Margaret Sturtridge Charles Lang, 91, of Port Charlotte, passed away on July 8, 2014. Born on December 6, 1922, in Blaenau-Ffestiniog, Wales, UK, she was the older daughter of Albert Charles and Emily Sturtridge Charles, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1925 and settled in Locust Valley, Long Island, NY.
At age 16, Margo graduated from high school and began her studies at the University of Vermont, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics in 1943. After graduation, she worked for the New York Telephone Company in New York City, where she met Fred Lang, a recent Harvard University graduate and a student at General Theological Seminary. They were married on May 25, 1946 after Fred’s ordination as an Episcopal priest. They lived in several locations throughout New England, including Cambridge, MA, where Fred served in several Episcopal parishes as he continued his studies at Harvard University, earning his master’s degree and doctorate in theology in 1952.
In 1955, Fred began his career as an officer and chaplain in the Air Force, which allowed Margo to realize her dream of travel throughout the world. They were stationed in Évreux (France), California, The Philippines, New Mexico, Louisiana and Japan. During this time and in later years, Margo traveled throughout Europe but also Thailand, India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Greece, Russia and China. She collected treasures throughout the world, furnishing her home with special furniture, art and antiques.
During Fred’s Air Force career, Margo worked in the education field as a teacher and then guidance counselor. She earned a Master of Arts degree in counseling and guidance at New Mexico State University in 1968 as well as the Educational Specialist (Ed.S) certification in 1971.
Arriving in Port Charlotte in 1977 after Fred’s Air Force retirement, Margo served as a school psychologist for Charlotte County for 16 years, retiring at age 70. Shortly after moving to Port Charlotte, she began her association with Charlotte Community Mental Health Services, now known as Charlotte Behavioral Health Care (CBHC), serving as president for two years and more recently as a Board member. In 1999, after Fred’s death, the Fred Lang Foundation was created upon Margo’s initiative and she served as its first president, Board member and president emeritus. The Foundation is focused on Margo’s mission to increase the availability of mental health services to those who can least afford it. The CBHC has announced that it has renamed its children’s crisis unit to “The Margo Lang Children’s Crisis Stabilization Unit” to honor her service to the organization.
Margo was also a volunteer for United Way and served on the boards of directors of Youth Museum (now known as the Charlotte County Historical Society) and Center for Abuse and Rape Emergencies. She was a member of the Harvard Club, Charlotte Harbor Military Officers Association, Zonta International and Delta Kappa Gamma. She was always active in church and was instrumental in the building and development of St. Paul’s Anglican Church in the 1980s and ’90s. More recently, she was a founding member of Trinity Anglican Church, serving as a delegate to various conferences.
Her history would not be complete without mention of her love of dancing, cooking and entertaining, gardening (recognized locally for xeriscape landscaping for her home) and artistic talent, which included painting many scenes from her travels. Margo joined the jogging craze of the 1970s and her dedication to physical fitness continued up to her ninth decade with almost daily visits to the gym to walk fast on the treadmill (like a New Yorker) and lift weights.
Margo is survived by her children, Andrea Lang (Matt Uhle), North Ft. Myers, and Nicholas Lang (Sarah), St. Petersburg; granddaughters, Emily Lang Raffa (Scott), Tampa, and Melinda Lang, New York City; sister-in-law, Alicia Lang Swindel, Portland, OR; and nieces and nephews, James Swindel (Randi), San Francisco, CA, Mark Swindel (Monica), Park City, UT, Ann Swindel Allen, Long Beach, CA, Jennifer Toney Schumacher (Dirk), West Chester, PA, and Steven Toney (Janet), Jamestown, NC. She was predeceased by her husband, The Very Reverend N. Frederick Lang, in 1999, and by her sister, Diana Charles Toney, in 2008.
A memorial service will be held by Trinity Anglican Church (at First Presbyterian Church), 2230 Hariet Street, Port Charlotte, on Tuesday, July 15, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Fred Lang Foundation, 1700 Education Avenue, Punta Gorda, FL 33950.