PATSY LANGFORD

Posted on Jan 02, 2013 - 02:01 PM

Martha Allen Johns (Patsy) Langford of Madison, Miss., died on Dec. 26, 2012.

A memorial service was held at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, at 11 a.m., preceded by a visitation in St. Francis Hall at 10 o’clock.

Patsy was born to Anne Page Johns and Dr. Frank Stoddard Johns in Richmond, Va., in 1926. Patsy graduated from St. Catherine’s School in Richmond and from Wheaton College in Norton, Mass.

Upon returning to Richmond, she worked for the United World Federalists, and was active in the Tuckahoe Garden Club of Westhampton and on the junior board of Sheltering Arms Hospital. In Richmond, she met Dr. Herbert G. Langford, originally of Columbia, S.C.; they married in 1950.

After living in Baltimore during Dr. Langford’s residency at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, the couple moved to Jackson in 1955, where he joined the faculty of the newly established University Medical Center.

Patsy’s commitment to her adopted state was informed by her intellectually curious mind, active reading life, and spiritual devotion, which was nurtured by her church home, St. Andrew’s Cathedral. She assumed leadership positions at the Cathedral, serving on the Vestry, recruiting speakers to the Wednesdays at St. Andrew’s series, and singing in the Cathedral Choir for many years. She seized any opportunity to study political and theological issues with rigor, graduating from the four-year Education for Ministry program, and engaging in small study and prayer groups during the Lenten season. 

Her spiritual depth was complemented by her athleticism and her fierce competitive spirit, most visibly manifested on the tennis court.  Even after a hip replacement late in life, she returned to the court, ably embarrassing much younger players.

Other interests included environmental issues and gardening (she was a founding member of The Garden Club of Jackson), travel, music, the New York Times crossword puzzle, and reading Victorian fiction.

As active as she was in Jackson, Patsy also engaged in a full life in her home state of Virginia, where she maintained a home on the Ware River in Gloucester County. Known for lively house parties there, she welcomed travelers from her wide network of internationally-based friends, as well as her large extended family originating in Virginia. While there, she enjoyed her associations with Ware Episcopal Church, The King’s Daughters, and the Garden Club of Gloucester; she was a member of the Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Together, Patsy and Herbert had four children,  William, who lives in Portland, Ore., is married to Cheryl Langford and has four children, Elizabeth, John, James, and Sarah; Jon, who lives in Davidson, N.C., is married to Jenny Langford and has three children, Cameron, Blair, and Gaines; Robert, who lives in Jackson, is married to Betsy Bradley and has two children, Martha Love and William; and Ellen, who lives in Jackson, has one son, Alexander.  Patsy was predeceased by her brother, Dr. Thomas Nelson Page Johns, and her sister, Anne-Rosewell Johns Roediger. Her sister, Ruth Johns Hill and her husband, William Maury Hill, live in Richmond, Va.

Interested in the lives and talents of her extended family, Patsy will be missed by her many godchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins, who found her company delightful and her spirit nurturing. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to St. Andrew’s Cathedral in Jackson, or the charity of one’s choice.