By Marty Denzer
Catholic Key Reporter
KANSAS CITY — Reverend Mr. Harry N. Langdon, a native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, served as a deacon in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph for more than 30 years before his death Sept. 27 at age 85.
He was born March 24, 1929 to Claude and Helen Sweeney Langdon and grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Harry attended Abraham Lincoln High School, later graduating from Omaha University (now University of Nebraska-Omaha). He earned a Master’s Degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, expanding his knowledge and interest in theater and music. His first teaching job was at his alma mater, Abraham Lincoln High School. He then moved to Omaha, where he chaired the Speech and Theatre Department at Creighton University.
He received his Doctorate in Theatre and Communications from the University of Iowa in 1970, the same year he and Jeanne Sondag were married.
Deacon Langdon’s career, teaching Communications, English and Theatre, spanned more than five decades. He chaired departments at the University of West Florida, Creighton University, and St. Mary’s of the Plains College, Dodge City, Kan. He taught at Illinois State University, Rockhurst University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City. During his final full-time teaching post at Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, Kan., he won a Burlington-Northern Award for Outstanding Teaching. Over the years he also received National Council for the Humanities grants to study at the University of California-Berkeley and the University of Hawaii-Oahu.
Besides his love for teaching, Deacon Langdon felt a deep love for the Catholic faith. He was ordained a permanent deacon for the Diocese of Des Moines in 1972. Where he lived and taught, he served his Church, in the dioceses of Des Moines, Pensacola-Tallahassee, Dodge City, and lastly, Kansas City-St. Joseph.
In the 1980s, Deacon Langdon served as Director of Campus Ministry at Rockhurst University and as a reserve chaplain at Research Medical Center. Deacon Langdon also was President and Secretary for the Waldo-Country Club Ministerial Association. He was a member of St. Francis Xavier Parish for more than 30 years. He also served as organist and soloist at St. Francis Xavier and at Our Lady of Peace in Kansas City.
He was the author of two books and 50 articles on speech, theatre and religion. He served as a speaker for both the Kansas and Missouri Humanities Councils. He directed over 100 plays in six states and acted in the same number in college, university and community theatre productions. Deacon Langdon sang with both the Omaha and Kansas City Symphony Choruses.
He died Sept. 27 at Holmesdale Nursing Home after a long illness.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Jeanne Langdon; son, Mark N. Langdon; daughter, Laura Strecker and her husband Mark; grandsons, Zachary and CJ Strecker; nieces, nephews and his brother in-law.
The visitation, rosary and funeral Mass were held Oct. 1, at St. Francis Xavier Church. Burial was in St. Joseph Cemetery in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Memorial contributions may be given to St. Francis Xavier Church, 1001 E. 52 Street, Kansas City, MO 64110 or Holmesdale Nursing Home, 8033 Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO 64131.