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Dennis Langley was born in El Dorado, Arkansas. Dennis was a loving grandfather, father, son, brother, and husband. Dennis moved from state to state during his formative years traveling with his mother and father. Dennis found enjoyment in scholastic debate while at Haven High School, a small country school near Hutchinson, Kansas. He was very successful and won many tournaments against significantly larger schools. Following High School, Dennis attended Hutchinson Community College where he won the national championship in both Impromptu and Extemporaneous Speaking. Dennis was awarded a scholarship to Catholic University in Washington D.C. for speech and communications. As an undergraduate, he was given the position of debate instructor for the University. Under Dennis' leadership, Catholic University was nationally recognized as one of the top debate programs in the country. After his graduation from law school, Dennis became a staff member for the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee and the chief speechwriter for senator Joe Biden. Dennis became a friend and advisor to many Senators and House Members during his time on Capitol Hill. In Hutchinson, Dennis built a home with his wife Judy and opened a law practice. Soon, an opportunity presented to purchase a natural gas pipeline. Dennis served as founder and CEO of the Kansas Pipeline Operating Company. During this time, the first female Governor of Kansas Joan Finney was elected and asked Dennis to be State Democratic Party Chairman. This was the start of a prolific career in Democratic leadership, he served as chairman of the Midwestern Region of the Association of State Democratic Chairs and the third longest serving member of the Democratic Party's National Executive Committee. The personal and political intertwined in his life. He also created NATURE and Four Directions to promote repatriation of artifacts, protection of cultural and environmental resources on tribal land. In addition to his two children, Sean and Erin Langley, his family grew with his wife Lyn and her children, Quinton, Leslie and Tanner Shaw whom he loved as his own. He was also given two grandchildren, Tre and Jalyn Shaw who were everything to him. His heart was as big as his personality and he gave love and affection to his mother, his wife, his children and their spouses and his grandchildren unceasingly. The memories he created with his grandchildren will live in their minds for the remainder of their lives. Dennis passed away in the afternoon on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 at Menorah Medical Center in Kansas City from complications from a fall he took while enjoying his favorite past time, pruning trees at the family estate. His family remains in mourning but enjoying smiles and stories of a man who was larger than life. He leaves behind his business interests, a strong family presence and a workforce of reliable and thoughtful individuals that will rally around one another in coming days. Burial and graveside services for family will be held at Harper Springs Cemetery in Huttig, Arkansas on June 17th. A celebration of his life and friendships will be held at Spirit of Avalon at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial donation be made to The United Aid Foundation that helps orphaned children in Romania: Romanian Kids - United Aid Foundation CO Elizabeth Alex, 1420 West 73rd Street, Kansas City, MO 64114 support-us/

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Published in Kansas City Star on Jun. 16, 2017.
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35 entries
May 27, 2020
hey papa this is Jalyn i love i will miss you this is your granddaughter
Jalyn shaw
June 13, 2018
I miss Dennis even though we didn't see each other the last few years. He was always such a good friend to me, helping me get thru my own very difficult times. We had such a great time in San Francisco at the National Convention in '84. And making the rocking (fish) horse for the kids. He was a life force for me that I will always treasure. Vickie Shingleton Draper
Victoria Shingleton Draper
June 22, 2017
Lyn, I just learned of Dennis's passing. You are in my heart and prayers. I am so very sorry for your loss.

Christine Rouse
June 21, 2017

Larger than life, a heart as big as the sky, I miss you Dennis!

Lyn -my hugs and prayers - hope to see you when time is right at Spirit of Avalon...

Peace to you all,

With Love,

George Hutchinson
June 20, 2017
Dear Lyn, I am so sorry to hear about Dennis' passing. Sending love, hugs, and deepest sympathies to you all.
June 18, 2017
Dennis was loved by all who knew him. The times I was around Dennis he was a joy to share good conversation and to laugh with. We will all miss hes smile and kind heart.
Dan & Lisa Holland
June 18, 2017
Lyn and family,
Please accept my deepest condolences for this tragic loss.
Elizabeth Herbert
June 17, 2017
Dearest Lyn and family. I am still in shock, hearing of Dennis death. There are no words I can say to all of you who loved and were loved by Dennis. Please know Lyn, you are always in my heart and I pray God holds you in his arms to comfort, and give you peace.
I love you

Marilyn (Mare) Huggard.
Marilyn Huggard
June 17, 2017
Dear Lyn and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
Cheryl Scott
June 17, 2017
Our condolences to Lyn and family for the loss of Dennis. He was an extraordinary man, generous and thoughtful, and will be greatly missed.
John and Cindy Hubbard
June 17, 2017
June 17, 2017
Lyn & Family, We were so shocked with the news of Dennis passing. Please know you are in our thoughts & prayers at this time. He was such a humble man, so brilliant and a very loving husband & father. What an honor to have known him and the influence he left on so many people. I'm sure he is watching over you and your family and will never be forgotten. Love to you & your Family . Tony & Debbie Webster
June 17, 2017
The world lost a great person. Dennis always helped the less fortunate without recognition. He was a brilliant strategist and always looked to better society. He made a difference every time he worked on a project for the good of humankind.

