Victor “Larry” Langley
Jun 1, 1933 – Jan 10, 2017
On January 10, 2017, Larry passed away peacefully with family at his side. He will be dearly missed by Sharon, his wife of 55 years; his family; and numerous friends.
Larry and Sharon arrived in Edmonton in 1965 and raised three great sons; Larry Jr. (Sandy), Gord (Jen), and Terry (Sarah); and one beautiful daughter, Catharine (Jack) Cookson. His children were his pride and joy. The addition of seven wonderful grandchildren: Boston, Cooper, Tauren, Rachel, Jacob, Alex, and Ella were the “pièces de résistance.”
After five years in the teaching profession, Larry went on to enjoy 37 years working in numerous positions in Broadcasting: producer, political analyst and announcer. He was extremely proud of his nine years as City Councillor. After retirement he served on numerous city boards.
Although Larry was a proud Edmontonian, his Saskatchewan roots and childhood friends were never far from his mind. He enjoyed many reunions at the home of Stan and Norma Thomas.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 210 Haddow Close, Edmonton.
In lieu of flowers, donations will be gratefully accepted by St. Joseph’s Auxiliary Hospital Foundation, 10707-29 Avenue, Edmonton, T6J 6W1.
Published in The Edmonton Journal on Jan. 13, 2017
Larry was gracious when he accepted gifts of furniture for CBC auctions for various charitable endeavours from our family furniture store. He was extremely adept at working under pressure when doing the weather once the amazing Larry Branter retired and was more than able to anchor CBC Edmonton newscasts once the superb Alex Moir quit as anchor. When asked to take a reduced role when Joanne Stefanyk took over and then eventually stand away, Larry did so without any hatred or malice. Just an absolutely professional talent and wonderful guy. I’m ever so sad for Sharon and his family. They should keep in kind that 83 is one heck of a run and Larry lived his life to the fullest. One of my favourite memories was when as a family one Sunday for a CBC charity function, Larry and intrepid Colin Maclean gave us a guided tour of the then south side CBC Edmonton studios, which is why I write from the south side in tribute today!
It was 1956 when Larry joined CFQC-TV, Saskatoon as a neophyte announcer. There he quickly learned he must be prepared to do anything and everything to succeed in becoming an accomplished broadcaster. And so he did, moving on to WHIV and CBC in Whitehorse, CHEK in Victoria, CFCN Radio and Television in Calgary, and then to CBC Radio and TV in Edmonton where he served for 28 years. It was at the CBC that he completed his full-time broadcasting career which spanned thirty-seven years. Larry now relaxes between opportunities, and observes that “old broadcasters never die, they just lose their audience”!
Larry remarks that the best part of his many years in radio and television was meeting all the interesting people he otherwise would never have met. Reviewing memorable moments, he recalls performing as radio DJ in Whitehorse for half an hour before learning that the transmitter was not activated! He also remembers calling several innings of a Little League final baseball game without knowing the names of the teams, nor of the players. Overall, claims Larry, broadcasting is a great career, full of fascinating characters, and of unexpected occurrences.
He retired in 1993. In 1995, he was elected to Edmonton’s City Council, where he served until 2004.
Former local broadcaster and city councillor Larry Langley has died
January 10, 2017
Long-time broadcaster and former three-term city councillor Larry Langley, 83, has died.
Langley died peacefully surrounded by his family on Tuesday morning after a long battle with cancer.
“He was the truest gentleman you would ever meet, he just loved people, he loved helping people,” said his daughter, Cathy Cookson.
Langley was born in Saskatoon on June 1, 1933, and earned a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Alberta. He worked first as a teacher then as a school principal in Whitehorse from 1959 to 1963.
Langley began his broadcast career in 1956 when he joined CFQC-TV in Saskatoon as an announcer. Later, he worked his way up to a position with CBC in Edmonton, where he engaged his listeners as a journalist and weather reporter for 28 years.
After Langley retired from the media in 1993 he made a successful run for Edmonton city council, first being elected to represent Ward 5 as an alderman in 1995 and continuing to serve his southwest constituents until 2004.
His efforts as a teacher, on-air personality and then as a civic politician were all inspired by his love of people, said Cookson.
“He was a gentleman in every sense of that word. He was the kind of person who treated the janitor better than the CEO,” recalled Kim Krushell, whose own career on Edmonton city council was inspired by Langley, whom she considered a personal mentor after first working with him as his executive assistant while he served as alderman for Ward 5.
City councillor Bryan Anderson remembers Langley’s passion for politics, including his efforts to see the opening of a library in Riverbend Square in 2000, building a new ambulance bay in southwest Edmonton and in helping to block the privatization of EPCOR in 1999, a decision Anderson said has “born a lot of fruit” for the city, seeing annual dividends grow from $45 million at the time of the decision – defeated by a single vote – to $146 million for the city today.
“He was somebody who everybody felt they knew,” Anderson said. “He had a familiarity, a dependability and a trustworthiness about him that made him a welcome participant in all the municipal issues that were going on.”
“He would listen to all sides, he wasn’t influenced by anything other than the facts,” said Cookson. “Maybe not everyone agreed, but he always did what he thought was right.”
Krushell remembers how he would have her research important issues and challenge him on his ideas, or how he would meet regularly for coffee with concerned citizens as a way to get different perspectives. Even while playing his part in big municipal decisions, Krushell said Langley remained a man of the people with no issue too small for the dedicated public servant.
“He would meet with anyone who wanted to meet with him, he never refused,” Krushell said, adding, “he liked doing it because it kept him grounded as to what was going on in the city and what people were unhappy about. It gave him an ear to the ground.”
One example is when a woman called his office saying she was facing hefty fines over trees on her property that had overgrown city wires. Becasuse she was a single senior unable to trim the trees herself or afford to hire a professional, much less the fines now being imposed by the city, Langley decided the best course of action was to roll up his sleeves and, recruiting one of his sons to help, trim the trees himself.
Beyond his popular public image, Cookson described Langley as a dedicated husband to his wife Sharon of 55 years and a doting father to his four children. He had a silly sense of humour, Cookson said, and loved to laugh.
“He was an amazing guy, he is going to be missed,” Krushell said.
Langley is survived by his wife Sharon, their four children and seven grandchildren.