No matter how you feel about her politics, in my estimation, it is the worst thing in the world to have one of your children die. I can only imagine how it feels. Some of my wife's friends worked with Joshua and my understanding is that he was a really great guy. My sympathies go out to his family.
Rep. Northup's son Joshua, 30, dies at his home
By Kay Stewart
U.S. Rep. Anne Northup's 30-year-old son, remembered yesterday as a beloved presence in a family of six children, suffered from a severe, undiagnosed heart problem that led to his death, a family spokesman said.
Friends and family of Joshua Northup grew worried about him yesterday after he didn't show up for work at Humana two days in a row.
His father, Robert "Woody" Northup, went to check on him at his apartment on South Galt Avenue in the Crescent Hill neighborhood.
EMS was called, and Joshua Northup was pronounced dead at his home just before noon by Gayle Norris, a deputy coroner.
She said the official cause of death was awaiting toxicology reports, but the death appeared to be the result of natural causes.
Terry Carmack, Northup's chief of staff, said the autopsy revealed a severe heart problem that led to his death, although not all the details are known.
Carmack said Joshua Northup had been diagnosed with high blood pressure about two months ago and was on medication for that, but a heart ailment had not been diagnosed. He said Northup had not been ill recently.
A statement from Anne and Woody Northup said: "He was a beloved member of the family. We are grieving his loss and have a hole in our hearts that will never go away."
Joshua, one of the Northups' two adopted children, was 2 months old when he joined the family at Christmas, Carmack said.
"He was brought out in a giant Christmas stocking," he said. "It is one of the family's fondest memories."
Joshua was the third-oldest among the six Northup children.
David Northup, 35, remembered his younger brother as "welcoming to everyone." He said he was gentle with an impish sense of humor and had a wide range of interests including books, movies, history and current events.
"He touched a lot of people," he said.
Anne Northup, R-3rd District, flew back from her Washington office when she received word of his death.
Carmack said Joshua Northup had worked for Humana for four years and had been a supervisor for more than a year. He was a 1994 graduate of St. Xavier High School and a 1998 graduate of St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Ind.
In his spring semester of college in 1995, he studied in Tanzania, where he was also a volunteer in a leprosy colony, Carmack said. In Louisville, he was a volunteer for Wesley House Community Services.
His mother's campaign for a sixth term is suspended for now, said her campaign manager, Patrick Neely.
John Yarmuth, Northup's Democratic opponent in the fall election, issued a statement saying his family extends "heartfelt condolences and prayers to the Northup family. We ask our friends, supporters and the entire community to join us in prayer for the Northup family during this very difficult time."
U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell's statement said, "Elaine joins me in offering Anne, Woody and the entire Northup family our loving prayers during this sad time. I have come to consider Anne and Woody close personal friends over the years and know their deep faith and close family will see them through the loss of their beloved Joshua."
Tom Simms, a teacher at St. Xavier, said Joshua Northup had been involved in the Kentucky Youth Assembly, which teaches students about government, while in high school.
"He was sharp, he was articulate and he loved the government process, maybe in part … because of his mother," Simms said. "He did really well debating bills and writing laws."
"He was such a nice kid," Simms added.
Humana's statement read: "Joshua was an exemplary Humana associate, beloved by his colleagues and held in high esteem by his supervisors. We are deeply saddened by his death and extend our thoughts, prayers and heartfelt sympathy to his family."