Michelle Justine Lang
January 31, 1975 - December 30, 2009
Michelle was tragically taken from us doing what she loved, reporting for her newspaper on a brand-new assignment: the valiant efforts of Canadian Forces in Afghanistan. Recently arrived in Kandahar – and determined to capture the real story of life in Afghanistan for both military and civilians – she was suddenly, unbelievably, torn from us along with four Canadian soldiers on December 30, 2009.
Her fiancé, Michael Louie and his parents; her parents, Art and Sandra Lang; brother Cameron and fiancée Sandra Benavides and her parents; Granddad Art and her aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives and many friends and colleagues will mourn and miss her dearly.
Michelle was born in Vancouver early in the morning of January 31, 1975. She was the first grandchild in the family and adored by all. A bright light throughout her school years, Michelle attended Maple Grove Elementary and Magee Secondary mere blocks from her home in Kerrisdale. While a student at Simon Fraser University, she 'got the reporting bug'. On one of her co-op work terms she got to do the real thing as a reporter for the weekly Prince George Free Press – where she had her first taste of notoriety. Forging on to the daily Moose Jaw Times Herald for a short while, Michelle was soon recruited by the Regina Leader Post to cover the agriculture beat, quite a change for a girl from Kerrisdale where tending flowers is the only agricultural activity! Fortunately she had relatives who farmed nearby and they were able to pass on some of the 'real dirt' on the industry. Then she moved on to Calgary and the Herald, where she recently was awarded a National Newspaper Award for her outstanding journalism. Respected by all, Michelle made many friends wherever she worked and was a source of great pride and joy to her family.
But journalism was only one of her passions. Michelle loved life and enjoyed many activities and interests, some of which resulted in sports injuries that she took in her stride. She was tenacious in everything she undertook. And as fate would have it, she met the love of her life, Michael Louie, in Calgary. They were engaged and were to be married on July 3, 2010.
Michelle was able to light up the room with her smile and engaging manner. There are not enough superlatives in any language to do full justice to her and no words to express how much she meant to everyone whose lives she touched.
As her brother Cameron said, "The world was a far better place with her in it."
There will be a service to remember Michelle in Vancouver on January 11th at 2 PM at the Italian Cultural Centre, Grandview Hwy and Slocan. A service will be held in Calgary at a later date.
Published in The Edmonton Journal from Jan. 8 to Jan. 10, 2010