Kenneth Ivan Langley Jr., 75, of Burnet died March 27, 2013. He was born June 10, 1937, to Kenneth Ivan Langley and Minnie Roth Langley in Portales, N.M.
He graduated from high school in 1955 in Tucumcari, N.M. Upon graduation from the University of New Mexico in 1959, he received a commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force.
He married the love of his life, Sue Suggs, in January 1960. In March 1960, he went on active duty at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. His first “operational” assignment as a navigator/radar inputs and countermeasures officer was at Minot Air Force Base in Minot, N.D. He was in the Air Defense Command at Minot as part of Semi Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) until it was phased out in 1963. He went on to fly as an electronic warfare officer and navigator in EB-57 aircraft and worked at air-training defense forces (both ground and air) in operating in an electronic countermeasures environment at Hill Air Force Base in Ogden, Utah.
He was involved in a mid-air collision while stationed at Hill Air Force Base as he was flying out of the Seattle area. An F-106 jet interceptor, while running an intercept on his plane in an ECM environment, flew into the left wing of his plane. They were able to land with a single engine. Unfortunately, the F-106 crashed into the ocean and F-106 pilot was never found.
In 1967, he went to Takli Royal Thai Air Force Base in Takli, Thailand. He flew as an electronic warfare officer in the RB-66 for more than 100 combat missions over North Vietnam. His next assignment took him to Eglin Air Force Base at Fort Walton Beach, Fla., where he was a test engineer/electronic warfare officer/weapons systems officer in Systems Command. At Eglin, he flew on test missions in the F-111, a supersonic swing wing fighter, and the B-52 Flying Fortress doing tests on electronic warfare equipment in development as well as weapons compatibility and separation tests for new munitions.
His next assignment took him across the pond to RAF Upper Heyford England. He flew as a weapons system officer in the F-111. He returned to the States with an assignment to Cannon Air Force Base in Clovis, N.M., where he flew the F-111 as a radar strike officer until his retirement as a lieutenant colonel in 1980 as a master nNavigator.
He was awarded the following awards and decorations: Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal with 11 Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon, Combat Readiness Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Ribbon with three Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Air Presidential Unit Citation, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Device, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and Armed Forces Reservist Medal.
After his retirement from the Air Force, he purchased Plains Title and Abstract Inc. in Clovis, which he and Sue managed until 1999, when he retired again.
Upon his second retirement, he moved to Burnet, where he enjoyed the Highland Lakes and reflected on his travels that took him to see most of Europe, Russia, Greece and Spain. He built wonderful memories.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Sue; son Todd Langley and his family, Christine, Mason and Margot of Greenwood Village, Colo.; daughter, Toshia Lowe and husband Mike of Burnet; brother, Robert Langley and wife Trish of Albuquerque, N.M.; along with nieces and nephews, all of whom feel the vacancy of his sense of humor and his generous persona that he shared. His comic relief delighted all who knew him.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Herman Brown Free Library in Burnet or The American Heart Association.
Internment was March 30 at Flat Rock Cemetary with a 21-gun salute and the Highland Lakes Honor Guard.
Arrangements by Edgar Funeral Home, 109 N. Main St. in Burnet, (512) 756-4444. Friends may extend their condolences at http://edgarfh.com.