SHAWN LANG
1956 - 2021
BORN
1956
DIED
2021
LANG, Shawn Age 65, of Hartford, CT (formerly from Norfolk, MA), a proud mother, passionate advocate for justice, and lover of friends, music and Boston sports teams, passed away unexpectedly on October 17, 2021. She was born in Norfolk, MA, on February 5, 1956, the daughter of Herbie and Pat (Cashen) Lang. Shawn graduated King Philip in 1974. Shawn spent her entire career as an advocate for persons living with HIV and AIDS, the LGBTQ community, as well as those with opioid addictions, survivors of domestic violence, and those experiencing housing insecurity. As a staff person and volunteer, she worked tirelessly for programs, policies, and state and federal legislation that provided services and protections for persons in need. For the past thirty years, Shawn worked as the Deputy Director of Advancing CT Together (ACT). She was a board member of the National AIDS Housing Coalition and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS at Yale University. She sat on the CT Alcohol and Drug Policy Council and founded the Statewide Opiate Overdose Prevention Workgroup. In 2017, Shawn was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change for Advancing Prevention, Treatment and Recovery. When she wasn't advocating in the halls of the State Capitol and Congress, Shawn could be found socializing with family and her many friends, playing guitar on First Friday music nights, cheering for her Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and UConn Huskies, and vacationing in P-Town. But her dedication to the causes of justice and equality was only exceeded by her boundless dedication to her son, Corbett Lang, of Hartford, CT. He brought her the greatest of love, joy and pride, and Shawn treasured their time together. In addition to her son, Corbett, Shawn is survived by her siblings Heidi Cronin and her husband Mike of Norfolk MA, Gretchen Lang of Margate, FL, and Tiger Lang of Bennington, VT, Tricia Barry and her husband Charles of Wrentham, MA and many nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. Shawn's family is deeply and forever grateful to Shawn's many friends, co-workers and fellow advocates who provided her with love and support during her remarkable and impactful life, and who shared her commitment to justice and equality. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at the Horse & Carriage, 210 Dedham Street, Norfolk, MA from 11:00-3:00 pm. Vaccinations encouraged. Shawn Lang-approved attire welcome - i.e. Red Sox or any NE sports team, jeans, khaki shorts, political t-shirts. Donations in memory of Shawn and her work may be sent to Advancing CT Together at 110 Bartholomew Avenue, Suite 3050, Hartford, CT 06106, [email protected]

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Published by Boston Globe from Oct. 25 to Oct. 27, 2021.
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MEMORIAL EVENTS
Oct
24
Celebration of Life
5:30p.m. - 9:00p.m.
the Pond House
1555 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, CT
Oct
24
Service
6:30p.m. - 7:15p.m.
the Pond House
1555 Asylum Avenue, West Hartford, CT
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MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
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40 Entries
My deepest condolences to to the Lang family sending prayers.
James MacNeil
October 29, 2021
My heart goes out to Corbett, Heidi, Gretchen, Tiger, Trish, their spouses and all our extended family members - such a loss for so many. I will cherish her presence on FB, sharing her recipes, obnoxiously parked vehicles and her passion for advocacy. Be at peace. With my love, Bonnie
Bonnie (Fitzgerald) Chambers
Family
October 26, 2021
Oh, my "Cousin", you are so very loved & missed by hundreds & hundreds of us. Rest easy in Love & Light
Sandy Lightbody
Family
October 26, 2021
I admired Shawn for her authenticity. She spoke directly and honestly about things that matter. We can honor Shawn by doing the same.
Krystn Wagner
Work
October 25, 2021
Shawn was a beautiful soul, and I was enriched by knowing and working with her. As a legal aid lawyer, I was sometimes able to craft legal solutions to the many problems our clients living with HIV/AIDS encountered. She was a dynamic change advocate- her effectiveness was rooted in her honesty and her clear love for people who were disenfranchised. She sparkled and sparked.
Sue Garten
Work
October 24, 2021
Thanks, Shawn, for making people feel so loved and welcomed. You are such a role model for being human in your unabashed, unfiltered, genuine way. Will miss our chats about Alix and Corbett, Glen Campbell, and other mutual topics. You will never be forgotten.
Kathy Hunter
October 24, 2021
Prayers to Family, Friends and the HUGE LBGT Community Shawn 6b advocated for. Thank You!
Sandi Martinik
October 24, 2021
It doesn´t seem possible.... Rest In Peace and Power, dear Shawn. You will be missed by so many.
