Doc Lang, veterinarian, farmer, fisherman, and family man, passed on last Sunday, May 17, 2009, in Solon. Allen resided at the Solon Care Center with his wife of 66 years, Elsie Mehlhop Lang. Allen was 88 years old at his death.
Allen was born to Charles and Martha Lang on June 21, 1920 and grew up with his two sisters Phyllis and Vione on the family farm in Remsen, located in northwest Iowa. At Remsen High School, Allen met his future wife Elsie. Allen and Elsie both attended Iowa State University, where Allen received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree in 1944.
Allen and Elsie were married in Ames in 1943. They moved to Iowa City in 1944, where Allen joined an existing veterinary practice. Gradually he practiced on his own and then was joined by Dr. J. R. Kennedy and other partners to become Veterinary Associates, treating both large and small animals in Johnson County. Allen served as a meat inspector for the United States Army and achieved the rank of Captain prior to his discharge in 1955. Allen retired from veterinary practice in 1994, after 50 years of service.
Allen and Elsie raised five children, first in Iowa City itself and then on a small farm north of the city. All the children learned the ropes of animal care and gardening as they worked along side their dad on “calls” in the country, putting in and weeding gardens, and feeding and showing (mostly) Red Angus and yellow labs. Allen took his family along on hunting and fishing trips and outings, a tradition that continued into the last year of his life.
Each summer Doc Lang looked forward to the Johnson County 4-H Fair, where he was the official veterinarian for more than 30 years. In 1968 he was named Johnson County Agribusinessman of the Year. Allen was also honored as Johnson County Cattleman of the Year and Honorary 4-H member of Johnson County. In addition to his work with animals, Allen enjoyed woodworking in his shop. He crafted many beautiful toys and games for children and grandchildren. He and Elsie also created a number of braided rugs, which are currently gracing the homes of children and grandchildren in various locations throughout the country.
Doc Lang taught all of those around him how to work: hard, efficiently, and smart. He was demanding of others and equally demanding of himself. A man of conviction and plain talk, he also loved to tease and never passed up the opportunity to tell a joke.
Allen’s wife Elsie and all five of their children are living: Allen G. Lang (married to Joy Engel) in Ames; Tania Lang Burger in Massachusetts; Susan Lee (married to Stephen) in Solon; Rebecca Lang-Boyd (married to Tom) in Washington State; and Julie Lang in Vermont. 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren make up the rest of the immediate Lang family.
The Lang family is planning a memorial celebration later in June. Memorial donations in Doc Lang’s name may be made to the Johnson County 4-H Endowment Fund.
Online condolences may be directed to www.lensingfuneral.com .