Golda Gwendolyn Lange, a retired teacher in the Jefferson County School District, died peacefully in her home near Evergreen on Dec. 17, 2012. She was 85.
She had been partially incapacitated from a stroke four years ago and after several months recovering in a nursing facility returned home to live for the remainder of her life. Born in Kenosha, Wis., in 1926 to Ward and Nettie Means, she was raised in several states in the North and South together with her older sister Nadine, who died in 1998.
After graduating from high school in 1944, she married and had a son, Timothy. In 1955, she moved to western Nebraska, where she worked as a public high school secretary in Scottsbluff. While she was there, she renewed her determination to get a college education and enrolled in community college courses. After a divorce, she and her son moved to Lakewood, where she again became a secretary, this time for the superintendent of the Jeffco School District.
In 1957 she married Dale William Lange, a Nebraska teacher of vocational arts she had met after her divorce. He became a teacher of woodworking at Evergreen High School, and the couple lived for 17 years in Arvada. They became active in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church, first attending Bethlehem Lutheran in Lakewood and later Peace Lutheran in Arvada.
In 1962, Golda enrolled at the University of Colorado, majoring in business. This was a time, half a century ago, when professors openly told women students that they had no place in business except as secretaries and other support roles, and they put many obstacles in the way of women students. Golda used to joke that they even made the business school doors heavier to make it harder for women students to get in. Golda graduated summa cum laude from CU in 1966, with the highest grade-point average ever recorded at that time for a CU business school graduate. She took a job at Lakewood High School and then Green Mountain High School, where she headed the business education department. She taught there until she and Dale retired in 1982.
The couple bought mountain land in 1972, and with the help of a family friend, spent two summers and weekends building a house on it with their own four hands. They moved there permanently in 1975.
Golda loved to travel. Over the years, she and Dale went on tent and trailer camping trips to almost every state in the union and several Canadian provinces. Her favorite places to travel were Hawaii and the Seattle area.
She is survived by her loving husband, her son, a journalist who lives in San Mateo, Calif., a daughter-in-law, Kit, of Los Angeles, two grandchildren, Ahmed and Amira, two great-grandchildren, Adam and Mariam, and numerous nieces and nephews.
A public memorial service will be held at Evergreen Lutheran Church at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 22.