In Memory

Joe Lang

Here is the obit from the Corrales newspaper [The Corrales Comment]:

Joe Lang Dies

An estimated 1,200 mourners, including a who’s who list of New Mexico politicians, turned out for funeral services for Corrales’ Joe Lang in downtown Albuquerque following his stunning, unexpected death at home September 22.

The long-time, influential Democrat was 57.

Standing room-only mourners at Immaculate Conception Church were addressed by Governor Bill Richardson, among others, who lauded the fallen leader.

Upon learning of Lang’s death, Richardson orders flags around the state lowered to half-staff.

Edmund “Joe” Lang was a fixture in New Mexico’s Democratic politics for the past quarter-century as a friend and ally of the state’s most prominent figures, such as former N.M. House Speaker Raymond Sanchez and Senate leader Manny Aragon.

Lang suffered a massive heart attack September 22 just hours before he was to have joined Sanchez for a joint celebration of their birthdays that evening.

He served in the State Senate with Sanchez in the late 1970s, and had worked for Sanchez’ law firm. He remained active in state and local politics even when not serving as an elected official. He ran for a seat on the Sandoval County Commission in 1990, and became the dominant force on that commission for the next eight years.

He was twice elected to a seat on the Sandoval County Commission. When he was term-limited from seeking re-election in 1998, he ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Corrales.

While he might be best known for negotiating the commission’s 1995 $8 billion industrial revenue bond for Intel, Lang’s real love was enabling communities to achieve projects like the Corrales Recreation Center, the Rio Rancho sportsplex, the Rio Rancho High School, the boys and girls club in Old Town, and improvements at the Corrales Library and Corrales Elementary School.

(See the “Letters” section of this issue.)

More remarkable was his willingness, his desire, to get involved hands-on with projects he supported. More often than not, politicians who support a project turn out for the ribbon-cutting and ground-breaking, but fade away when the actual work is done. Lang’s week-ends of manual labor laying the marble slabs that line Liam’s Pond at the rec center demonstrated that.

An attorney by profession, he was perhaps most active as a legislative lobbyist, a man who knew how to bring favorable consideration for clients’ proposals.

Lang was born in Pinehust, North Carolina, into a military family, and spent part of his youth in Panama where his father was assigned. When the family was later based in Albuquerque, Lang graduated from?Highland High and went on to the University of New Mexico’s law school, where he formed many of the relationships with influential political figures over the following 30 years.

The Corrales police incident report for September 22 after response to the Lang resident reads as follows, in part. “Emergency medical service personnel on scene found Mr. Edmund (Joe) Lang at the residence. He was located in the living room area of the home, and he appeared to have passed away from natural causes. There was no evidence to indicate that the death was anything other than natural causes.”

His wife, Kathy Lang, found her husband’s body on the livingroom floor when she returned home from a bike ride.

He is also survived by his mother, Eileen Lang of Albuquerque, and sons Jack and Zack, as well as brothers District Judge William Lang, Thomas Lang and James Lang.


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07/01/14 10:33 PM #1    

Cissy King

From the moment I met Joe at HHS, I was always drawn to his sense of humor and zest for life. He was generous with his friends and made an enormous difference in the development of the up-and-coming Rio Rancho community. Joe passed away September 22, 2004, just a few weeks before our 40th reunion. His impressive memorial was a tribute to his dynamic presence, punctuated, not only by New Mexco notables, but the eulogy of his sons was touching, tender and certainly spoke to the depth of the love and humor in their relationship.


08/30/14 05:42 PM #2    

Thomas Rutherford

He was everyone''s friend.had a wonderful way with people, and a great sense of humor!

He had a bit of a devilish side, but never mean spirited. He had a great sense of politics.

He sure helped me a lot! I miss him every day!

Tom Rutherford


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