Senator Richard H. “Dick” Langley passed from this life to the next on Wednesday, August 9, after a hard-fought battle with brain cancer. Until the end, Dick displayed the strength, courage and tenacity that defined him.
It is impossible to sum up Dick’s life within an obituary, but his family wanted to share just a small part of his story to help capture the essence of this passionate, loving and powerful man, who did his best to make the most of every day he was given on this earth.
Dick was born in Lakeland, Florida on February 22, 1937, but lived most of his life in the Lake and Sumter county areas he loved so dearly. Dick was an attorney for over 50 years, working in Clermont since the day after Christmas in 1964, accumulating thousands of clients over the decades. Dick was also a land developer of numerous residential and commercial properties, a Army veteran of distinguished service, and a cattle rancher who loved to work his cows.
Dick was known in the community for his years of service in politics, first on the Lake County School Board, then in the Florida House from 1972 to 1978, and finally the Florida Senate from 1980-1992, where he received far too many accolades to mention. Additionally, in 1997 he served on the Constitution Revision Commission. For decades Dick was a powerhouse in Florida politics and authored many of the laws that helped shape and protect the economic security and freedoms so many of us enjoy today. He once shared how extraordinary it was to be researching one of his own cases and realize “Wow, I wrote that law.”
Dick received awards too numerous to list for his lifetime of charitable giving. He did even more for his community and individuals anonymously, with the recipients of his charity never knowing he was the one who had delivered groceries to their home, sent them money in the mail when they needed it, or, literally, given away the jacket from off his back to a sleeping homeless man in the cold.
Dick was the rare man who lived every single day of his life to the fullest. He loved to work hard, but he loved to play hard, too. He flew airplanes, enjoyed scuba diving, spear fishing, lobstering, water skiing, golf, tennis, and every kind of competitive game imaginable, even those he made up.
In all his life, though, Dick loved and was most proud of his family. He was preceded in death by his mother Meriabe and his father Hubert, and, sadly, by his dearly loved daughter Dickie Marie “Dee Dee.” He is survived by his loving and devoted wife Angela, and six children: Richard “Rick” Langley Jr., Stephanie Weinard and her husband Tom, Jackie Christanson and her husband Dave, Randall Langley and his wife Charlotta, Ryan Langley and his wife Dalia, and Brock Langley. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Jade, Chase, Jordan, Preston, Jesse, Blake, Jenna, Rutger, Grant, Julianna, Roman, Luke, his great grandson Carter, his brothers Jimmy and Gene, and his sister Micki Blackburn Nagel.
Dick was a man of deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ and was unafraid to share with others his lifetime of joys and struggles as he did his best to follow in Jesus’ steps. Dick’s family believes he would want everyone to know that to the end he “fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith.” 2 Tim. 4:6-7.
For his family, friends and many of his colleagues the world will be a poorer place without Dick in it, but in the words of an ancient Hebrew proverb, “Say not in grief ‘He is no more,’ but live in thankfulness that he was.”
Visitation: Wednesday, August 16, from 5 pm – 7 pm at Becker Funeral Home., 806 W. Minneola Avenue, Clermont.
Funeral Service: Thursday, August 17, 11 am at First United Methodist Church, 950 7th St., Clermont.
Becker Funeral Home obituary. For further information, go to website Richard Langley Obituary