Eugene (Gene) Ward Langbehn (age 92) died at home with family present on August 26, 2020, after a two week bout with an aggressive cancer.
Born on December 4, 1927, in New York City, Gene is survived by his wife of 16 years, Charlotte Y. Clem Langbehn, and his son Eugene Anthony (Tony) Langbehn (Claudia Smith). He is survived by his first cousin, Caroline Grant of Manhattan and his half-nephew, Charles Feldman of Long Island; by nephews Fred and Steve Klein and nieces Marie Lawrence and Elise Kimball and their families. He is also survived by Charlotte’s son, Don Clem (Diane) and daughters Rachel and Kathryn; daughter Cindy Letcher (Jim) and daughters, Anastasia and Celena. He was preceded in death by his first wife of 53 years, Bertha Frances (Fran) Holzman Langbehn and his mother, Dorothy Grant who married Charles Langbehn in 1912.
Upon the death of his mother in 1932, Gene was raised at Woodycrest Home in the Bronx, NY. He lived two blocks from Yankee Stadium; at the fifth inning, the “Knot-Hole” gang was allowed to enter to watch the game. At age 17 he moved to the Bronx Union YMCA and began working for Western Electric Co. At age 18 he was drafted into the U.S. Army where he served as an armed forces radio broadcaster in Iceland.
Although he did not complete high school, he talked his way into Towson State Teachers’ College where he earned a B.S. degree in Elementary Education. He received a Master’s degree in Education from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) in Westminster. He was a staunch supporter of Towson University. He found it “wonderful” to teach elementary school in Baltimore County for 28 years. He was a member of the Teachers’ Association of Baltimore County.
As a resident of Carroll County from 1960 to 1995, he was a charter member and President of the South Carroll Democratic Club, Vice-President of the Eldersburg Improvement Association, a member of the S. Carroll Bicentennial Commission and a representative to Common Cause at its inception in 1973. He was active in peace and justice work.
He had a strong spiritual/religious life, being ordained a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church in 1984 and serving as a Chaplain for 15 years at the Walter P. Carter Center in Baltimore. He was an assistant to Bishop Murphy and was awarded the Archdiocese Medal of Honor for service for the church. He was a life member of the Knights of Columbus and a 3rd order Franciscan.
In 1998, he and Fran moved to Charlestown retirement community, where he provided loving, attentive care to her during her decline and death from Alzheimers’ in 2002. Gene participated in over 80 Elderhostel trips and cruises, including one down the Danube River. He was a warm, kind man, interested in the lives of others. In 2004 he joined “the second time around club” when he chose love again and married Charlotte.
Music was Gene’s passion and avocation. He played bass in a jazz combo in Baltimore clubs as a young adult. He loved to sing, winning several awards as a senior, including the 2014 Leadership in Aging, Maryland Governor’s Award for Performing Arts and an award for 50 Years of Volunteer Service. Perry Como and Tony Bennett were his favorites. He was a member of the Charlestown Harmonizers choral group. For many years, he and Charlotte serenaded residents after meals and performed annual Valentine’s concerts where he sang to her piano accompaniment. He was an announcer on the Charlestown television station.
A memorial service will be held at a later date when the Charlestown Chapel re-opens. Interment of cremains will be at Druid Hill Cemetery in a private service. Contributions may be made to the Charlestown Harmonizers, Charlestown Benevolent Fund, Towson University Foundation, Common Cause or Gilchrist Hospice.
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