FORSYTH – Dorothy Alene Langford was born Sept. 7, 1916, to Ralph and Florence Tuckerman on the Tuckerman farm near Walnut. When she was 6 years old, the family moved to a house in Walnut where she went to school, graduating from high school in 1934. She then attended North Central College in Naperville and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in music education in 1937.
Dorothy married Claude Langford on Dec. 31, 1937. They lived in Walnut until 1959, when they moved to Dalton City. Their only child, Dean T. Langford, was born June 19, 1939. Dorothy taught school in Walnut for a few years and then taught piano lessons in both towns until 1975. Her normal teaching enrollment was 40-plus students per week for 35 years. She also played the organ at Walnut Methodist Church for 15 years, and Dalton City Presbyterian Church for 9 years until it closed. During her life, she played organ for several hundred weddings and funerals in many churches in downstate Illinois, retiring in 1990. She was very active in Walnut and Dalton City community activities, such as the American Legion Auxiliary and women’s clubs. Dorothy reached and positively impacted the lives of tens of thousands of people with her music.
Claude Langford spent his business life in the banking business, and owned Hight State Bank in Dalton City. Dorothy Langford always was involved in support of Claude’s work life at the bank, helping with meetings, giving Christmas parties, co-managing a major remodeling project at the bank. She also owned and managed Dalton City Paint and Hardware Store for 9 years.
Dorothy had been a fervent supporter of the University of Illinois in Champaign for many years, and followed the basketball and football teams with her husband from coast to coast for more than 20 years. Her son, Dean Langford, endowed a chair and established a scholarship fund at the University of Illinois College of Music to honor Dorothy and her love of music in 1990.
Three years after Claude’s death in 1995, Dorothy moved to Hickory Point Christian Village in Forsyth, and resided there until her death on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014. During her life at Hickory Point, she had remained active in many community endeavors and was a source of positive energy to that community.
Dorothy is survived by one son, Dean Langford of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla; one grandson, Doug (Sharon) Langford; and two great-grandchildren, Nicole Alene Langford and Dylan Tucker Langford. Doug is the pastor of Edgewood Free Methodist Church in Brighton, N.Y.
Visitation was Tuesday at Dawson & Wikoff North Chapel Funeral Home in Decatur. A service to celebrate Dorothy’s life will be at 10 a.m. today at the funeral home. Burial will be at Walnut Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the Dorothy Langford Scholarship Fund, c/o University of Illinois College of Music.
Visit www.dawson-wikoff.com to send condolences.