Hugh Langford, beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and generous friend, passed away at 84 in Pasadena, California. Always with a joke at the ready and a mischievous glint in his bright blue eyes, he will be remembered as a force of nature and missed by many.
Born and reared in St. Louis, Missouri, Hugh attended Mehlville High School and developed a life-long love of Ted Drewes frozen custard. He received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Missouri at Rolla, prior to working as a test engineer for McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis. Hugh’s interest in flying soon lured him into the U.S. Air Force’s flying training program, where he earned his wings and a 2nd Lieutenant’s commission in 1961, subsequently graduating from the USAF Fighter Weapons School and later becoming an instructor there.
His Air Force career involved flying the F100D Fighter (the Super Sabre) with assignments in the U.S., Turkey, the Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, and three combat tours in Vietnam. While flying fighter aircraft, he also served as a jump-qualified Forward Air Controller, having completed the Army Ranger Airborne Parachutist School, making over 30 parachute jumps during Vietnam with 130 pounds of gear. From 1964 to 1967, Hugh flew 231 combat missions over North/South Vietnam and Laos, for which he was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross and eleven Air Medals.
After his flying career, Hugh earned a Master of Science in Systems Management from USC and phased into the program management side of the Air Force until his retirement in 1979 as a Lt. Colonel. He later founded his eponymous Management Consulting firm, providing management support services to the DOD, NASA, DOE, and to contractors throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. He continued to work until last year and will always be remembered for his inexhaustible energy which he put into everything he did.
While Hugh loved flying and delighted in taking friends and family up into the clouds, his greatest love in life was his beautiful wife, Janet, whom he first met just prior to leaving for Vietnam. They married in 1967 and enjoyed 53 years together, full of travel and adventures near and far. After several short residences in the southeastern U.S., they moved to Los Angeles in 1975, and later to Pasadena to rear their family. They also maintained a second home in Rancho Mirage, CA. Hugh was a great supporter of the arts and relished escorting Janet to events and galas. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera, the Palm Springs Art Museum, and The Living Desert all benefited from his generous spirit, and many friends and family can recall years of fantastic evenings at his Hollywood Bowl box.
In addition to his wife, Janet, Hugh leaves behind his children Alicia (Robert) Otani of Reno, NV, and Ransom (Courtney) Langford of New Canaan, CT; grandchildren Cecilia Otani, James Otani, Caroline Langford, William Langford, and Kathleen Langford; and brother-in-law and dear friend, Bill (Maria Zwierkowski) Guillory. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edmund and Isabel (Noee) Langford, and his older brother, Edmund Langford. Family and friends will miss his raucous laugh, outrageous stories, and ready hand to help. A celebration of life will be held in the spring where it is hoped that many fun “Hugh stories” can be shared with love and laughter.