If you know Steve Lange, you probably feel a great sense of loss and gratitude. For the love he poured out on you and perhaps your family, the encouragement he gave, the welcoming space he provided, the musical talents he shared, the friendships he shared, the humility he showed.
If you ever wanted a role model, holy smoke, it was Steve Lang.
“He’s the personification of everything we say we want to be,” said friend Rick Laub. We all want to have the best intentions for others, and he actually made those things happen. Think about the impact it had on you growing up and the example he lived by.Don’t talk, live.”
Dr. Steven Lange died suddenly on Thursday despite declining health. he was 76 years old.
45 of those years as organist, choirmaster, and minister of music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in downtown Lansing; married to state. They remember the circumstances of their first meeting differently.
“He claims the room was full except for the empty seat beside him where I sat,” Nancy said Friday. We started dating and we found out on our second date and it took over a year for him to propose.”
She was attracted to his sense of humor, his cheerfulness and kindness. “Unchanging quality,” she said.
Many others, myself included, have enjoyed and benefited from the same qualities throughout our lives. I am one of the hundreds whose lives were shaped by Steve Lange. Steve Lange was one of many who grew up in the St. Paul Children’s Choir and was an angel through high school. He was one of the choirs who participated in the musicals “Godspell” and “Amahl and the Night Visitors” led by himself. and one of several hundred included in one of 11 trips to England with the high school choir he and Nancy spearheaded.
Yes, it took 11 teens to supervise for 3 weeks. every four years. Did I mention that perseverance was also one of his greatest talents?
“He loved it,” Nancy said of her time at St. Paul’s. “I loved my high school choir more than anything. I loved that age group and their future and possibilities.”
He invests in kindergarteners in the same way.
“Some of my favorite memories are of him sitting with his hands crossed on pretzel legs and knees in what we call a listening shape,” he says of the choir of angels for 20 years. said Maureen Nauss, who taught and belonged to the Lange children’s choir. when he first arrived in St. Paul. “And he worked with me to get to the floor with the kids.
“I had a very difficult student. And I spit on Steve about it once, and he said to me, ‘He’s on to the person he’s becoming. That really stopped me.’ That’s how he dealt with all of us, adults, children, everyone, and you’re not done yet.”
He cared for the best singers as much as he did for people who weren’t very confident in their voices, nurturing and encouraging them both, boosting their talent and confidence.
Before retiring from St. Paul’s Cathedral in 2015, Lange said:
The number of people who have spent their lives in music after starting out in Lange’s choir is a tribute to that. Years later, the same number of people still have warm feelings every time they drive past that choir room…a few times a week for me.
2015 onwards: Sofa: Steve Lange shared patience, kindness and music for 45 years at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
“He was someone who knew how to give unconditional love,” says Marty Lepasky, one of the earliest members of the Lange Choir and a longtime member of his St. Paul Adult Choir. I’m not the best singer in the world, but I took lessons from him, and he had a great way of teaching and encouraging.”
Lange’s kindness speaks through small deeds, but it still means everything — a letter to a friend and singer whose spouse had just left dreamed of playing the pipe organ in St. Paul. offered organ lessons to those who had little but little mastery of the piano.
If you’re doing anything — playing sports or at a show — he and Nancy will come see you.
He loved puns. pun. He dropped it in front of the adult choir and smiled at the moaning chorus.
As he commanded, “His entire face became magical.
“He puts his whole body into the music, so you can’t help but feel what the music is saying,” Clark continued.
What the music said was as important to Lange as the music itself. He saw it as an instrument of faith.
“He chose great music and made us not only sing it, but understand where it was coming from,” said the chorus of angels taught decades ago and an adult said Deborah McMartin Finkel, who sang with Chorus and ensemble to the end. “He brought so much insight into everything.”
“Steve’s presence was very unique in that it wasn’t about music,” said Raub, who sang in both the adult choir and ensemble. “It was essentially praising God. am.”
Lange did more than just make music at St. Paul’s Cathedral. In his later years he was at the center of many adult Christian education programs at St. Paul’s Cathedral. And he had a lot more to do outside the church as well.
He loved woodworking, built two wooden canoes, loved gardening and nature. He was an outstanding tennis player well into his seventies. He and Nancy often traveled to Europe together, often with friends. He fell in love with wilderness adventures. He, Nancy and her brother, Dave Harrington, traveled through the Upper Peninsula and Ontario, Canada, canoeing through difficult waterways. They packed their tents and sleeping bags into their canoes, found a place to camp for the night, and headed downstream for four or five days.
“It was just a wild experience,” said Harrington. “He was very easygoing and always up for a challenge. This canoe stretched him into his comfort zone.”
Raised in Three Oaks, Michigan, Lange spent his entire life in Lansing. This became his residence. lucky place.
“He was the kind of person who not only made a connection with each person, but inspired them and inspired them in a way that made them do the best they could,” said a friend, Travel companion and choirman Mark Rudd said, “Steve is the person we should all eventually grow up to be.”
He is still a huge influence on so many people who are providing music, good work and kindness in their daily lives. A wonderful legacy. A gift of generational wealth of sorts.
“He might be the nicest person I’ve ever known,” said McMartin-Finkel. …and I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m sure. ”
A memorial service for Lange is scheduled for Saturday, February 4 at 11:00 am at the Central United Methodist Church in downtown Lansing.
Please contact Graham Couch (firstname.lastname@example.org). Follow him on Twitter @Graham_Couch.