Shelley Thomson
October 24, 2021
To Corbett and Shawn's family, My very sincere sympathies to you. Shawn was a very special person, who inspired me and so many to lead lives in service to others. She brought light, love and laughter to countless people through her work and her life. Shawn was a social justice warrior and moved mountains to create change. She will be hugely missed. I am so sorrowful for your loss. Yours, Laura
Laura
Friend
October 24, 2021
Rest In Peace Shawn, you will never be forgotten
Janice Mancini
October 24, 2021
Our condolences to all family and Shawn friends. She was always had the most energy at family parties and her son Corbett was her best part of her life. She will be missed. From your cousin Steve Lang and my wife Cindy
Steven and Cindy Lang
Family
October 24, 2021
Will be thinking of Shawn today as many of you gather to celebrate her life. Living away from New England for most of my life, I did not see Shawn often, usually at family gatherings. I always enjoyed my time with her. Also, I enjoyed her many Facebook posts. She impacted many lives and she will be missed. My deepest sympathy to her family and friends.
Paul Cashen
Family
October 24, 2021
Many of us talk the talk fewer of us walk the walk. Shawn proudly walked the walk and set an example of what a caring activist can do. May she be numbered among the Saints in Heaven and may her family be comforted by their fondest memories of her. Godspeed.
Rich Colbert
October 24, 2021
Shawn and I became AIDS activists around the same time in the early 90s. It wasn't until I moved to Connecticut in 2008 that I got to meet her and realized she was the pre-eminent advocate for people living with HIV in this state and if you wanted to make "good trouble" you had to find out what Shawn was up to. She was a national treasure and did more for people struggling in this state with HIV, with substance use, with domestic violence than most. She was also hilarious, kind and generous to her colleagues, which made her a pleasure to be around and work with (unless you were on the wrong side of an issue!) All of us at Yale are trying to figure out a way to honor Shawn's legacy and more about that will be announced in the coming weeks. Condolences to her son and the rest of her family and close friends.
Gregg Gonsalves
Work
October 24, 2021
Sending peace love and healing to Shawn,s son and family.
Cheryl Gaudette
October 23, 2021
Here's a family picture at Thanksgiving at the Lang family home. Where our family always had our Thanksgiving dinners when I was growing up. The green circle is Shaw about 26 years ago. I still can't believe it. She will be missed by everyone.
Scott Fitzgerald
October 23, 2021
Even though I haven´t seen you in many years, our work together and talks during the days of MDI in Bridgeport I will always remember and cherish. You changed many lives for the good. You will be so missed my many.
Ethel Higgins-Barros
October 23, 2021
We send our deep condolences to Corbett and to all of Shawn´s family and friends. Shawn´s passion for the marginalized and for those in need has made our state and our country a better place. She will be dearly missed by so many.
Anne Stanback & Charlotte Kinlock
October 23, 2021
I can't begin to express the impact Shawn had on my family and our lives. One night my husband and I met Shawn at a local restaurant. We were going through one of the most difficult times of our lives. Shawn began saying she worked for Aids CT, and our daughter was fighting addiction to opioids. Shawn invited us to her office the next day to pick up a much needed kit of Naloxone, the antidote to opioid overdose. Shawn talked me into advocating for families of those with addiction. We knew how devastating the disease is, and also how difficult it was to find anyone sympathetic to it. Most people remember Shawn for the amazing advocate she was for LGBTQ+ community, but to me she was an advocate for those suffering from opioid addiction. Because that was the thing I grew to understand about Shawn...she made you and your issue the most important one in the room. She got my perspective as a real-world example of the difficulty of getting help in CT, and subsequently the system has become more transparent. I am one of innumerable people whose lives have been impacted by Shawn's giving, and ability to advocate for those who couldn't fight for themselves. It might sound trite, but I felt like I grew to know even Corbett, and realized that he was light that shone from Shawn. As saddened as I am at her loss, I am so grateful for her life. A life that mattered. She used her time on Earth to make it a better place to live for the oppressed, and the blessed alike. Hoping someone reads this and gets a glimpse into the Shawn behind the scenes, in her humble way, helping all those who crossed her path.
Hope Auerbach
Other
October 22, 2021
I will forever remember our times in music. Singing and rehearsing with her & Kathi for folk Mass in Norfolk, and performing with the KP choir. She was very talented & always made me laugh. I loved her. We´ve got a very special angel now
Linda
Friend
October 22, 2021
She taught us to soar!
Tina A. Brown
Work
October 22, 2021
My sympathies to Corbett, Shawn's family & Shawn's friends who were like family. Shawn's was a life well lived. She did everything enthusiastically. She always cracked me up. The world was a better place because of her. Like for so many leaving comments, Shawn was a friend I met through work. Her legacy for me is that I can always do and be better. Cheers to you Shawn.
Nora Duncan
Friend
October 22, 2021
My deepest condolences will continue lift the family in prayer. Shawn was a great person and her drive purely a true force of nature. We will truly miss her at Optimus Health Care Center.
