- About Us
Sam LangdonSeptember 11, 1951 ~ September 14, 2017 (age 66)
On September 14, 2017 at 8:22 a.m., time caught up with him. Richard “Sam” Langdon, age 66, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by the love of his life, his wife Susan “Sue” Kay Langdon, his two daughters, Eliza Langdon Oliver and Kelly Langdon, his two dogs Joe and Woodstock “Woody” (both named by Sam), and his grand-dog Tucker.
Sam was born in Carson City, Michigan on September 11, 1951 the son of Richard and Beverly Langdon. He graduated from Carson City High School class of 1969. After running wild and living it up with his brother Danny Langdon and sister Janet Langdon Mort, Sam obtained a nursing diploma from St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He then worked as a nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital where he met Sue. Sue, also a nurse, and was Sam’s boss. From the day Sam saw her, he knew she was the one. Sue and Sam entered into a loving marriage on August 20, 1983 and celebrated their 34th Anniversary last month.
Sam was an admirable, brilliant, and hard-working entrepreneur. He left the nursing field to start his own roofing company in 1984. He was extremely successful and provided an amazing life for his family – more than anyone could ask for. We spent many memorable weekends camping in Northern Michigan and at Whispering Waters Campground, and every summer we spent time together at our family’s cottage on Bois Blanc Island, Sam’s favorite place in the world. We went on yearly vacations to Florida, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas, and countless cruises, making memories that will never be forgotten.
In addition to being brilliant and successful, Sam was selfless, trusting, loving, funny, silly, kind, strong, resilient, and determined. He would do anything for anyone and never expected anything in return.
Sam had many passions throughout his life – Porsches, rock and roll music, scuba diving, kayaking, karaoke (particularly the “Wooly Bully”), building his pole barn, science, the History Channel, and many more. Fueled by his interest in biology, Sam fell in love with plants and transformed the home basement into an indoor garden.
On March 19, 2017, Sam was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer. He was a fighter and fought the disease to the end. Ultimately, it was his time to go home to God.
Sam is survived by Sue, Eliza, Kelly, his son-in-law James Oliver, his sister Janet Langdon Mort, and several nieces and nephews, including Jason Langdon and Christopher Sparks who were like the sons Sam never had. He was preceded in death by his mother Beverly June Langdon, his father Richard Paul Langdon, his brother Danny Christopher Langdon.
We will be holding a small memorial for immediate family and close friends only at the Metcalf and Jonkhoff Chapel on Saturday, September 16, 2017.
We will be holding a celebration of life for all family and friends to attend on Saturday, September 23, 2017. Details to follow.
In lieu of flowers, we have designated the Spectrum Health Cancer Center for memorial contributions. All contributions will be used to support Spectrum's lung cancer screening services. Please send all contributions to Spectrum Health Foundation, 100 Michigan Street NE, MC004, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.
Small cell lung cancer is extremely aggressive and often doesn’t produce symptoms until it is too late and has spread beyond the chest to the brain, liver, or bones. Currently, the 5-year survival rate for stage 4 small cell lung is only 2 percent. For extensive stage small cell lung cancer, the median survival is 6 to 12 months with treatment and only 2 to 4 months without treatment.
Research from the National Lung Screening Trial showed that computed tomography (CT) screening significantly reduced lung cancer deaths in people over the age of 55 with a history of smoking. Lung cancer screening can help detect cancer early, when it is the most treatable, and increases the likelihood of a positive outcome.
Spectrum Health Cancer Center recommends one low-dose CT scan each year for a minimum of three years for individuals between the ages of 55 and 80 who are at high risk for lung cancer. The scans must be done correctly by a specially trained technologist to minimize radiation exposure and the images need to be interpreted by radiologists as well as experts in pulmonary medicine. The risk factors include: (1) Active smokers who have 30 or more pack-years of cigarette smoking history (pack-years = packs per day x years smoked; or (2) Former smokers who quit smoking within the past 15 years.
If you are at risk, please schedule an appointment for a low-dose CT scan immediately.
Please share this information with your friends and family and with your primary care physician, as many people, including physicians, are unaware of the importance of low-dose CT scans in early detection of lung cancer.
Spectrum Health Foundation
100 Michigan Street N.E. MC004, Grand Rapids MI 49503