Remembering Kevin Young
Palo Alto Battlefield wishing to note the passing of Kevin Young on May 7, 2012.
People throughout the nation know and respect Kevin as an expert on the Alamo, the Texas Revolution, and the U.S.-Mexican War, but at Palo Alto we recall him simply as a good friend.
For almost two decades, Kevin was always ready and willing to assist the park and especially its interpretive staff. When Palo Alto needed an image for an exhibit, Kevin knew where to look. When we needed information on the Mexican army of 1846, Kevin had a source or, more often, had the information in his head. If he could not provide the information right away, he was always willing to link the park to his huge network of friends and experts to help us find an answer.
Kevin also assisted with a number of living history events for the park. In the years before Palo Alto had a visitor center and daily operations, Kevin helped organize several large military encampments that allowed the residents of the Rio Grande Valley to get a glimpse of opportunities to come.Kevin not only helped to bring dozens of living history groups to Brownsville, but he also came himself.On multiple occasions he endured long days of heat, high winds and dust to ensure that students from local schools would receive the best possible presentation.He had recently spoken to the park about wanting to return for one more living history encampment.
When Kevin left Texas to return to his home state of Illinois, he was a less frequent participant in park activities, but was never absent. When he found an interesting article or photo, he always passed it on. When the park reached a milestone, he always helped promote it. And when Palo Alto planned an event, he always was willing to lend a hand. Just days before he died, Kevin was still helping the park, offering photos and information to support a new project.
Palo Alto was hardly the only beneficiary of Kevin's knowledge and skill.He was involved dozens of history museums and sites, assisted hundreds of researchers, and provided interpretation for many thousands of interested on-lookers. And his contributions have not been forgotten. Just hours after his death, internet message boards and history sites were filled with expressions of shock, grief, but mostly praise for a man who was not just a friend of Palo Alto but a friend of all things historical. Kevin R. Young, age 55, of Rossville, passed away at 2:30 p.m. Monday, May 7, 2012.
Did You Know?
Like his rider, Zachary Taylor’s horse became a national hero. Praised for his bravery in battle, “Old Whitey” became the subject of portraits, poetry, and music. When Taylor became President in 1850, the horse was allowed to graze on the White House lawn.