On Jan. 2, 2013, Richard Joseph Langel was called home by His Lord and Savior to be with his heavenly family.
Richard was born Nov. 16, 1934, the seventh of 10 children to Arnold and Helen (McCann) Langel, at the family homestead north of Goldstone, Mont. His early education was at Goldstone’s one-room school. To attend school in Rudyard he had to “bach” in town during the week and then come home on weekends. Rich graduated from R. H.S. in 1953.
He entered the U. S. Army in 1957, serving in the 121st Signal Battalion, Company B, “Big Red 1” Division as a top-grade mechanic. He also served as a driver ed teacher and in his spare time enjoyed being the football manager for the engineer’s team at Fort Riley, Kans. While there, mutual friends introduced Rich to Alberta Dierkens, afterwhich he said “he found his lifetime love and mate. ” They were married in Kansas City, Mo., on Nov. 15, 1958. After Richard finished his active duty with the military, they moved to the family farm at Goldstone. Rich continued to serve in the Army Reserves until his honorable discharge in 1963.
During some draught years, Richard moved his family, which now included a son and a daughter, to Kansas City, Mo.. where he worked at the Cargill Inc. grain terminal. They later transferred to Denver, Co., to serve as millwright superintendent for Cargill’s newest elevator. Added to his growing family were two more daughters. Being always resourceful, Rich invented a boxcar door opener, which made unloading grain much easier. Some of these are still in use today. Rich was always fixing things and diligent in creating anything needed, and his inventions always worked.
After the untimely death of his older brother Bud, Rich was called back to the farm. His family now included five children. They purchased the neighboring Patrick farm and started another chapter in their lives. Richard loved farming and ranching, and his favorite times were during harvest and calving. One year he was so proud to have triplet, Red Herefords born, and with his tender patience and gentle hands, the three calves thrived. Unfortunately, a heart attack and declining health required his retirement in 1997, when he and Alberta moved to Billings. During the past 15 years they enjoyed their newfound friends at the Casa Village.
On this past Nov. 1, Richard suffered a stroke and was diagnosed with brain cancer. He was being cared for at home by his family and hospice nurses. He made it through the Christmas holidays and died peacefully on the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 2. He was 78 years old.
Richard was baptized and confirmed at Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Church in Hingham. He served eight years as a trustee of the Rudyard School District and was an active member of the Rudyard Jaycees. In addition he drove school buses and taught junior bowling. After moving to Billings, he became a member of the “Golden K” Kiwanis Club and served on the board of the Casa Village Residents Association. He was a devoted member of TOPS MT. (#503 Billings Chapter) and just recently reached his goal.
Rich was a gentle giant, kind to everyone he met, doing yard work and handyman jobs for all who had a need, serving his community faithfully and honestly. He was selflessly devoted to his wife of 54 years, his five children, and beloved “papa” to his eight grandsons (Will, Richard, Wes, Dylan, Patrick, Matt, Zach, and Mark) and his grand-daughter (Makenzie Mae). He was very proud to recently become a great-grandfather for the first time with the addition of Zethierin Gabriel.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers, Duaine, Arnold and Gerald, two sisters, Lillian Frank and Dorothy Langel, and his beloved youngest son, Timothy Joseph.
He is survived by his wife, Alberta Langel of Billings; son, Albert Langel of Ronan, daughters, Jodene (Tim) Leeds of Havre, Shellie (Dan) Miller of Linn Valley Lakes, Kan., and Ellen (Jay) Riesinger of Billings; nine grandchildren and ome great-grandchild; brother, Stan (Willa Rae) Langel of Rudyard; sisters, Lucy Miller of Salem, Ore., Audrey (Lloyd) Kaercher of Havre, and Katherine Brandt of Rudyard; sisters-in-law Ruby Langel of Missoula and Joann Langel of Havre; his son’s widow, Tammy of Billings; and several dear nephews, nieces, and cousins. Also surviving are Dierkens family members including brothers-in-law, Marvin (Vicky) Dierkens and Al (Sue) Dierkens; sister-in-law, Laurie (Steve) Ward, all of Kansas City, MO; and a very special sister-in-law & best friend, Carol Sue Farley of Ocean Springs, MS.
Richard was dearly loved by all who knew him and will be forever missed…
A Service of Remembrance was held at 2 p. m. Sunday, Jan. 6, at the Casa Village Community Center in Billings. Hospice Chaplain Dianna Grantham shared readings and prayers. The eulogy was given by Bernard Lea and a power-point presentation was done by Chris Morales. A coffee hour followed.
A Memorial Mass will be 11 a. m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Our Lady of Ransom Catholic Church in Hingham. Father Joseph Diekhans will officiate. Mass participants will include Patrick Leeds, Altar server; Terry Hybner and Chris Dierkens, scripture readers; Mary Lois Hybner and Richard Leeds, Eucharistic Ministers; Mary Hybner, Organist; Tim Greytak and Tom Jurenka, Greeters; Tim Leeds, Eulogist; and Jodene Leeds, “Memories”. Mass music will include “You Are Mine, ” “Prayer of St. Francis, ” “One Bread, One Body, ” and “Lead Me Lord. ” Solos will be “On Eagle’s Wings, ” Marcus Jochim and “Somewhere Over The Rainbow, ” Richard Leeds.
Burial of ashes will follow at the Rudyard Cemetery, where military rites will be provided. A luncheon will be held at the Rudyard Catholic Youth Center. Cremation and arrangements were by Rockman Funeral Chapel in Chester.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Timothy J. Langel Memorial Scholarship Fund (% Waddell & Reed, 1465 Hwy. 2 NW, Havre, Mt. 59501) or to the Riverstone Hospice of Billings, Mt.