Kathleen Langan

November 8, 1925December 25, 2018


November 8, 1925 Baltimore, MD – December 25, 2018 Greenwich, CT Greenwich resident since 1953, Kathleen Holman Langan died peacefully at home on Christmas Day. Born in Baltimore, Maryland, to the late Anna Kathleen and William Henry Holman, Jr., Kay was an early and voracious reader. Valedictorian of her high school class, she graduated from Vassar College with a BA in History, Phi Beta Kappa. She was a passionate advocate for liberal arts education, serving in numerous leadership roles for her alma mater, including President of the Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College, Alumnae/i Trustee, Coordinator of AAVC’s travel program, and Chair of her beloved class of 1946’s 50th Reunion. She was awarded the highest honors given to Vassar alumnae/i, in 2004 the Outstanding Service to Vassar College Award, and in 2011 the Spirit of Vassar Award. Following her college graduation, Kay married Dr. Michael J. Langan, creating a partnership of equals for 68 years. Her first job was with the Secretariat of the newly formed United Nations. Two years later, she made her first long distance trip by plane and ship from New York to Midway Island where Mike was stationed as a US Navy doctor. This marked the beginning of many years of extensive travel for them both. Kay wrote professionally while she raised her seven children, working as a freelance writer/editor and author for McGraw-Hill and a public relations writer for a range of corporate and non-profit clients. Kay encouraged and supported her children’s varied interests and activities. She served as a Brownie Troop leader, Sunday School teacher and in support roles for the swim and sailing teams at the Belle Haven Club. Her home and table were always open, and her cooking the source of plenty for the sick, bereaved, and celebratory. Gifted with a ready sense of humor, she drew energy from being with people. As she reached retirement age, Kay returned to academia, earning an MA in History (with a focus on Reformation women) from New York University at age 67 and an MA degree in Writing from Manhattanville College at age 84. The latter degree opened the world of poetry, at first a challenge and then a delight as her work was published. Kay has left a series of short stories and poems about her life for her children and grandchildren. Kay’s extensive crèche collection, gathered over many years, was open to visitors in her home during Advent. This year, part of her collection was shared with the community through Christ Church Greenwich, where she was an active member of the Women Together group and involved in adult education and development projects for Harlem Episcopal School and Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison. A service of thanksgiving and remembrance will be held at Christ Church Greenwich on Friday, January 25. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to Vassar College, Christ Church Greenwich, or your local library.


  • Memorial Service Friday, January 25, 2019

Kathleen Langan

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barbara Graves

January 25, 2019

Today as family and friends gather in Greenwich to celebrate Kay’s life and grieve her loss, some of the souls deeply touched by her will be holding a West Coast service at the same time, with you in spirit.

Kim Landsman

January 16, 2019

I served on the AAVC Board when Kay was president of it and she made every meeting a pleasure. She was a lovely person full of grace and will be sorely missed.

Richard Roberts

January 11, 2019

The biggest gift Vassar men receive is the chance to live among and learn from and be led by a host of extraordinarily gifted, dedicated, and compassionate women. Kay surely was one of them. We’ll all miss her.

Fran Fergusson

January 9, 2019

I was so saddened to hear of Kay's passing. She was, without a doubt, one of Vassar's finest alumnae, a woman who personified all the good values of service to society and commitment to Vassar that one could possibly imagine or articulate. I loved my frequent meetings with her and was always invigorated by her ideas, her enthusiasm and her energy. It's hard to imagine any alumna who did more for Vassar and its graduates.
With loving remembrance,
Fran Fergusson
Vassar College President, 1986-2006

deborah Weir

January 8, 2019

George took this picture of Kay working on the Pen Women poetry book in 2013 with, from left to right: me, Joyce French (President), Kay and Catherine Stahl. We were on Catherine's lovely deck.

Alison Hyde

January 6, 2019

Kay and I met at what I think was the Vassar Sesquicentennial celebration. We were seated up front, perhaps as AAVC former board members. By chance, our husbands were together in a facing row a few rows back. As we talked, we became new friends and we found out that Kay's good VC friend, Marie Garvey, lived in my town of East Aurora. Marie and I went to Vassar Club meetings in Buffalo together when the ladies used to have tea and interesting speakers. Kay and I talked often on the phone after that and always wanted to get together at Vassar, but that's far from Western New York. Our friendship grew and I brought Kay's letters and messages to Marie and messages back to her. Saying farewell to these dear friends in the same year makes me sad, but full to gratitude for knowing them both. Alison Church Hyde '59

Stephen Hankins

December 31, 2018

We are so saddened to hear of Kay's death. Her dedication to her alma mater, Vassar, will be remembered for generations. Among her many volunteer roles, Kay served as President of the then 25,000 strong Alumnae/i Association from 1978-1982. She was honored for her service on multiple occasions, including receipt of the Association's Outstanding Service Award in 2004 (photo attached). Her tireless energy, innumerable contributions, and undying love for Vassar will inspire generations. Every Vassar alum, whose ranks now number almost 40,000, is indebted to Kay for her service. Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the Langan Family for its loss of this great woman. Salve.
Steve Hankins
Vassar '85, Parent '13 & '17
President, Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College

Deborah Weir

December 30, 2018

Greenwich Pen Women will always remember her warmth and humor. I will remember working on our poetry book, WOMEN’S VOICES OF THE 21st CENTURY, with her. We had so much fun!