Kenneth Hermansen Lang of Gordon, Nebraska, passed away on Thursday, September 26, 2013, in Everett, Washington. He was 87 years old.
Ken was born to Herbert and Elma (Hermansen) Lang on June 7, 1926, in Racine, Wisconsin. Ken spent his childhood in Racine, on the shore of Lake Michigan, in an environment strongly influenced by the Danish heritage of his family and community, and the Danish Lutheran Church he attended. While in high school, the family moved to Hay Springs, Nebraska, where he was graduated with the Class of 1944.
On the day before his eighteenth birthday (D-Day), Ken enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force. While awaiting processing, he took flying lessons at Eppley Field in Omaha, where he soloed. In the A.A.F., he served as a gunner on a B-29 Superfortress (bomber). Following World War II, he attended college, including studying dairy science at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He then joined his father in the dairy business, ultimately manufacturing and distributing dairy products in northwestern Nebraska and southwestern South Dakota. Following retirement from the dairy business, he joined with his former partner and brother-in-law, Harold Dohse, in running rural, contract mail routes that included part of the Sandhills region. He continued this until he was 80 years old. The kindnesses shown by the remarkable people on the mail routes were especially appreciated during inclement winter weather.
Ken was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, where he had served as trustee, deacon, and treasurer. Ken also served on the Board of Directors of the Gordon Chamber of Commerce, and as President of the Sheridan County Historical Society.
Ken was a quiet and good-natured man, with a wonderful smile and sense of humor. He enjoyed family gatherings, and weekend outings, especially to sites of historic significance. Ken enjoyed seeing the beautiful landscapes and the wildlife of the Plains. His longstanding interest in the history of the West, in the latter nineteenth century, further endeared the area to him.
In June, Ken celebrated 60 years of marriage to Doris (Dohse) Lang, of whom he is survived. He also is survived by their son, Kevin, sister Eileen (Harmon) Smith, of Hay Springs, Nebraska, and their family, and sister-in-law Elizabeth Lang of Winter Park, Florida. Ken was preceded in death by his parents, brother Clifford, and nephews Douglas and Richard. He felt very blessed by the Dohse Family.
The funeral was held on October 8, at the First Presbyterian Church in Gordon, Nebraska, with Reverend Debra Kromis and Pastor Al Trucano officiating. Interment was at the Mount Hope Cemetery with military honors. Pallbearers were: Dane Saint John, Owen Davis, Roger Dohse, Leland Dohse, Tim Belsky, and Ken Gibson.
The family suggests memorials to the Sheridan County Historical Society.