Virgil Kenneth Lange
Carlson-Geisendorf Funeral Home
Virgil Kenneth Lange, 90, of Ellsworth, Kansas passed away Thursday, February 20th at Salina Regional Health Center. Virgil was born in Ellsworth County, KS on July 17, 1923 to Herman and Christina (Bruning) Lange.
A lifelong resident of Ellsworth County, Virgil was raised on the family farm and attended St. Pauls Lutheran Church and School.
He was a member of the 66th Infantry Division, nicknamed the “Black Panther Division”, serving in the Northern France Campaign in World War II. While Virgil was aboard the SS Cheshire in the English Channel on Christmas Eve 1944, the Cheshires sister ship, the SS Leopoldville, was torpedoed and sunk by U-486. This resulted in the loss of 783 US troops, and altered the 66th Divisions operational numbers, delaying but not excluding their participation in the Battle of the Bulge. Virgil returned to Ellsworth after the war. Bringing and maintaining electricity to the farm homes in the area where he grew up; he enjoyed many years as a lineman with Smoky Hill Electric Cooperative.
Virgil married the love of his life, Thelma Laverne Droegemeier on June 21, 1947. They were members of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Ellsworth. Together, they lovingly raised their two sons, and later enjoyed traveling, overseeing his portion of his parents farm, and spending time with their grandchildren. Virgil and Thelma enjoyed 62 years of marriage until Thelma passed away in April of 2010.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Thelma, brother Alvin, and sister Danellda.
Survivors include -
Two sons: Wesley E Lange, San Pedro, CA
Michael D Lange, Lawrence KS
Three grandchildren: Jack and Jared Lange, Lawrence, KS
Shauna Morain, San Pedro, CA
According to his wishes, no funeral services are planned at this time.
Inurnment will be held privately at a later date.
Memorial contributions in Virgils name are suggested to Immanuel Lutheran Church, Ellsworth, KS.
For more information or to leave online condolences please visit www.carlsonfh.net or on Facebook.
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