Peace to all who loved him.

Doug Spangler
Kansas City
June 17, 2017
Sean and Carol, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you travel through this difficult time. Know that he loved you as much as you loved him. Keep your happy memories of him forefront in your thoughts. He will always be with you.
David and Gin McKnight
June 17, 2017
My condolences to the family. I met Dennis in Topeka in the early 90s. He was a brilliant and dedicated man. He left us too soon.
Ramona Becker
June 17, 2017
So sorry to hear of Dennis'. Condolences to his family and friends
Greg Rudichuk
June 17, 2017
So sorry for your loss Prayers for the family
Tim Phillips
June 16, 2017
Beautifully written. We've lost an accomplished, hardworking individual that brought immeasurable good into to this world. Dennis was always welcoming and shared stories and laughs easily. My heart goes out to friends and family trying to cope with this devastating loss.
Meredith Holland
June 16, 2017
So sorry for your loss
Crystal Hensley
June 16, 2017
Sending my loving thoughts to Erin and Sean, and all the family. Your father was a rock during difficult days for me. Our trip to the Dem Nat Conv in San Francisco will always be a loving memory. My heart breaks for your loss but heaven received an angel with a huge heart.
Vickie Shingleton Draper
June 16, 2017
I am saddened to hear this news. My heart and prayers go out to Lyn and family. I can't believe he is gone. He had such a huge heart and personality. He will be deeply missed.
Tom Sawyer
June 16, 2017
I'm so sorry for your loss. I have so many memories of my time with Dennis at Haven High School. He will never be forgotten. May you find peace and comfort in your memories. Prayers for your comfort.
Peggy Westfahl- Seck
June 16, 2017
Lyn and family. Stacy and I just heard and are so sorry for your loss. My memories of Dennis are over 40 years old. When he recruited me to debate for him at Catholic U clear back in 1975 it was a dream come true. He was a mentor to all of us and taught us much much more than how to win debate tournaments. It was no surprise to me that he would come back to Kansas and enjoy spectacular success in both business and politics. More important he was just a really good person. I'm so thankful for having known him and so saddened that he is gone way too early in his life. Hang in there. Mark and Stacy Parkinson
Mark Parkinson
June 16, 2017
The loss of Dennis Langley was a shock. Dennis was recognized as a leader of the Kansas Democratic Party for many years. He will be missed. Our condolences to this family.
John and Connie Smith
June 16, 2017
Lyn and family especially Leslie - I worked at Pepsi Ice Midwest for a little while and helped with the books. I am so very sorry for your loss. Heaven has gained a great angel. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you at this difficult time.
Kathy Smith
June 16, 2017
My brother in law will be greatly missed.
Marty Lowry
June 16, 2017
Lyn and Family, this was a terrible shock. Dennis was the kind of larger-than-life personality that seems invincible. His impact on so many had ripple effects beyond your knowing, and perhaps this time of grief will also be a time of enlightenment as you hear the unknown stories and memories. Deepest condolences, Lynn
Lynn Hinkle
June 16, 2017
I'm so so sorry for your loss...........
Larry Lerner
June 16, 2017
Darcy Wilson
June 16, 2017
Darcy Wilson
June 16, 2017
Darcy Wilson
June 16, 2017
Lyn and family,
Bob always thought so much of Dennis and enjoyed his friendship. This is a loss not only to you but all of his Democratic family. You are in my thoughts and prayers!
Lynn Grant
June 16, 2017
I give you the world of peace and love that you have given me..God bless you. I will be never forget who you are to me and Erin. I will be with you one day and give you the biggest hug and the strongest love you could ever imagine. I will always be thinking of you and you will know what a great man you are. Hugs and kisses coming your way. Give my grandmother a big hug for me. I just want to say thank you for all you have done for us. You will be so missed, but i will see you one day to share my kind thoughts of you.
Darcy Wilson
June 16, 2017
My last memory of Dennis was on Mother's day, he and I took our grandson Tre to his soccer game...."we decided our best view of the game" wink wink was sitting under a big ole shade tree enjoying the day, the conversation and the game. -- Bill Shaw "Co-GrandPa" for Tre and Jalyn Shaw. You will be greatly missed. Thank you so much for your fellowship.
Bill Shaw
June 16, 2017
Dear Lyn and family:
My heart hurts so for your loss. But just know, that the memories will sustain you through time to come.
Love, Annie
Annie Kuether
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