Obituary: William James Langstaff |

Obituary: William James Langstaff

William James Langstaff
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William James


July 15, 1929 – September 18, 2020

William James Langstaff was born to William Leon Langstaff and Annie Smith on July 15, 1929. On August 6, 1950 he married Alberta Langstaff. They enjoyed 70 years of marriage and many adventures. They had two sons, Alvin and Jim, and one daughter Ralona. James, as he was known to his family, was a lifelong resident of the Rifle area. He passed from this world to the next on September 18, 2020 at the E Dene Moore Care Center in Rifle.

James was a direct descendent of some of the early founders of Rifle and had an affinity for Western Colorado, that was very important to him.

James was a jack-of-all-trades and a master at several. During his life he worked as a coal miner, ran the Langstaff sawmill and owned a TV repair business. In the mid-1960s he got a job in the blossoming oil shale industry and worked as a plant operator and later as a shift supervisor for various oil shale companies until his retirement in the early 1980’s. Retirement freed him up to become a gentleman farmer at the Langstaff ranch west of Rifle where he grew up. He also fulfilled his desire to explore southern Colorado, as well as Alaska and the northeast states, making many trips with his beloved wife Alberta.

James had a strong moral compass and instilled an enduring sense of responsibility in his children. He had an ability to repair almost anything and could construct from scratch a very serviceable home, shed, cabin, or garage as the need arose.

He particularly enjoyed one-on-one conversations with friends and relatives. James could turn a phrase in a way that let you know exactly what he was talking about without ever directly stating the topic.

Each of his grandchildren had their own special relationship with him.

Although he will be sorely missed, the family is grateful that he is no longer suffering from several years of declining health.

He is survived by his wife Alberta Langstaff and his children Alvin (Pam) Langstaff, Ralona (Wade) Harry, Jim Langstaff and Marsha Lively, five grandchildren, and five great grandchildren. Special thanks to Raymond and Elaine Langstaff for their help whenever we needed it.

James was preceded in death by his parents and four brothers and three sisters.

People who wish to remember James may make donations in his name to the E Dene Moore Care Center or the First Christian Church in Rifle.

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