Obituary: Kathleen Langan
Nov. 8, 1925 – Dec. 25, 2018
Kathleen “Kay” Holman Langan, writer and Greenwich resident since 1953, died peacefully at age 93, at home on Christmas Day.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, to the late Anna Kathleen and William Henry Holman, Jr., Kay was an early and voracious reader. Valedictorian of her high school class, she graduated from Vassar College with a BA in History, Phi Beta Kappa. She was a passionate advocate for liberal arts education, serving in numerous leadership roles for her alma mater, including President of the Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College, Alumnae/Trustee, Coordinator of AAVC’s travel program, and Chair of her beloved class of 1946’s 50th Reunion. She was awarded the highest honors given to Vassar alumnae/i, in 2004 the Outstanding Service to Vassar College Award, and in 2011 the Spirit of Vassar Award.
Following her college graduation, Kay married Dr. Michael J. Langan, creating a partnership of equals for 68 years. Her first job was with the Secretariat of the newly formed United Nations. Two years later, she made her first long distance trip by plane and ship from New York to Midway Island, where Mike was stationed as a US Navy doctor. This marked the beginning of many years of extensive travel for them both. Kay wrote professionally while she raised her seven children, working as a freelance writer/editor and author for McGraw-Hill and a public relations writer for a range of corporate and non-profit clients.
Kay encouraged and supported her children’s varied interests and activities. She served as a Brownie Troop leader, Sunday School teacher and in support roles for the swim and sailing teams at the Belle Haven Club. Her home and table were always open, and her cooking the source of plenty for the sick, bereaved, and celebratory. Gifted with a ready sense of humor, she drew energy from being with people.
As she reached retirement age, Kay returned to academia, earning an MA in History (with a focus on Reformation women) from New York University at age 67 and an MA degree in Writing from Manhattanville College at age 84. The latter degree opened the world of poetry, at first a challenge and then a delight as her work was published.
Kay has left a series of short stories and poems about her life for her children and grandchildren.
Kay’s extensive crèche collection, gathered over many years, was open to visitors in her home during Advent. This year, part of her collection was shared with the community through Christ Church Greenwich, where she was an active member of the Women Together group and involved in adult education, and development projects for Harlem Episcopal School and Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison.
Kay held several leadership positions with the Junior League of Greenwich, receiving their Betty Hinckley Award for commitment to the League and the community. Her writing led her to membership in Pen Women of Greenwich. She was a member of the Belle Haven Club for 60 years and founded the Busy Ladies Luncheon for women of her community. She served also on the Boards of the Community Centers, Inc. (CCI) and the Junior Women’s Club, as a Trustee of the Greenwich Library, and on the Advisory Board of the I Have a Dream Foundation of Stamford.
Predeceased by her husband and her eldest son, M. William Langan, she is survived by four daughters: Margaret L. Moore (John), Ellen Langan (Steve Krafchick), Kathleen M. Langan, and Elizabeth L. Dell, two sons: Robert J. Langan (Margot) and Stephen C. Langan (Kathy), and a daughter-in-law Candace Langan Langford (Larry), as well as twelve grandchildren, a nephew, several cousins, and multiple godchildren.
A service of thanksgiving and remembrance will be held at Christ Church Greenwich on Friday, Jan. 25. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to Vassar College, Christ Church Greenwich, or your local library.