Our "Pa"... Love you much, miss you more!
KEVIN 'PA' LANGE
MUSCATINE, Iowa -- Kevin Fred "Pa" Lange, 61, of Muscatine, passed away on Wednesday, November 21, 2018, at his home.
"Cancer is only a chapter in my life, not the whole story."
He fought long and he fought hard... Kevin "Pa" Lange was a warrior. For over 16 months, he courageously battled pancreatic cancer. He said, "I'm not afraid to die, I just don't want to leave everyone I love."
Kevin Fred Lange, 61, was born at Muscatine General Hospital on August 10, 1957, to Richard "Dick" Fred and Lorene (Paris) Lange. He was always proud that he carried the name Fred, after his grandpa Fred Lange.
Visitation will be held from 2:00 - 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 24, 2018, at the Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held the following day at 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in the Harrison Cemetery in rural Wapello. A luncheon will be held in the Commons Area of the Muscatine High School after returning to Muscatine. Pallbearers are Donnie LaRue, Dale Jones, Lee Burningham, Keith Lange, Don Krings, Mike Toyne, Tony Milder and Jeff Rodts. Honorary pallbearer is Dave Hartman. Given the honor of taking Kevin on his final bus ride will be Jim "Woody" Harden, with Jim Hoover driving escort for the pallbearers on the Team Blond RAGBRAI bus.
Kevin graduated from Muscatine High School in 1975. He worked at the family business, Lange Safety Service, with his dad and Keith. In 1980, Kevin was offered the position of Head Bus Mechanic at Muscatine Community Schools, retiring in 2013 after 33½ years. He was proud of his bus fleet, and everyone knew it. He then started his "retirement job" at Hahn Ready Mix driving cement truck.
During his teenage years, Kevin enjoyed flat track motorcycle racing. Lifelong friends were made during those years.
In 1976, Kevin met the girl who would become the love of his life, Diana Lynn Jacobs. They were married on April 29, 1978, at the Island Methodist Church. That makes 40 years... and as Kevin would say, "That's a pretty steep sentence for a first offense!" Kevin and Diana made a great couple, they loved being together. For years, they put thousands of miles on the motorcycle, visiting places and meeting people.
In 1981 and 1982, his daughters Jeanne Lorene and Betsy Lynn were born. With them being only 14 months apart, he often joked, "I almost got a matched set!" He was a proud papa.
Being a grandpa was one of the most important jobs Kevin ever held. Adam was born first, with Dominic coming months later, then Kali joined the family, and Owen and Layden finished the lineup. Owen gave him the nickname of "Pa". He was so very proud of his grandkids.
For over 35 years, Kevin transformed into Santa, a job he truly loved. Hundreds of kids sat on his lap throughout the years, which means he shared hundreds of candy canes! Diana was the chauffeur of the sleigh when they did "Santa Hits" at the homes of friends and families.
Being a RAGBRAI bus driver to two different local teams was an adventure in itself! This was how his collection of "ugly shirts" got its start. That led him to wearing an ugly shirt to all his chemo treatments - "An ugly shirt to fight an ugly disease". Pictures of them were shared with families and friends, far and wide.
Kevin didn't know a stranger, and was a friend to many. We are all lucky to have had him in our lives. He made the world a better place.
"Pa" will be deeply missed by his wife, Diana; daughters, Jeanne Harmon & beau Jeff Rodts and Betsy Milder & husband Tony, and grandchildren Adam, Dominic, Kali, Owen and Layden, all of Wilton, IA; sister, Kathryn Bean and husband Larry of Ainsworth, IA; brother, Keith Lange and wife Anita of Muscatine; many nieces & nephews; and scores of treasured friends.
Kevin was met in Heaven by his parents, Dick & Lorene Lange; in-laws Melvin & Jeanie (Irma) Jacobs, grandparents Fred & Mable Lange and Theodore & Anna Paris; and brother, Kenneth "Butch" Lange. He also met angel Baby Lange for the first time.
What a great guy Kevin was! We grew up for several years living across the highway from each other. Many memories of him and his family. Also remembered the hayrack rides and fun times. So very sorry for your loss! Thoughts and prayers to you and your family! Jody Anderson and family.
Oh Diana,I just now saw this,I have no words of wisdom for you. I know that you loved each other completely and that you will miss him beyond words. Keep comfort knowing that. Prayers for your strength to help you survive this heartbreaking loss. Kevin was a great friend to many, and I myself thought arty highly of Jim. I loved all the adventures we used to go on! Bless you my friend.
My condolences to the family in your loss.
Oh Diana, I'm so sorry, I'm just reading this. I will pray for your family.
You have my deepest condolences.
So sorry for you loss. Kevin was a great guy. funny and very loving. prayers for your family.
Diana and family, please accept my condolences of Kevin's passing. Kevin and I had rode the country bus into town 5 days a week when we were in grade school. We would chat when we were on our way home on the bus. I always remember those days and how nice he was to talk to even though I was somewhat bashful. I know every day you do not take life for granted. You and your family will be in my prayers during this difficult time and beyond. With Sympathy, Patty (Lawrence) Cassabaum
Diana and family, Keith and Anita so sorry for you loss. Kevin was a great guy and better friend. I will be thinking of all the great times I had with Kevin.
Papa Ratt was loved by all on Team Riveratt. Prayers for Family.
What a terrific guy he was. I worked with Kevin for 30 years at transportation as a bus driver, through the heat of the hot days to pouring down rain and the cold bitter winters he would still smile while getting your bus back on the road. He was more then just the bus machanic, he was a true friend offering a hug when you were down letting you know it was o:k.
I won't be able to make the service but please know Diana and girls you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Fly high and proud Kevin
...cut’n torch in one hand, welding stick in the other, there weren’t nothing he couldn’t fix or manufacture...always with a smile and a laugh...many days school was held ‘cuz Kevin came day or night to the rescue...
Kevin was the sweetest guy I've ever known. There was a whole lotta love in that big guy! Love you Diana, Jeanne and Betsy.
Diane I’m so so sorry to hear this news. You guys have been in my thoughts and prayers a lot. I’m also sorry that I won’t make it to the services for Kevin since I’m in Florida. Another angel in heaven to party hardy with Butch and Dave, among many others. You will have wonderful dreams of Kevin and there will always be reminders from heaven. It’s been 3-1/2 years and I just had another reminder last week all the way down here so he is truly with me and Kevin will be following and watching over all of you. Love to you all.
Diana and girls, We offer many thoughts and hugs to you. We share many fond memories and we hope you cherish your wonderful memories. Tom and Julie Cox
A truly great guy! Sorry for your loss.
There will only ever be one like Kevin.
Diana and girls
So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers to you!
Jo and John Miller
Such a great guy, I know he will be missed like crazy. Remember he gave his family enough love to last a life time. Hugs, Natalie Noble Munday
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