November 18, 1942 - November 18, 2021
Lynn Z. Lang, a long-time resident of the Washington, DC area and a highly regarded teacher and naturalist, loved for her generous enthusiasms, died in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on November 18, 2021, her 79th birthday. The cause of death was ovarian cancer. Dr. Langs’s academic interest was literacy, especially the process of children learning to read, and her avocation was gardening with native plants. It is likely that her students, who ranged from public school children in Arlington, Virginia to graduate students at universities in the Washington, DC area, number in the hundreds. Her gardens were recognized by important naturalist organizations. Dr. Lang was born in Washington, DC and raised in Arlington County, Virginia. She attended public schools in Arlington, received her bachelor’s degree from then-Madison College in Harrisonburg, Virginia, her master’s in teaching from the University of Virginia, and her doctorate from Virginia Tech. She began her career as an elementary school classroom teacher in Arlington. She taught at several universities in the Washington, DC region, including Marymount College in Arlington, the George Washington University, the American University, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Tech and retired as an administrator and reading specialist in the Arlington School system. After retirement, Dr. Lang took up her many lifelong interests, especially in the natural world. She became a docent at the Adkins Arboretum in Ridgely, Maryland, the major demonstration garden of plants native to the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and she established a native plant meadow and demonstration garden of her own at the property she and her husband owned near Queenstown, MD on the Eastern Shore, which they called “Cabochon.” Cabochon eventually was added to tours of the Horticultural Society of Annapolis, MD and was designated a “Bay-wise” property by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Dr. Lang was a Life Member of the Nature Conservancy. In 2015, the Langs, then in their mid-70s, moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where Dr. Lang energetically continued to pursue her interests. She served on the Board of Orange County Literacy, an organization dedicated to literacy among adults, and the Chapel Hill Garden Club. She also served James Madison University, the direct descendent of Madison College. She was a member of the University’s Foundation Board and the Advisory Board of JMU’s Honors College. Dr. Lang was married and devoted to the love of her life, Jeff Lang. While pursuing their separate careers, the couple shared a deep and loving connection. Together they gardened, collected art, and designed everything in their lives, from their wedding rings to their residences. They designed and built their home and gardens in Chapel Hill, significantly revised and expanded the buildings and landscape at Cabochon and repaired designated historic buildings that became their residences in Old Town, Alexandria and Falls Church, Virginia. They raised and attempted to control a squad of loyal but energetic terriers, read widely, hiked the outdoors from the Appalachian Trail to the La Garita Wilderness in Colorado, kayaked the Chesapeake and the ocean waters of Maine, sought out the Japanese Red Crested Crane on Hokkaido Island, Japan (and hundreds of other birds), and cultivated good taste in music of all kinds from Blues Alley in Washington to La Fenice in Venice. They celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on a Sunday, 25 days before she died. Her survivors are her husband and her cousin, Coralie Bishop of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Contributions in lieu of flowers, please, to the Lynn Z. Lang Memorial Endowed Chair for Excellence in Teaching at the College of Education, James Madison University. Checks should be made out to The James Madison University Foundation, designated to account #1002919, and be sent to JMU Advancement Gifts and Records, 1031 Harrison Street, MSC 3603, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807.
Lynn Z. Lang, a long-time resident of the Washington, DC area and a highly regarded teacher and naturalist, loved for her generous enthusiasms, died in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on November 18, 2021, her 79th birthday. The cause of death was... View Obituary & Service Information
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