Pat Langdon, a Father Ryan icon, dies at age 80

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From his first day at Father Ryan High School as a student in the fall of 1954 to the last day of his 43-year career as a teacher there, Pat Langdon loved the school. 

“He just was all in,” said Father Ryan Principal Paul Davis, who was a student of Mr. Langdon’s and later a colleague on the school’s faculty. “Whenever there was something that needed to be done, he was willing to do it.” 

Besides teaching a variety of topics, his other duties included decorating for the school prom, working the concession stand for basketball games and wrestling matches, and coordinating detention. 

“He was a challenging teacher, but you were always prepared,” Davis said. “He loved his students. That was evident.” 

Patrick Allen “Pat” Langdon, 80, died peacefully at home on July 8, 2021, wearing one of his favorite purple Father Ryan alumni t-shirts. A funeral Mass was celebrated on July 12 at Christ the King Church in Nashville, where he was a parishioner. 

“It was a celebration of life,” Davis said of the funeral, which included eulogies by several of his children and a nephew. “They captured the essence of Pat Langdon. A lot of laughs, a lot of fond memories.” 

“Patrick was one of a kind,” recalled his family. “He was loud, outspoken, and never shy to use a cuss word, but he was also loving, kind, and devoted to his faith, his family, his friends, his students, and Father Ryan High School.” 

Mr. Langdon was born on Aug. 18, 1940, the youngest son of Aloysius and Minnie Duncan Langdon. His twin sister, Patricia, died at 2 years old. “He carried her in his heart throughout his life and often said that Patricia was the one who would help him get to heaven,” said his family. 

The Langdon family lived next door to Assumption Church in North Nashville, where Mr. Langdon attended church as a child and graduated from the parish school. “For many years, Pat, his brothers, and other family members, loved singing in the choir on Sunday at the Assumption Church,” his family said. “After Mass, the whole family would have lunch at the family home, where he and his four brothers would sit at the dinner table and talk politics.” 

Mr. Langdon graduated from Father Ryan in 1958. While a student he was active with the Journalism Club, was a cheerleader, played in the school band, took to the stage as a Purple Masque Player, and served as the Senior Class Secretary. 

He graduated from St Bernard’s College in Cullman, Alabama, with a degree in history and later received his Master’s in Education at Middle Tennessee State University. Mr. Langdon returned to Father Ryan as a teacher in 1965 and remained on the faculty, with one brief respite, until 2010. 

Most of those years he taught religion and Latin. He was joined on the Father Ryan faculty by his brother James, and to differentiate which Mr. Langdon they were referring to, students affectionately nicknamed them “Fat Pat” and “Slim Jim.”  

“Pat left an indelible impression on those who had the privilege of teaching with him and learning from him,” Father Ryan President Jim McIntyre said. “His was a life that reflected our mission to be a living experience of the Gospel.” 

“No matter the subject, no matter the year, Pat always welcomed time spent with his students in a Father Ryan classroom,” Davis said. “You saw it in his smile, which was always present, and you saw it in the joy he took from teaching. He embraced this vocation as an opportunity to impart knowledge and to gain knowledge, and in this respect, he never stopped going to school.  I was honored to be his colleague and will miss his joyful presence among our community.” 

For many summers, Mr. Langdon worked at his other favorite place, Camp Marymount, where his infectious personality and fun nature made him a favorite among the staff and campers. 

“Patrick loved crossword puzzles, reading, watching the History Channel and sipping on Gentleman Jack Bourbon,” his family recalled. “Without a doubt, his favorite thing to do was his weekly visits with his best friend, Tom Seigenthaler, playing backgammon, talking politics, or going fly fishing.” 

Mr. Langdon was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers David, Joseph and William, his sister Patricia, his sisters-in-law Anita and Martha, and longtime best friend Tom Seigenthaler. 

Survivors include his wife of 31 years, Linda; his children, Joe (Julie) Langdon, Amy Langdon, Ann (Kevin) McGee, Margaret (Joe) Huffaker, Thomas (Kelley) Langdon, Marnie (Carl) Heinemann, Michael (Teresa) Rohling and Carrie (Raza) Hussain; brother James (Nancy) Langdon; sister-in-law Nancy Garner Langdon; grandchildren Rachel, Caroline, Payton, Matthew, Jack, Will, Caitlin, Wyatt, Monica, Cliff, Audrey, Conner, John and Marley; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

The family expressed their gratitude to Laurel, Linda, Sarah and Stephanie at Comfort Care Hospice for their love and care. 

Memorial contributions can be made to the Langdon Family Tuition Assistance Fund at Father Ryan High School or to Camp Marymount. 

Marshall Donnelly Combs Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. 

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