday, guests are expected to begin arriving at First Baptist Indian Rocks around 11:45 a.m. Motorists are advised to avoid the immediate area around the church until at least 3:30 p.m.
The delegation from Washington D.C. is flying in Thursday and will be transported to and from the church by bus. Officials expect as many as 6,000 will attend to show their respects to Pinellas County’s longtime congressional representative.
After the funeral service, a procession will travel from the church, across 125th Street, left onto Walsingham Road, right onto 113th Street, south to 150th then left onto Bay Pines, entering Bay Pines cemetery. The public is welcome to pay their respects along the route. The burial service is private.
Charles William “Bill” Young, 82, of Indian Shores, the nation’s longest serving Republican member of the U.S. Congress died Oct. 18, 2013. Young served more than 50 years in public office - 10 in the Florida State Senate and 42 in the United States Congress.
Young’s family was with him when he passed away about 6:50 p.m. at The Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Young died from complications related to a chronic injury, according to a statement from his family.