Richard Lang, 91, Bismarck, formerly of Wishek, passed away on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, with his daughter and her husband by his side.
A celebration of the lives of both Richard and Esther will be held Friday December 29, 2023 at 11:00 AM, at the United Church of Christ, Bismarck.
At 2:00 PM Richard and Esther will be laid to rest together at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.
Richard Lang was born May 6, 1932 to Albert and Mathilda (Wanner) Lang on the family farm northwest of Wishek. Growing up he attended country school and along with his younger brother Vernon, helped his parents on the farm.
In 1956 Richard enlisted in the US Army National Guard and departed on New Year’s Eve for active duty overseas. He initially served in France before being transferred to Germany where he drove supply trucks across Europe. Richard earned special decorations and commendations in the Army and throughout his life he shared pride in his service to his country. He was released from active duty in 1958 and completed his service with the National Guard in 1962.
Richard married Esther Eckman at Burnstad April 5, 1959. They admired each other growing up and after a dance one evening, Esther accepted a ride home from Richard and they have been together ever since. During the first five years of marriage, Richard worked on road construction driving truck. He followed the work and they lived in several places across North and South Dakota. They both wanted to settle down and farm, so they took the opportunity to purchase land near Wishek. They worked closely together building up a farmstead, milking cows for several years and later shifting to angus beef cattle and small grains. Richard credited Esther with selecting the best cows and bulls for their herd. They built a life they loved, became active members in the community and welcomed their daughter, Cindy.
Richard enjoyed working on the farm. He also enjoyed playing pinochle, square dancing and visiting with family and friends. He loved the cowboy poets in Medora and Germans from Russia conventions.
Richard and Esther were active in community organizations and events. They were members of the United Church of Christ and volunteered at the food pantry and the Buffalo Supper. Richard served on the church, grain cooperative boards and was a member of both the Farm Bureau and Farmers Union. He extended his community service, volunteering to assist flood victims in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina. He volunteered for the US Farmer-to-Farmer Program, joining a volunteer livestock genetics specialist from Wisconsin, to assist a newly privatized farm in Russia improve their livestock management. Richard and Esther moved to Bismarck in 2013 and became members of the United Church of Christ and the Senior Citizens.
Richard and Esther both loved to travel when they could get away from the farm and managed to see much of the country. They also traveled overseas to Nepal, China and Armenia to visit their daughter, grandson and son-in-law who worked for the Peace Corps.
Richard is survived by his daughter Cynthia (William Benjamin) Lang-Benjamin, Bismarck; grandson, Ford Albert Lang Benjamin, Higashisonogi, Japan; brother Vernon (Jo Ann) Lang, Lakeville, MN; step-grandchildren, Daniel Benjamin, Freeman, SD and Deana Benjamin, Santa Fe, NM; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Marvin A and Josephine Eckman, Bismarck; three step great-grandchildren; one step great-great granddaughter and several nieces and nephews. Richard frequently said that he wanted to join his wife Esther of 62 years who passed away in 2021. His parents, Albert and Mathilda Lang; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Albert and Janice Eckman and step-granddaughter-in-law, Tammy Benjamin preceded him in passing.
Memorials may be given to your local food pantry.