Yarmouth-Donald H. Lang passed peacefully on Father’s Day, June 16, at 96.
Born in Norfolk, MA to Philip and Amelia (Pescuma) Lang on November 15, 1922, he was the beloved husband of Elinor M. (Johnson) Lang just shy of 73 years. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Janet E. Treadaway of Georgia, John D. Lang of Yarmouth, Kevin R. Lang of Barnstable, and Cynthia J. (and Neil) Musante of Yarmouth Port. Father in law of John Melzer. He was predeceased by daughters Donna A. Melzer and Beverly J. Lang, and his furry friends Mango and Orbit.
He is also survived by grandchildren JoAnn (and Thomas) Mueller, Michael (and Charlene) Hinckley, Kristen Bullock, Katie (and Joseph) Simpson, Georgina (and Buford) Knopf, Sarah Mejia, Ricky Treadaway (and Dalyn Thompson), Melissa Lang (and Jeff Brown), Joseph D. Lang (and Alexandra Olsen), Shannon Nydam, and Kimberly Lang; and 18 great grandchildren.
One of 11(!) children, he is survived by his loving sisters, Thelma Saucier and Eleanor Kerridge, both of Florida. He was predeceased by brothers Philip, Edward, Earl, William, Herbert, and Lawrence, and sisters Georgia Ravinski and Eileen Mastromatteo.
After graduating from Walpole High School in 1940, Don worked as a machinist for N.Y., N.H., & Hartford Railroad before entering service in WWII in 1943. He served 302 continuous days in combat in Europe in the 1st Army under Gen. Omar Bradley and in the 3rd Army under Gen. George Patton. He earned 5 Battle Stars and 1 Bronze Star for Bravery. Don participated in the Battle of the Bulge, and the rescue of the inhabitants of Dachau Concentration Camp.
Don made sure he wrote to his Mom and Pop whenever he could. He reported home on the machines he worked on, his first taste of cognac in France, the places he traveled, and the friends and brothers he gained in battle. He spared the hardships for his parents’ sake and kept to the experiences that were new to him. He sent home many post cards and photos in order for his mom to create an album of his service and travels. It wasn’t long after his safe return that he met his sweetheart Ellie, who was all about his Buick. She made sure she sat in the middle seat so her friend would be brought home first. A short time later Don sold the car to purchase their first home and their journey of nearly 73 years began.
Following service, he worked as an unlimited oiler burner technician and served on the Advisory Board in Norfolk and on the Advisory Board for the planning of the King Philip Regional High School in Wrentham, MA. He later served as Chairman of the Selectman in Norfolk, MA. After moving to Cape Cod in 1959 he served as Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 606 Chatham, MA. He then received the authority of the Director of the Auxiliary in Boston to establish the Cape’s own Division XI of the Coast Guard Auxiliary which started as 3 Flotillas. He enjoyed fishing the shores of Cape Cod in his beach buggy, the Bunga Bunga, and was a long-time member of the Massachusetts Beach Buggy Association. He also enjoyed fishing on his boat “Cindy Jo” out of Barnstable Harbor and sunset patrols for the Coast Guard Auxiliary. After working as an oil burner technician for many years, he obtained his Journeyman’s Plumber License and established his own plumbing business, Don’s Plumbing & Heating, in 1972.
Upon retirement in 1986, Don and Ellie bought an RV with the intention to travel the US. They did not make it past the Mississippi River but they did travel twice to Nova Scotia and purchased a home there. It was set back on beautiful green acres on Lighthouse Lane, on the entrance to the harbor where all the fishermen would port and sell their catch. After Nova Scotia, Don and Ellie bought a home in Florida. Don loved to hang out on his boat, enjoying the life of fishing, and was always seen in shorts and an unbuttoned shirt working on his tan. Ellie was out and about being social and working in real estate. They had fabulous gardens and well-fed fruit trees, 10 to be exact! They learned that lemon trees are great trellises for tomato plants, coconuts shook the ground when they fell, and spider plants take over the lawn when planted outside. Once they had their fun of decorating palm trees and boats with Christmas lights over many years, they returned to Cape Cod after startling news of Don’s brother Phil. They purchased their home in Yarmouth, MA to be surrounded by family and friends. The family continued to grow through celebrations of weddings, anniversaries and birthdays, and as any family, some losses. Joy was brought to the Lang household through their 6 kids, 11 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, and many loving pets.
Don enjoyed fishing, boating, restoring cars, the Red Sox, and lobster rolls. And he could fix anything! His motto was “If you want it done right, you do it yourself.” He was a Charter Member of the American Legion Post 335 in Norfolk, MA, and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Hyannis Post 2578.
Don will be surrounded by family and friends at Morris, O’Connor, & Blute Funeral Home, 58 Long Pond Drive, South Yarmouth on Friday, June 21, 2019 from 4-7pm. A Graveside Service with Military Honors will be held on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 12 noon at Chandler Gray Cemetery, 161 Old Mill Way, Yarmouth, MA 02673.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans (www.neads.org).