LANGE, Roland H.
Roland H. Lange, of West Hartford, passed away on April 29, 2013, at the age of 102 (or, as he would say, 102 ¾). Mr. Lange had successful careers in both the insurance industry and as a 45-year "volunteer" with the American Red Cross, serving at both the local and national levels. He was born July 24, 1910, and raised in Chicago by German immigrant parents Robert and Elizabeth Lange and attended Northwestern University's School of Business, from which he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He joined The Hartford Fire Insurance Company in 1930 as a field agent and in 1950, after years of barnstorming the midwest, was called to the home office in Hartford as a Vice President. He retired in 1970 as President and Vice Chairman of the Board of the Hartford Group. Along the way, he served on the boards of numerous insurance foundations, was instrumental in consolidating the diverse companies of The Hartford into a single group, and helped add life insurance to the company's business. Upon his retirement from The Hartford, Mr. Lange entered a second career, that of public service. He served as a Governor Appointee to the State Ethics Commission, and was Chairman at one time or another of several organizations including: the State Gaming Board, the Civic Center Authority, Connecticut Public Television, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Connecticut Opera Society. He also served as a Presidential Appointee to the National Export Committee. He was especially interested in higher education and chaired the Board of Trustees of the College of Insurance in New York, was Co-Chair of the Tufts University Council, Development Chair of the Hartt School (University of Hartford) and Chairman and Founder of the Connecticut Construction Institute. One would think that this would occupy all of his spare time. But Mr. Lange is perhaps best remembered for his 45-year association with the American Red Cross. Locally, he headed the campaign for a statewide facility in Farmington and the Blood Services building which bears his name. Nationally, he served as Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors and was instrumental in the development and governance of its Blood Services. In 1985 he was appointed Interim National Chairman and subsequently National Fund-Raising Chairman. Mr. Lange was honored by the Red Cross with the prestigious Harriman and Drew Awards and later was elected National Vice Chairman Emeritus, the only such appointment ever made. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanitarian Services from Briarwood College and the Service to Society Award from Northwestern University. For 63 years, Mr. Lange has also been an active member of the Asylum Hill Congregational Church, where he enjoyed the "most beautiful choral music in New England." (It should be noted that he once chaired the Music Committee.) But beyond all these accomplishments, his greatest love was for Florence, his wife of 70 years, whom he met at a bus stop outside of work on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Together they enjoyed a full life (along with their beloved Scottish Terriers, Stormy, McDuff, Tammy, and Cinnamon) and a family that he dearly loved. Florence passed away in 2007; he is survived by their two children, Elizabeth Ann Leon and her husband Hayden Leon Jr. of Annapolis, MD, and Robert James Lange and his wife Nancy Boynton of Simsbury; four grandchildren, (he was their beloved 'Ronno') Hayden "Chip" Leon III, Christine Leon, Jessica Lange, Allyson (Lange) Guarino; and three great-grandchildren, Hannah Jane Leon, Henry Roland Leon, and Ryan Vincent Guarino (one week old); and Sharon Kimble, his longtime caregiver and 'adversary'. He was predeceased by his brothers Arthur and Harold.
The family will hold a private memorial service, to be announced. Donations in his memory may be made to the Greater Hartford Chapter of the American Red Cross, 209 Farmington Ave., Farmington, CT 06032. For online condolences, please visit www.taylorandmodeen.com.