Bill K Langford

March 3, 1947 ~ February 19, 2024 (age 76) 76 Years Old

Bill Langford Obituary

William “Bill” Langford, 76, of Moscow, ID, passed away peacefully on February 19, 2024, surrounded by his family after an incredible fight against chronic illness. A seeming force of nature and genuine character in his lifetime, Bill remained true to himself to the very end.

One of Bill’s lasting legacies among his family and friends was his gift for storytelling. Born among natural storytellers in Spokane, WA in 1947, he learned to hone his craft in Kellogg, ID with his parents, Gordon and Elizabeth “Lib” Langford, and older brother, Dick. He had many stories of the characters he encountered in town and in class, from local miners to the lunch ladies in the cafeteria, to taking unexpected driving detours through neighbors’ front yards. He graduated from Kellogg High School in 1965 and later went on to create more stories at the University of Idaho while pursuing a degree in business, graduating in 1970. As a Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity brother, he seemed to take particular interest in pranking the sorority sisters of the Pi Beta Phi sorority across the street. One such Pi Phi, Caren Castellaw, caught his attention, and the pair soon began dating. During a blizzard in December 1971, Bill married Caren at the First Presbyterian Church in Moscow, ID, formally joining the Castellaw family, who themselves were all gifted at spinning a tale.

Active in the Navy ROTC at the U of I, Bill shipped out as a lieutenant to Bermuda just after their wedding, where he and Caren started their new lives as a military couple. He officially spent his time in the Navy tracking Soviet nuclear submarines throughout the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, but unofficially lived life as interestingly as one could in Bermuda, Grand Turk, Rota, and Naples.

After years of service, Bill was finally stationed in Charleston, SC where he discharged and began life again as a civilian. It was there, among a nest of great friends, that Bill and Caren had their first child, Nate. Within two years, Bill received a job offer from his in-laws in Idaho, Don and Gerry, to work as a salesman for their business, Empire, Inc. Bill and Caren packed up two cars, three dogs, two cats and a toddler and drove across the country to start their life yet again in Twin Falls. It was there that Bill and Caren welcomed their second child, Adria, before Bill received a promotion to manage Empire, Inc. After relocating to the main office in Moscow, Bill worked for Empire, Inc. for many years until retiring from business in 2003. Just prior to that, Bill had spent time in Montana assisting in his brother Dick’s passing as part of his hospice support, which inspired a major career shift at 56 years old. He soon after became certified as a Nursing Assistant and signed on as a CNA and Restorative Aide at Good Samaritan Village in Moscow. He always felt strongly about the valuable care hospice had provided for his brother, and he used his new skills to care for his mother while she was a resident at Good Samaritan Village, among many others. He stayed on with her there until the end of his mother’s life in 2016, retiring himself less than a year later in 2017.

There were few sins Bill held above missing a daily sit-down dinner, where his real passion for storytelling unfolded. Generations of family stories populated an evening around the table, where all members participated in what Nate has referred to as “full-contact storytelling.” As Nate and Adria’s partners would later learn, it was imperative for everyone to tell stories around the table, but you would have to find your own way in, and you had better tell a good story; Bill was not known for his poker face. Each story told was part of a legacy, but it was also a competition, and there was little worse in his eyes than a story that failed to meet a certain level of humor or gravitas.

It would be hard to characterize Bill as someone who lacked passion, or especially an opinion, but he will be remembered by his family as a father who cared fiercely for them and endlessly supported his children in achieving success and independence in life. His greatest concern as a husband was the happiness and comfort of his wife.

Bill is predeceased by his parents B. Gordon and Elizabeth (Ginder) Langford, his brother Richard and sister-in-law Carol (Barnes) Langford, his sister Sarah Langford, and his father- and mother-in-law Donald and Geraldine (Potter) Castellaw. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Caren, son Nathan (partner Mark Lipman), daughter Adria (Cody) Montgomery, grandchildren Delaney and Lillian Montgomery, brother-in-law Bob (Gloria) Castellaw, brother-in-law Greg (Shauna) Castellaw, and many nieces and nephews. Bill also leaves behind numerous friends, both in Moscow and worldwide, most of whom have been immortalized in story, whether they know it or not.

Bill’s family would like to extend a special thank you to Colleen and Johnny Kellas, Megan Klemesrud, Kirsten and Keegan Fulton, Kathy and Alan Avery, Julie Thomas, Dr. Raymond Paz, Dalit Waller, Irene Martyniuk, Bruce Pitman, the nurses of Gritman Hospital, and the staff of Paradise Creek of Cascadia, who blessed his family for nearly a year with compassionate care, unwavering friendship and a great joke or story when they needed it. They cannot thank you enough.

Bill’s remains will be cremated, and a celebration of life will take place at the University Inn in Moscow on Thursday, February 29th from 4-7 pm in the Silver Room. All are welcome to join in the storytelling. A private family interment will occur at a later date. In lieu of flowers or gifts, Bill’s family requests donations be sent in his honor to Moscow Volunteer Fire Department, 229 Pintail Lane, Moscow ID 83843.

In the end, Bill left the last task of telling his own story to his family, and we hope to have done right by his legacy. No doubt we will hear about it in a dream if we haven’t!

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Celebration of Life
February 29, 2024

4:00 PM
University Inn - Best Western
1516 Pullman Rd
Moscow, Idaho 83843


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