Michael William Langan
MICHAEL WILLIAM (BILL) LANGAN, age 55, died peacefully on December 31 at the Dana-Farber/Brigham & Women's Cancer Center after a courageous battle with leukemia. Just two months ago, Bill was honored with the prestigious Leadership Award by the International Superyacht Society (ISS), recognized by his peers for his outstanding contributions to the standards, prestige and character of the luxury yachting industry. Although he was unable to travel to accept the award in person, he was deeply moved by this tribute. Born in Greenwich, Connecticut on June 9, 1955 to Dr. Michael Joseph and Kathleen Holman Langan, Bill competed in most of the major ocean sailing races around the world. Starting in the sport on Long Island Sound at age 10, he was proud to have participated in 20 consecutive Newport Bermuda Races, his first at age 15, and to eventually serve as the race's Technical Director. Bill graduated from Greenwich High School and Webb Institute with a BS in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. Following a student internship at Sparkman & Stephens, the New York-based yacht design and brokerage firm, he joined the design department there in 1978 as Chief Draftsman. Two years later, Olin Stephens named him Chief Designer, the position Olin himself held for 50 years. Bill's early work with S & S included project management of the 12-meter yacht Freedom that won the America's Cup race of 1980. In preparation for the 1987 America's Cup challenge, Bill was chosen as designer for the America II campaign sponsored by the New York Yacht Club. 1987 marked the last time 12-meter yachts would compete in the America's Cup, and with that change Bill decided to concentrate the firm's business on luxury sailing yachts over 75 feet. Over the course of 20 years with S & S, Bill was responsible for over 300 individual designs. In 1994, Bill participated in the expedition, headed by former US Secretary of the Treasury William Simon, that navigated the icy conditions of the Northwest Passage from Alaska to Greenland. Bill redesigned, refitted and strengthened Simon's yacht, the 175-foot Itasca, to make Simon's dream journey a reality. In 1998, Bill fulfilled his own dream to found Langan Design Associates, Inc. of Newport, Rhode Island, and settled his family in Jamestown. With Bill at the helm, his firm completed over 40 designs, each unique, but all of them timeless in style, with attention to craftsmanship, advanced technology, and seaworthiness. His design vision was well received starting with his first design, the 130-foot ketch Victoria of Strathearn, that won design awards from both ShowBoats International and the ISS. Later designs include Eos, a 305-foot 3-masted schooner, the largest private sailing yacht in the world to date. Bill encouraged his wife to start her own firm, Candace Langan Interior Decoration, specializing in yacht interiors. Their most recent collaboration, Calliope, a 42-meter motor yacht, is featured in the December issue of Yacht International. Bill was a member of Conanicut Yacht Club in Jamestown, New York Yacht Club, and the Storm Trysail Club. He served as Chairman of the Cruising Club of America Technical Committee for over 12 years. Bill was devoted to his family. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Candace Register Langan, and two children, Tom and Annie of Jamestown, RI, his parents of Greenwich, CT, six siblings and their spouses: Meg Moore (John) of Reston, VA, Ellen Langan (Steve Krafchick) of Seattle, WA, Katie Langan Santee (Kevin) of Mamaroneck, NY, Betsy Dell (Roger) of Roseville, CA, Bob Langan (Margot) of Portland, OR, and Stephen Langan (Kathy) of Bedford, NH; his mother-in-law Anne Mickle Register of Chestertown, MD, brothers-in-law Croft Register (Pam) and Fred Register (Connie), and sixteen nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 8 at 2 pm at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Jamestown, where Bill and his family are members. Following the church service, there will be a reception at the Conanicut Yacht Club. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be given in Bill's name to The Jimmy Fund, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 10 Brookline Place West, Brookline, MA 02445-7226.
Published by GreenwichTime on Jan. 3, 2011.
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43 Entries
I was very saddened to read about Bill's passing in the New York Times.
I was a sailing instructor at Belle Haven Club during the summers of 1969 and 1970, and at 14-15 years old, "Billy" was a great kid to be around. He is the only student that I remember from those two summers, and I now know why. After reading about the wonderful person he was and his accomplishments in the sailing world, exceptional people stand out in a crowd.
I am so very sorry for your loss.
Chris Garrity
January 24, 2011
Dear Candy

I was shocked to hear this very, very sad news. Bill will be greatly missed by all who met him during his fruitful life.

I was privileged to work with him some years ago when we first set up Redman Whiteley Dixon on one of our favorite projects, the lovely 90' yacht Marguerite. His experience and input made the project very special, and I remember his wisdom and support fondly. Many lovely creations under his own name followed which will be a testiment to his careful eye and grace of characture.

A gentleman of yachting.

Deepest sympathy, Mark Whiteley
mark whiteley
January 14, 2011
Candy and family,
Georgia and I were deeply saddened to learn about Bill's battle and everyone's loss.
Working with him in the early '80's was an unforgettable opportunity highlighted by characterful associates and two marriages that changed Bill's life and mine for the better.
Georgia and I especially enjoyed visiting with Bill in Castine in 2004. We admired him greatly and will miss a good friend.
Craig Walters
January 13, 2011
Dear Dr. Langan
Desmond and I are so very sorry for your loss.
Melanie and Desmond Sharp Bolser County Cork, Ireland
January 9, 2011
Candy the above from the other Meredyth(Dythie)XX
January 8, 2011
I know where my heart is today, dear Candy. I'm just so sorry modern medicine could not match Bill's talent for innovation and problem-solving. His and your emails all through the fight this past year were so generous and forthright and remind me of so many superb yachts: Endurance, Friendship, Spirit, Tenacious, Hope, and now,for him, his Freedom. And for you and your family, all of the above and now, Peace
Much love, one of your other Moms
January 8, 2011
Dear Candy,
Our thoughts have been with you and your family throughout Bill's valiant efforts to fight this random disease. His spirit and optimism were contagious. We will deeply miss him as will the entire yachting community.
Our sincere condolences,
Anne and Ted Hood
Ted Hood
January 8, 2011
Dear Candy, Tommy and Annie,
Pierce, Kagan and I have such fond memories of Billy. He and Candy helped us feel welcome when we moved to Connecticut and joined the sailing community there, he sponsored us as a member of Noroton Yacht Club, he shared his friends and family with us and will always be remebered by us as a true gentleman with a great sense of humour.
Our thoughts are with you,
Donna Kolius, Pierce Owens, Kagan Light
Donna Kolius
January 7, 2011
Dear Candy Tommy and Annie,

Our hearts go out to you at this painful time. We loved Bill as a friend. He was a classic gentleman, admired by all that new him. The memories of Junior sailing, skiing in Vermont, the practical jokes, sailing in Antugua, Bermuda, and Newport will last forever. We shall never forget his infectious laugh and his ability to make those around him laugh. Bill knew how to live life. He was a generous volunteer and gave so much of his time to the support of sailing and the art of yacht design. He was always willing to help or offer advice if asked. You have been blessed to have had Bill as a husband and father. He shall be missed by us all of us.

Eric & Pam
Eric Kreuter
January 6, 2011
Dear Candy and family,
Our sincerest condolences for your great loss. Bill's imprint on Sparkman & Stephens will indelibly live on through the skillful work he accomplished here.
Sincerely,
Bruce Johnson
Sparkman & Stephens
January 6, 2011
A truly extraordinary man, it has been a great privilege to know Bill and work together with him as an equipment supplier on many of his fantastic projects over the last 25 years, from S&S through LDA. I’m reminded of sea trials on the 93m EOS in the North Sea, Bill hanging effortlessly from the bowsprit observing the running waterline… The ultimate professional, Bill’s keen eye, thoughtful insight, determination to achieve excellence, uncompromising integrity and friendship will be sadly missed by an entire industry. My sincerest condolences to Candy and all the Langan family.
John Venables
January 5, 2011
I left Greenwich in 1971 at the age of 21 and am now 62 but through one or more of my sisters (Elizabeth or Gretchen), knew the Langans. I was looking through the Greenwich paper online today when I came across the news of your sad loss. Please accept my prayers and condolences. What a wonderful life he lived, and how proud you must be of his accomplishments!
Patrick Dowling
January 5, 2011
Candy,

I was so terribly pained to learn of Bill's departure. It has been a long and grueling fight and I morn for you and your kids. The whole world has lost a truly great man.
David Armitage
January 5, 2011
It has been great knowing Bill and having worked with him. Since I was a little kid I knew him through my Dad and Lewmar, he came to our house and later when I worked for HJB we worked together on Cassiopeia, a great project, a beautifull yacht. Everytime we spoke he asked me the question: Anneliek, did "he" give you a ring yet? Sorry Bill, no ring yet, but I will let you know when! I know for sure that Heaven will get a couple of new beautiful yachts in the future.

Candy and everybody who will miss him, my thoughts are with you and I will burn a Candle for Bill coming Saturday.
Anneliek van der Linde
January 5, 2011
Working with Bill and Candy over the last few years on the Cassiopeia and Calliope projects was an honour and a real pleasure. Bill was a real gentleman and I will miss him greatly. His legacy is floating on every Ocean around the world for all to see.
Captain Ian Insull
January 5, 2011
My condolences to all who knew Bill, especially his family and friends. I knew Bill in his younger days. We took a drafting class together at Greenwich High School and he was always a fun focused young man. May the peace which comes from the memories of love shared, comfort you now and in the days ahead. Peace be with you
Peter Christiansen
January 5, 2011
On behalf of the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, we wish to express our deepest condolences to Candy and the entire Langan family. We will be forever grateful for Bill's friendship and guidance in the designing, building and commissioning of STV Spirit of Bermuda. His passing is a major loss to all of us and we will miss him greatly.

With his team at Langan Design Associates, Bill created a sensational vessel in Spirit of Bermuda - now a national icon. Spirit is a masterful and complex blend of historical and modern day designs. She is beautiful in all respects and has proven to be safe, reliable, functional and fast - a true testimony to his design prowess. Bill understood our cause and generously gave of his time. He was always available and provided well considered input wherever he was. Even in the past year, with his great contacts, and working from home, he continued to assist without hesitation.

It is impossible for us to thank Bill enough. He was a wonderful decent person, a great leader, a real gem. May he rest in peace and his Spirit sail on.
Alan Burland
January 4, 2011
Bill knew when to be serious and when to have fun....I'll never forget his infectious laugh and mischievious nature when sailing or socializing with friends. I feel fortunate that we sailed many great races together from SORC and Fastnets to riding out a big sqaull at BIRW with our kids onboard. Great memories, sail on Bill.
Philip Garland
January 4, 2011
Dear Candy, Tom and Annie,
I am heartbroken for your loss. You will treasure the memories of so many wonderful times filled with love, laughter and courage. The wind will always be at his back. With love, Meredyth
Meredyth Armitage
January 4, 2011
I am so very sorry for your and our loss.
Colin Pegrum
January 4, 2011
My sincerest condolences to his family and friends.
Nuno Matta
January 4, 2011
We are fortunate to be friends with Steve and Kathy Langan. Steve spoke often and proudly about his brother Bill. Bill was clearly a man of incredible passion, integrity and family values. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Langan family during this difficult time.
Laura & Fred Chapey
January 4, 2011
Dear Candy,
We have many fond memories of the ENCORE and SAGAMORE days, and often retell of them. Antigua, Bermuda, Cowes, Tortola, Sardinia and on an on.
Our thoughts are with you and your family.
Brad & Debbie Weinman
January 4, 2011
Having worked together with Bill on several projects, I realised that the he was a unique person in the field combining his incredible technical know-how and ability to steer through difficult projects seemingly at ease with his special sense of humour.
Fair winds and may your journey on the other side continue with sailing.
Wishing strength to the family.
Christian Poorte
January 4, 2011
I'm so at a loss for words. My sincere thoughts go out to Bill and his entire family. Despite all the years that have gone by without seeing Bill he will always be a found memorie in my heart. Many good times throughout our high school years. I'm just so sorry to hear that you have passed on. Valerie Duff Kennedy
January 4, 2011
Candy,
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God needed another angel and Bill will be missed here on earth.
Barb Tierney
January 3, 2011
Dearest Candace, I think of the last time we all sat together at the Newton Wellesely cancer ctr and talked. On many other occasions, Bill kept me company and i was always so grateful to see him and chat. I have thought so often of you and Bill. I prayed the bone marrow transplant would heal dear Bill. He was so dear and i smile at the thoughts of him in Dorset on new years eve way back when we were all youngsters. I will continue to pray for you and your children. Do pass on a huge hug to Dr Langan who delivered me at greenwich hospital 52 years ago.Much love and my deepest condolences to you.
With heartfelt sadness, Beatrice Doering Shea
January 3, 2011
At S&S, Bill had the unenviable task of succeeding not one, but two legends; Rod and Olin Stephens. With his characteristic drive, thoughtfulness, and depreciating sense of humor, Bill ran S&S with great success before starting his own firm. He was very graceful under pressure and had a knack of making difficult tasks look easy. A natural leader, Bill was one of the best men you would ever be fortunate to meet. Our prayers go out to Candy and the rest of the Langan family.
Bill Lind
January 3, 2011
Fair Winds Bill !! Say hello to Dad for me.

Mike Kelsey, Jr.
Mike Kelsey
January 3, 2011
To the entire Langan family,
Our hearts go out to all of you during this very sad time. We knew Bill from our sailing days and have seen him over the years.. My best memory of him I'n Auckland N.Z. I had just varnished the cockpit table on Whirlwind X11 and he came onboard and set his briefcase down on the wet varnish... I never let him forget it..He was a wonderful man and will be missed by so many.
Deepest condolence to you all.
Cathy(CJ) and Michael Koppstein
Cathy Koppstein
January 3, 2011
Candy,
I am deeply saddened to hear of Bill's passing.His passion for yachting brought luster to the sport and integrity to the industry. I hope you and your children will find comfort in knowing how well Bill was liked and respected.
Marilyn Mower
January 3, 2011
My heart goes out to the entire Langan family. I have such fond memories of Bill during my high school and college years. Wonderful times in Greenwich , NYC and Dorset Vermont. What a terrific group of friends. Bill holds a very special place in my heart. It was a coming of age for all of us and how lucky we all are to have shared those great times with Bill.
Francie Clarke Rourke
January 3, 2011
Dear Tom and Family,

We are very sorry about the loss of your father.
Eliza Van Reen (Jake's sister) and Jay Mulrooney
January 3, 2011
Tom and Family

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You are in our thoughts.

Eshton Joshua Mya and Hareld
January 3, 2011
Candy,

We are shocked and saddened to hear the news today. It was such a great privilege to have known Bill over the years and we will miss him greatly. We are so sorry for the loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, the Children, and Bills family during this time.
Tim and Donna Costikyan
January 3, 2011
To the entire Langan family,

I remember Bill from my days at BHC in the Jr. Sailing Program. Even at that young age, Bill stood out as an exceptional sailor and mentor for so many of us.

My heartfelt condolences to all of his family. May his laughter and spirit live on in all of you.

Lilly Pray
Melanie (Lilly) Pray
January 3, 2011
Our hearts go out to you, Kay and Michael. We never knew Bill but we can imagine how devastating it is to lose a son. His accomplishments in his passion, sailing and boat building are awesome.
Lela Bogardus
January 3, 2011
Candace,

I worked with Bill on the Silver Shalis project while I was a project manager for Delta Marine and truly enjoyed the time I spent with him. He was a role model for me and through his encouragement I started my own management firm. During our meetings he often spoke of you and the kids. I am sorry for your loss and hope that time will start to fill your hearts with fond memories.
Brian Cromer
January 3, 2011
Candy,
Charlie and I were shocked to hear this terribly sad news yesterday. We have such wonderful memories of our yachting days with the two of you. Bill was a true gentleman, a man loved by so many and so very talented. The industry has lost one of the best. Our love, thoughts and prayers are with you, your children and Bill's family. May the happy, loving memories of Bill help you during this very difficult time.
Peggy Barthold
January 3, 2011
dear dr. langan and family--so sorry to read of the passing of your son, bill---sincerely, nan pittocco parker (formerly of admitting)
nan parker
January 3, 2011
I was so sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of many are with you at this time of sorrow.
Eva Marie Pacheco
January 3, 2011
While at PJ I never had the opportunity to work with Bill on one of his projects, we shared a warm relationship even without the commercial rewards. He was that kind of a giving man, always ready to help another up the ladder and to share his vision and wisdom. A fine man of unimpeachable integrity; we have lost a signature member of our industry. Bill will be missed by many, as he touched most all of us.
My sincerest condolences to his family.
Skip Robinson
January 3, 2011
Another life too short, hoping the sailing in heaven is as good as it is on Narragansett Bay
Moose McClintock
January 3, 2011
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