Johanna Cruz
Work
October 22, 2021
To Corbett and the Lang family, Our deepest sympathy at the loss of Shawn. We have known Shawn for about 30 years. I worked with her professionally and knew her personally. She was an incredible woman. Her passion for advocacy was intense and infectious. She motivated us all to do better and fight harder. But of all the things she was passionate about, her son was the most important passion in her life. I hope we can help carry on her legacy of advocacy for all those struggling with life's issues. I honor her for all her work and compassion.
Seja Jackson
Work
October 22, 2021
Hey Corbett. I am so sorry about your Mom. She was such a great person ! I'll ways remember you as our star in the Christmas Pageant at Meeting. I'm holding you in the Light, and sending you lots of love.
Lynn Johnson
Friend
October 22, 2021
Corbett, I am so very sorry for your loss. While we never met, your mom and I were friends for years. She lived with my wife and I for a short period in Southington many years ago. We played golf and soft ball and cheered on our beloved Red Sox. My heart is broken to hear of her passing. Our world is such a better place because of her love, smile and relentless work for good.
Robin Kenna
Friend
October 22, 2021
Thank you Shawn for teaching me to be a fearless advocate for those in need. You taught me many life lessons over the years that I will continue to cherish. You were a true Rockstar. Condolences to Corbett and the rest of your family.
Joanne Montgomery
October 21, 2021
We are so shocked and saddened by Shawn´s death. We have wonderful memories of shared times, advocacy, legislative testimony, shoulder bumping lesbian humor. What a wonderful person. She made the world a kinder and stronger place. We must all honor her memory by laughing, loving and keeping on the good fight. Condolences to Corbett and all else who loved her. Go Red Sox!
Cathy Ferry and Pat Duffey
Friend
October 21, 2021
I am saddened to learn of Shawn´s passing. We periodically crossed paths at public health meetings and advocacy events. What a force of nature Shawn was. Very committed, compassionate, intelligent, articulate. Her impact in the community will never be forgotten. Sincere condolences to her family and friends.
Donna Sciacca
Work
October 21, 2021
As a person living with AIDS And someone who spent many years working to help PLWA I give my thanks for all that you did with your life to help us. As someone who always admired you from the first day that I met you, I give thanks for all that you did for so many of us. I am reminded of something I heard in an awesome movie , "There are people walking this earth as humans but in reality they are angels" Shawn you will always be my angel!! Thank you for a life that truly mattered.
Joseph Mancinone
Work
October 21, 2021
Corbett...We are all so very sorry to hear of your mom's passing and wish you some peace and fond memories of your life together.
Doreen Clapis and your friends from ESM School.
October 21, 2021
I appreciated Shawn´s passion not only for her work but for our shared love of our sons and baseball- May her memory warm your hearts
Stacey Moore
Work
October 21, 2021
Condolences on the loss of a valued member of the Hartford LGBTQ+ community. My your best memories of her sustain you through this difficult time.
Sheryl
Other
October 21, 2021
We'll miss you Shawnzo, RIP. Thanks for the recipes we shared over the years. My sincerest condolences to your family. Today the world seems a little dimmer, but you brightened many lives and your legacy will continue to do so.
Chris Shipley
Work
October 21, 2021
Rest in peace my friend!! My condolences to Corbett and the rest if the Lang family. Shawn will be deeply missed!
Minaren Boxeman
October 21, 2021
We have lost a humble champion of social justice, who was also joyfully skilled at friendship and celebrating life. From the legislative hearing rooms to Hartford Sizzles drag balls to her beloved beaches and front yard musical gatherings, she lived life to the fullest. A hug from Shawn was so grounding. When I think of Shawn, I am always reminded of her beloved Letter from Birmingham Jail and her generous, fierce, kind heart. Sincere condolences to her family and many friends.
Tollie Miller
October 21, 2021
I am still in a state of shock over this news. She and I crossed paths so many times in different ways and I was always in awe of her. Her dedication to what she believed and and the passion for which she strove to make people's lives better always is inspiring. May she rest in peace and watch over those left behind. I will truly miss her. Morgana deLuxe will do something to honor her memory
Michael Morgan
Other
October 21, 2021
A great advocate and reliable source, always approachable and willing to help me with a story. (Great sense of humor too.). Thank you Shawn and sincerest condolences to your entire family.
Mark Davis
October 21, 2021
To Shawn´s family. Shawn was a corner stone to all at Readers Feast in the1980´s . She paved a way so other could stand a little taller Will miss her spirit
Denise Bisaillon
October 20, 2021
Shawn, we will always remember you as our compassionate warrior. Rest in Power.
John Merz
October 20, 2021
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