MARVIN H. LANGELAND - In Memoriam
May 11, 1910 - December 1, 1997
It was his determination that brought Marvin Langeland to Kalamazoo, a town where he knew no one, to start a funeral home in 1934. It was his compassion that turned it into a success.
Marvin had been working with his brother, Fred, at a funeral home in Zeeland when he set out to establish his own funeral home. With the encouragement of a local minister and a $500 loan from a friend he put down roots in Kalamazoo. The first year he had 34 funerals, a number that has increased steadily since.
Marvin’s first funeral home in Kalamazoo opened November 19, 1934 at 139 E. Lovell, a former doctor’s office that is currently the site of a parking ramp behind the former Jacobson’s store. He moved to the present location of the Memorial Chapel, 622 S. Burdick Street, in 1937.
He was a member of the Grace Christian Reformed Church and served there as an elder and was frequently asked to serve on synodical committees for the Christian Reformed Church. He was the father of two children, Kenneth who succeded him in the formed business and Marilyn Van Gunst. His wife, Henrietta, passed away on April 19, 2008 at the age of 97.
DENNIS F. LANGELAND - In Memoriam
January 27, 1898 - December 1, 1986
When Marvin Langeland met success in the funeral business in Kalamazoo, he asked his brother dennis to join him. Dennis, like Marvin had been raised in a small rural village outside of Holland Michigan, where their father owned a general store that sold shoes, boots, furniture, and caskets. He was also the village undertaker.
Dennis was a graduate of Calvin College and attended Western Michigan University. He taught school and was a salesman/driver for Baxter laundry in Grand Rapids before joining Marvin in the funeral business in 1942. He earned his Funeral Directors License and became a partner in the business and later became President of the firm.
Dennis was a member of the First Protestant Reformed Church of Kalamazoo and served on the consistory there as an elder and as council clerk. He also served on the Board of the Kalamazoo Christian High School. In 1984 he was honored as a 40 year licensee with the Michigan Funeral Directors Association.
Dennis’s wife, Laurine, passed away in 1996 and they are survived by a daughter, Virginia Spitters; and sons. Harold who retired from his work at Langelands in 1993 and Norman who is President of the firm today.
FRED LANGELAND -In Memoriam
March 2, 1903 - June 20, 1940
Fred Langeland owned a funeral home in Zeeland, Michigan before coming to Kalamazoo to join his brother Marvin. Fred was here only a short time when he underwent surgery. Although the surgery was successful, complications set in, and Fred passed away at the age of 37.
He was a member of the Third Christian Reformed Church of Kalamazoo.
His wife Della remained in Kalamazoo, where she raised their 4 children. She passed away in 2005 at the age of 101.
KENNETH P. LANGELAND - In Memoriam
June 24, 1938 - April 25, 2002
Kenneth followed in his father Marvin’s footsteps and became a Licensed Funeral Direction in 1960. Under his leadership, the firm expanded with the acquisition of our Comstock and Galesburg Chapels.
Ken was a member of the Third Christian Reformed Church of Kalamazoo. He loved singing with the Singing Crusaders Men’s Chorus and served as their business manager. He and his wife Joyce enjoyed traveling and playing golf.
Joyce continues to live in Kalamazoo and Arizona. Their daughter Lori moved with her family to New Jersey and their son Tod lives in Kalamazoo and continues to work in the family business.