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Robert (Bob) Lang

May 9, 1938 ~ June 6, 2021 (age 83)


The Lang Family is saddened to share that Robert (Bob) Lang passed away surrounded by family at his home in Napa, CA on June 6, 2021. Born in Bensenville, IL on May 9, 1938, Bob was a member of Fenton High School's graduating class of 1956. Between time studying at the University of Illinois, Missouri School of Mines, and Chapman College of the Seven Seas, Bob served in the US Army in Korea in the early 1960s.

Inspired by his father Ewald, a private pilot, Bob pursued his interest in aviation, beginning a successful 32-year career with United Airlines in November 1966 as a DC-6 Flight Engineer. A short time later, Bob met a then-stewardess, Marsha, on a flight from Chicago to Omaha, NE. As their relationship blossomed, Bob followed Marsha from Chicago to San Francisco and the two were married on a rainy evening in December 1969, a spontaneous decision that marked the beginning of a happy and successful 51-year marriage. Bob's airline career culminated as a Boeing 747 Captain with his retirement trip in May 1998, a flight from Honolulu to San Francisco with Marsha and son Darren, now 35, on board. Continuing the family's aviation legacy, Darren is currently a San Francisco-based Boeing 737 Captain with United.

Bob enjoyed golfing (a member at Marin Country Club in Novato until 2013, and most recently a member at Silverado Country Club in Napa), sailing (most notably completing the round-trip voyage from San Francisco to Hawaii in a 36-foot Columbia sailboat in 1972), and gardening (he was known to plant kale for his daughter-in-law, Jesse, despite preferring not to eat it himself). A lasting legacy is a small family wine business, Lang Wines, which began in the early 1970s when he and Marsha planted wine grapes in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Trips to the property, Twin Rivers Vineyards, were frequently made in a single-engine Cessna 182, with a landing on the short runway in the center of the vineyard requiring the utmost flying skill and expertise.

Known as a deep thinker, recreational writer, and casual philosopher, Bob's thoughtfulness, intelligence, and caring personality will be greatly missed. In lieu of flowers, the Lang family requests donations be made in Bob's honor to the EAA Young Eagles or Collabria Hospice. A private service will be held at a later date.

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