Ralph R. Lang, age 83, of Glenwood, MN died Monday, December 16, 2019, at Glenwood Village Care Center. A memorial service for Ralph will be held at 11:00 A.M. on Saturday, December 21st at Villard United Methodist Church in Villard, with Pastor Kathy Horn officiating. Visitation will be at the church, one hour prior to the service. Inurnment will be in the spring in Lake Amelia Cemetery. Arrangements are with the Hoplin-Hitchcock Funeral Home of Glenwood.
Memorial donations may be directed to Pope County Habitat for Humanity or Alzheimer's research.
Ralph Robert Lang was born on September 3rd, 1936 to Milton and Beth (Ladd) Lang, in his Grandparents home in Villard, Minnesota. He grew up on the family dairy farm two miles south of Villard, attended school in Villard and graduated with honors in 1954.
He met Marjorie Thompson in the fall of ’53 and fell immediately in love. He convinced her to do the same and they were joined in marriage at the Methodist Church in Glenwood on June 26, 1954 with Reverend John Nymark officiating. They farmed south of Villard for about five years, but when he received a job offer in the Twin Cities that was more lucrative than farming, he moved his growing family to Richfield, Minnesota. He worked first for Johnston Golden Tone Hearing Aid Company, and later for the Minneapolis Star Tribune as an area manager. After three years, he realized that farming was too deep in his bones to abandon and returned, with his family, to Villard. During the next six to eight years he replaced every building on the farm, starting with the house and barn. Ralph milked cows and did dairy chores morning and evening, swung a hammer during the day, and worked the fields by the light of tractor headlights at night.
Together Ralph and Marj raised their six children on the farm that was just a half mile south of his childhood home. He was very involved in Villard Public School, serving on the School Board for many years. He milked cows early in the morning and early in the afternoon so he could be at school in the evenings to support his children in all their high school activities. Ralph was pleased to have all his children graduate from Villard Public School and, since he was on the school board, was proud to hand them their diplomas.
Ralph enjoyed farming, especially the dairy part, and won many awards related to farming and farm management. His management skills led him to be asked to serve on many boards, including Pope County Co-op, Dairy Herd Improvement Association, Production Credit Association in Glenwood, on both the state and national boards of Dairy Farmers of America Dairy Co-op, Glacial Ridge Hospital, and West Central Initiative.
Ralph had a beautiful voice and loved to sing. He sang with the Villard United Methodist Church choir for over 40 years and for many years with the Pope County Men’s Chorus. He loved playing cards, especially 500 or Buck Euchre, and he played to win! While in high school he pitched for the Villard school baseball team, the Mallards, and as a young husband and father, he managed and pitched for the Villard Cenex slo-pitch softball team, even taking them to the State Tournament one year. Ralph did enjoy swinging a hammer and built his own house, his sister Deb’s house and daughter Martha’s house. After retirement his favorite job was building homes for Pope County Habitat for Humanity as both construction worker and site manager.
He was diagnosed with dementia in 2008 and Marj was his caregiver for the eleven years that followed. Ralph moved into Glenwood Retirement Village Care Center in July of 2019, and died there on December 16, 2019. He is survived by his wife Marjorie and five of his six children – Melanie Lang, Martha (Bruce) Harvey, Mechelle (Todd) Stephenson, Tim Lang, and Melissa (Bruce) Fingerson, plus nine grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren; siblings, Norma (Duane) Solvie, Jane (Ken) Greene and Deborah (David) Dziengel.
Preceding him in death are his parents, Milton and Beth Lang, his son Chris Lang, two brothers Daniel Lang and Sidney Lang, and sister in law Carol Lang. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten. Because he put his trust in Jesus, we have the assurance that we will meet again in heaven, where he now dwells.
Memorial money will go to Alzheimer’s Research, and Pope County Habitat for Humanity.
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