Billy Langford, age 80, passed away at home in Austin on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held at 11:00 am on October 13, 2018, at Scott’s Funeral Home in Copperas Cove. Everyone is invited.
On August 7, 2018, the big ol’ heart on one of the good guys finally gave out. Billy Dane Langford, who preferred to be called Bill despite his mother’s remonstrations, was born in Oakalla, Texas, on the family farm on August 12, 1937. He started school in the two-room schoolhouse there in Oakalla. A fast learner, he was moved up two grades. Bill graduated from Killeen High School when he was 16 years old. During his teenage years, he spent much of his time playing softball and baseball. He started college at Southwestern University in Georgetown on a Kiwanis’ scholarship at seventeen. There he spent much of his time on the baseball team’s bench. He transferred to UT after his freshman year, and this proud University of Texas Longhorn graduated with a bachelors’ degree in business administration in May 1958, before it was the cool thing to do. At UT, he met the woman he would share the next 58 years with, Martha Ellen Whitlow. They married in 1960 when he was twenty-two and she was twenty-one. Their life together would take them all around Texas: Paris, Austin, Harker Heights, Jasper and then back to Austin.
He started his career at the Department of Labor, interviewing workers to ensure compliance with federal laws. On more than one occasion he happened across an unhappy employer with a firearm. Fortunately, he was never actually shot at. He was City Manager of Harker Heights from 1964 to 1966 and then City Manager of Gladewater from 1966 to 1972. Public service had become his calling and he was good at it. After Gladewater, he moved his growing family to Jasper where he became the Executive Director of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments from 1972 to 1983. In 1983, the Langfords moved to Austin where he lived for 35 years until his death. In 1984 he started a business which became Langford Community Management Services, which is now run by his daughter, Judy Langford.
Always proud of his children and grandchildren, he loved having the family together for reunions and parties. He is survived by his wife, Martha Langford; his sister, Sheila Brewer; his children, Judy Langford, Cheryll Falcone, and William Langford; and his grandchildren, Matthew Knox, Janice Knox, and Alyssa Falcone with numerous extended family.
Bill never met a stranger and always considered everyone a potential friend.
Hope you have found that next baseball game and are throwing those wicked left-handed curveballs to strike them out.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice.