Obituary of Gerald Kenneth Langendorfer
Gerald Kenneth “Jerry” Langendorfer, age 75 of Wytheville. Jerry passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his family and his best friend on Saturday, March 14, 2020 after a brave battle with cancer. Jerry was born on September 20, 1944 and raised by his parents, Joyce and Harold Langendorfer, in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. He had a younger brother and sister, Bill and Debbie. He was part of a large and colorful extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins. As a boy, he enjoyed playing baseball. Shortly after his graduation from Honesdale High School, Jerry moved to Rochester, New York, where he began his 35 year career at Lightnin Mixing Equipment. Only 18 years old, Jerry was hired as a toolmaker on the factory floor. A hard worker and a quick study, he was soon promoted to supervisor and management positions. Jerry had a strong work ethic and believed that “anything worth doing is worth doing right.” He applied this philosophy to every aspect of his life, teaching his children, grandchildren, and scores of youngsters in the community this same lesson. While living and working in Rochester, Jerry took classes at the Rochester Institute of Technology. In 1967, a friend set him up on a blind date with Joyce Conti, and the rest is history, as they say. Joyce and Jerry were married on August 17, 1968. He enjoyed bowling, playing cards, attending Rochester Redwings baseball games and spending time with Joyce’s extended family who lived nearby. Their two children, Scott and Lisa, were born in Rochester. In 1976, Jerry was among a handful of employees selected by Lightnin Mixing Equipment to open the new factory in Wytheville, Virginia. He eagerly took on this task, and he and his family moved to the small town in Southwest Virginia. Jerry adopted this town as his own and soon became a leader in the community. Jerry was a civic-minded man, who selflessly offered his talents to his community. He never shied away from a difficult task, and often volunteered for challenging positions. Jerry was an active member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, serving numerous terms on church council as well as several terms as President. Jerry was involved in the activities that mattered to his children, coaching both of his children for numerous seasons of youth soccer. He coached two Olympics of the Mind teams, and also volunteered as a judge. Jerry was a founding member of Evansham Swim Club, and served several terms on the board directors, including several terms as President. He was appointed to the Wythe County Planning Commission where he served from 2000-2007. He was a member of the Wytheville Industrial Development Authority. Jerry also taught Machine Technology for several semesters at the Wytheville Community College. Jerry retired in 1998, and went on to work several years as a private investigator. He enjoyed the challenge of learning a new skillset, and was intrigued by this new job of “snooping and sniffing,” as he called it. Later on, he worked at Fran’s Deli, where he made the best chicken salad in town. He loved being able to interact with so many people, telling jokes and stories, or just having a friendly conversation. Jerry had an infectious laugh and a unique way with words. He always had a joke or a funny story to share. He never met a stranger and was quick to welcome a new friend. Jerry relished his time with his family, and his grandchildren were the light of his life. He spent the last eighteen years dedicating himself to being the best Granddad he could be. He and Joyce travelled far and wide to attend the kids’ sporting events, school activities, and for frequent visits. Jerry loved to travel, and often incorporated that love into extended vacations with his grandchildren. Some of his favorite trips were family beach vacations, Disney World, cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean and Hawaii, and the cross-country road trips he and Joyce took. Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Harold and Joyce Langendorfer. He is survived by his wife, Joyce, his son, Scott, his daughter, Lisa Levi and her husband, Josh Levi, his grandchildren, Christopher Langendorfer, Rose Langendorfer, Brooke Langendorfer, Thomas Levi, and Kara Levi, his brother, Bill Langendorfer and wife Rustie, his sister, Debbie Todd and her husband Jeff, his sister-in-law Barbara Mittak and her husband Bill, his aunt Margery Gregor, several cousins, nieces and nephews, and numerous friends and colleagues. A full memorial service will be planned for all friends and family to attend once the threat of Covid-19 has subsided. Online condolences can be sent to the family at www.grubbfuneralhome.com The Langendorfer family is in the care of Grubb Funeral Home.