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 www.unitedaidfoundation.org/ support-us/
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Published in Kansas City Star on Jun. 16, 2017.