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'Mr. Agua Dulce' mourned

Owner of KMA Farms passes away at 63

Posted: January 15, 2009 10:11 p.m.
Updated: January 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Many in the tightly knit Agua Dulce community referred to Dick Lang as Mr. Agua Dulce. They knew him as a generous, humble man whose family helped shape the history of the rugged valley on the northeastern outskirts of the Santa Clarita Valley.

"He was an incredible human being who was probably the most prominent, well-known person in this town, who intertwined his life with most people in this town," said Patricia Brewer, owner of Agua Dulce Hardware. "He was admired, adored, respected and very low-key and unpretentious."

Richard "Dick" Lang died unexpectedly Jan. 4, in Valencia. He was 63.

Hundreds attended Lang's memorial service, which concluded with a military flyover Saturday at Eternal Valley Mortuary in Newhall.

"At his service, there were people there that hardly knew him," Brewer said. "They came because they heard of him and wished they had known him more because he was a great human being,"

Lang was born on June 22, 1945, in Glendale, Calif. He graduated from Granada Hills High School and entered the Air Force after graduation. He owned KMA Farms and the AE Schmidt Company.

Lang accomplished much in his lifetime including flying a food mission to Bangladesh, according to local volunteer historian Jo Ellen Rismanchi.

Lang owned an airplane and loved to fly. He was generous and kind and is described as a farmer at heart, said his wife, Sandra Lang.

"He farmed behind (my) store and farmed alfalfa just because farming was something he loved to do," Brewer said. "He was just everywhere here; he was a part of everything. He has little farms everywhere. He was the guy in charge of all these businesses, and yet you'd see him out there bailing hay and riding around."

As Brewer remembered Lang, she described a picture of him, "Farmer Dick," riding his tractor with his dog beside him.

Doreetha Daniels never personally knew Lang, but as a long-time Agua Dulce resident, she is familiar with his legacy.

"He was always willing to donate to different organizations and things that were going on," Daniels said.

"He was always willing to participate and do what he could do. He was influential in getting the commercial area started."

Lang is survived by his sister Linda, of Canyon Country; his brother Jimmy; his wife Sandra; his sons, Joe and Chad; and grandchildren, Devin and Madison.

The family requested donations be made to John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica.

Signal intern Elston He contributed to this report.

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