Donald Norbert Langr went home peacefully to be with his heavenly Father on Sunday, November 11, 2018. Funeral mass was 11:00 AM Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Litomysl. Friends may greet the family two hours prior to the funeral at church starting at 9:00 AM.
He was the sixth of seven children born to Norbert and Christine (Ryshavy) Langr at home in rural Steele County on July 4, 1933. He liked his birthdate and would tease; the fireworks were to celebrate his birthday.
Don was a devout Catholic. He lived as the gospel says; to love God and to love your neighbor as yourself. He gave to others not from his surplus but from what he had. Don was 100% Czech and was always proud to be Czech. Family was very important to him.
Don attended country school then graduated from Owatonna High School Class of 1951. He graduated in 1956 from Mankato State Teachers College, Mankato, MN with a B.S. in Mathematics and minor in Chemistry. In 1966, he received his Master’s in Chemistry from St. Louis University.
Don married his MSTC square dancing partner, Clare, at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church, Bloomington, MN on August 12, 1957. They were blessed with 4 children.
Don was an educator and lifelong learner. The majority of his teaching years were spent at ICCC, Fort Dodge, Iowa and NIACC, Mason City, Iowa. He taught Organic Chemistry and Introduction to Chemistry. He was known as a tough teacher who assigned a lot of homework. Then later he would receive countless letters from students thanking him for his teaching style. He was proud of his work and his students.
Don was a lover of music, reading, photography, Czech pastry buchty - poppyseed of course, French burnt peanuts, circus peanuts, black licorice, nightly popcorn which he made every night in a sauce pan on the stove top,wood working, games, especially Schmear, and Shucky Darn,comic books, Charlie Brown, wine making, gardening, family reunions, working on the family farm and so much more. He never went anywhere without hiscamera,
a deck of cards, a rosary and that big smile everyone loved to see. He never met a stranger.
He was very involved in each community in which he lived. In Fort Dodge, he was active in Art In The Park, SPEBSQSA, hosted a radio program on KVFD where he played old-time music, supported the Fort Dodge Symphony and Karl King Municipal Band. In Mason City, he continued to sing Barbershop, Men’s Garden Club, WFLA, POLKofA, Marriage Encounter, Knights of Coloumbus, Newman Catholic School Board, Holy Family Church Choir, Funeral Choir, Men’s Club and served as sacristan. He was a 50+ year member of the American Chemical Society and longtime member of the Iowa Academy of Science.
Donald was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Edmund, Jerome, Bernard; sister Delores; sister-in-law Mary Frances; brother-in-law, Jerome Knish;son-in-law Harold J. Sissel; father and mother in-law Carl and Lucille Christensen. Left to cherish his memory are his wife Clare, children Catherine Sparks, Ann (William) Moore, Carl (Lorna) and Michael (Maria); brother, Francis; sister, Margaret Knish; sister-in-law Phyllis, sister-in-law Grace; brother-in-law Bill Tumbleson; grandchildren Stephanie, Sarah (Clarence), Sydney, Jakob and Caitlin; 4 great-grandchildren, 3 step-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews, and his godchildren.