At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
St, Jude Children's Hospital
501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, TN 38105
When mailing: Source Code IIQ160788777
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
John Langford was a true family man. A hard worker and tradesman his whole life, yet his greatest reward came from the warmth of his children, grandchildren and great-children. He was a loving husband, supportive father, wonderful grandfather and a cherished friend to many. Although quiet, his strong personality, jovial spirit, and sense of humor will be forever remembered.
Bringing great joy to their world, Elzie and Mary Langford welcomed home their loving son, John born on Thursday, February 9, 1933 in the Bluegrass State known as Kentucky. Joining his sister, Ada, John brought much hope into their lives.
Growing up, John was always known for getting into his fair share of trouble. Born the second of seven children, he was described as mischievous and adventurous. As a young man he found his gift in making music. A natural talent to him, there wasn’t a string instrument that he couldn’t play. He mostly loved to pick the banjo, guitar and mandolin. His younger siblings Margaret, Ruth, Jimmy, George, and Elzie Jr. looked up to him fondly. Later when John was the age of eighteen, he and his father moved from Kentucky to the Great Lakes State of Michigan, settling in Plainwell. His father, Elzie worked on farms and in the papermill. Although blind, his mother could do just about anything! As a young man, John was especially close with his Uncle Dillard and the two of them spent many warm summer days river fishing together. Not to be forgotten was the love of his life, Joan who would change the course of his life forever! While still dating, she signed him up for the Army, where he successfully served two years as cook. He was stationed in Fort Eustis, Virginia located near Langley Air Force base and proudly served his country in the Korean War. A couple of years after the war had ended and Joan had finished high school, the happy couple were joined in marriage on March 18, 1955 in Otsego. They were married in Pastor Johnson’s home, as Wayside Chapel was not yet completed. They settled in nearby Kalamazoo on his lovely bride’s grandfather’s farm. Together, they would raise three beautiful children and also comfort one another through two stillborn births who were both daughters and later son Mark.
John enjoyed sharing his many interests with his children and loved to take them hunting and fishing. He pridefully completed his education by receiving his GED the same year his daughter Debra graduated high school!
John modeled a lifetime of hard work and was never one to remain idle. After forty six years working as a chief electrician for Plainwell Paper, he successfully retired into spending time on his various interests. He very much enjoyed working with his hands and would build tool boxes for the mill. Over the years, he was also a very skilled carpenter and cabinet maker in town. He even helped his daughter Debra build her house. John loved to farm often keeping animals and bee keeping as well. He enjoyed his aviary complete with peacocks, ducks, and geese. When he wasn’t busy farming or building with his wood working, he relaxed by enjoying a favorite pastime; fly fishing. Perfecting his delicious lemon meringue pies, and fixing up his favorites; fried cabbage and bluegill were John’s legacy in the kitchen. He and Joan spent many years traveling as snowbirds between the beautiful states of Michigan and Florida. While in Florida, they even stayed across the street from Joan’s sister! Owning many dogs and cats over the years, John never wanted to admit it but he had grown fond of Erma, his late wife Joan’s cat.
Although a lover of so many interesting hobbies and pastimes, nothing brought John greater joy than his wonderful grandchildren; Amy, Jonathan, Emily, Mark and Jennifer. He was also blessed with remarkable great-grandchildren; Faith, Charlie, Lane, Marah, Christian, and Wednesday. He relished their time together and looked forward to the many occasions where the family would stop over and visit. He took great pride in offering his candid advice and sharing many laughs. Described as protective and someone who would do anything for his family, it is understandable how deeply he will be missed. John leaves behind a wonderful collection of rich memories for all who knew and loved him.
John Langford, age 83 of Martin went to be with his Lord on July 30, 2016 in the comfort of his own home. Visit with his family and friends on Tuesday, August 2 from 10-11am followed by a funeral service at 11am at the Friendship Wesleyan Church (1285 102nd Ave, Plainwell). John’s family includes his children; Gary (Donna) and Debra (Reggie); five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and his brothers George and Elzie Jr. He joined his wife, three children, and one grandchild in heaven. He is also preceded in death by sisters Ada, Margaret, Ruth, and brother Jimmy. Please visit John’s memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a memory or photo and sign his memory book online. Memorial donations can be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, St. Jude Children’s Hospital or the American Heart Association.