Kathy and Wendell Young renew their wedding vows on their 30th anniversary. Photo by retired Cincinnati Police Officer Michael Cotton

Kathy and Wendell Young recently renewed wedding vows

By Dan Yount

The Cincinnati Herald

City Councilman Wendell Young is improving after having heart surgery on September 7 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Clifton. Young underwent an aortic dissection, which involves a repair to a tear in the large blood vessel branching off from the heart. During a press conference Wednesday at Good Samaritan, Kathy Young said she took her husband to the hospital after he complained of not feeling well. Since the surgery, Young is recovering well and has been walking and alert, she said.

It was just on July 22, the Youngs celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary at French House in Amberley Village. Kathy Young said she wanted to do something special for their pearl wedding anniversary, including a small ceremony where they would renew their wedding vows. They were actually married on July 27.

“We were to have family and friends over to celebrate our being together, and it just grew and took on a life of its own. My two daughters, Allison Hunter and Raven Young took over and made it happen,’’ she said.

After it began to become unfeasible for the large group invited to gather at the Youngs’ home in Avondale, it was decided to hold the event at Maple Ridge Lodge in Mt. Airy Forest. However, when it was learned very late in the planning process that that venue had already been book ahead of their event, an eleventh-hour change was made to hold it at French House in French Park in Amberley Village. Venue change notices were sent out just a week before the event, which did cause some confusion, the Youngs added. “We probably lost some of those who planned to attend because of the venue change,’’ Wendell said.

Yet, the ceremony turned out to be quite elegant, with special music, special participants, and food and dancing under a large tent outside French House.

It was very special to us because our family and close friends were there,’’ Kathy said.

Conducting the ceremony was Judge Fanon Rucker, whom the Youngs had heard conduct the wedding service for the daughter of Cincinnati radio talk host Lincoln Ware. “He was just amazing,’’ Wendell said.

Also on the program were DJ Victor Hunter, the Remember Band, singers Deborah Hunter and Wendell Anderson, Bianca Graham, who has auditioned for American Idol and is going to appear on the show in California, and friend Roslyn Gant Simmons, who sang “The Lord’s Prayer’’ at their wedding and is now living in Minnesota. Former Cincinnati Parks Director Willie Carden gave a toast, and caterer Liz Rogers (formerly of “Mahagony’s”) provided a buffet.

Wendell Young sang “Through the Years,’’ the song he sang to Kathy at their wedding, and which was written by Lionel Ritchie and made famous by Kenny Rodgers. He also sang an original song written by Wendell Anderson for Kathy titled, “No One But You.’’

“I was surprised she stayed with me 30 years, and I wanted everybody to know that,’’ said Wendell, a retired Cincinnati police officer, in talking about the ceremony.

Kathy added, “We have been through a lot in those 30 years with our children, the loss of family members, and now have a feeling of peace, serenity, and safety. Wendell has always been there through the good and the bad, right or wrong. He has always been good to my children, Allison Hunter, John Pourtney, and Christian Pourtney.’’

Wendell added a daughter, Leslie Bryant to the blended family, and he and Kathy together added two children, Wendell Young Esq., and Raven Young. All the children live in Cincinnati.

The Youngs are planning for a second honeymoon, but wanted to wait until after the November election in which Wendell is seeking re-election to the City Council. Kathy, a retired teacher, is seeking a seat on the Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education.


Asia Harris contributed to this article.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *