John Reuben Langford worked hard all his life. Born Aug. 23, 1926, on a small farm just a walk through the woods from the home where he spent his latter years, he labored with his parents and six siblings driving mules, farming peanuts and cotton. While serving during World War II on a carrier in the Pacific, he did other sailors' laundry to send money home. He used his G.I. bill funds to graduate from Auburn University School of Veterinary Medicine. There he met his wife of 63 years, Rebecca Scarbrough Langford. They raised two sons.
After establishing one of the first veterinary clinics in Daytona Beach, he went on to serve on the executive board of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, president of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, and president of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, among other professional accolades.
On the rare occasion he took a break from professional responsibilities, he researched his family genealogy at libraries around the country. He was proud to tell people his ancestors made the crossing from England as early as 1630. Passionate about heritage, he was involved in the Sons of the American Revolution and coronted a 33rd degree Mason in the Masonic Lodge.
Returning to Dozier, ostensibly to retire, he began a second career in forestry. After attending the forestry school at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College, he spent hours cruising his red Lincoln Towncar through the forests he cultivated in loblolly and longleaf pines. As with veterinary practice, his dedication led to excellence. He chaired the Covington County Forestry Committee, earned the Covington County Outstanding Treasure Forest Award (twice, the only landowner to do so), won the Southeast Regional Helene Mosley Treasure Forest Award, was the Statewide Outstanding Tree Farmer, and Outstanding Landowner, among other accolades. He was an enthusiastic ambassador for re-establishing longleaf pines in the region of Alabama so significant to his legacy.
Dr. Langford loved watching college sports with his family, and telling stories about growing up in Dozier and treating animals. A dedicated church member, he spent most of his adult life teaching Sunday school. He went home to the Lord Dec. 10, 2013.
Family: He is survived by his wife, Rebecca S. Langford; his son, Gary Langford, D.V.M. (JoAnn); brothers, Murray Langford and Fred Langford (Dorothea); grandchildren, Shawn Carey, Ellison Langford, Kemper Langford, and Foster Langford. He was predeceased by sisters, Anava and Faye; brothers, Robert and Jordan; and son, Duffy.
The memorial service is 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 at First Baptist Church, Andalusia, Ala., with visitation at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome to lunch at the church after the service.
In lieu of flowers, please make a gift to Crossover Ministries (508 Highway 52 Opp, Ala., 36467) or Lottie Moon Christmas Offering at First Baptist Church of Andalusia (700 East Three Notch Street Andalusia, Ala., 36420)
To view this obituary, visit: www.keaheyfuneralhome.com.
Published in the Montgomery Advertiser from Dec. 12 to Dec. 13, 2013