Langseth more than his resume

The Rev. Robert V. Langseth celebrating his 89th birthday

A man’s heart and soul are found beyond the words of his obituary.

Funeral directors do an incredible job of gathering the details of a deceased man’s life: dates of birth, death and marriage, places of employment and worship, and lists of surviving and deceased relatives.

With the framework established, a man’s legacy may often emerge through additional surprising or impressive details. He could be a longstanding business owner, a record-setting athlete, an industry-changing inventor or even the namesake of a three-story dormitory at Kisarawe Lutheran Junior Seminary in honor of his many mission trips and efforts to expand the Tanzania, Africa, seminary.

This admirable detail about the Rev. Robert V. Langseth, of Calumet, who passed away Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023, came as no shock, even though he never specifically shared this fact with me.

We regularly shared lunch – although most recently breakfast specials at lunchtime at Victoria’s Kitchen, where he and wife Deloris always seemed to grab the bill despite my best efforts, but eggs and toast were not the only nourishment.

What started out as professional when he walked into the Daily Mining Gazette office 13 months ago to welcome me to the Keweenaw quickly became personal. A formidable man with a room-commanding voice became the quiet and reassuring support I didn’t know I needed.

Positive interactions and mutual respect were the norm between Pastor Bob, Deloris and me. When I received an email entitled “Lunch to share grieving?” in November, I felt the impact of this newly formed relationship. I was no longer the new publisher guiding the Gazette’s future in the community; instead, Bob simply saw me as a fellow human struggling with vulnerability and heartbreak. Bob, Deloris and I took turns sharing memories of my mother and their beloved daughter Ronda. We laughed; we cried.

When Bob heard of my father-in-law’s passing just four months after the loss of my mother, he sent reassurance: “Wherever love abides, there also dwells pain and loss.”

Subsequent meetings also found us engaged in celebration. A new snowblower, a family wedding, a grandson’s college graduation, a Major League Baseball home opener and a successful hip surgery were all causes for rejoicing. Bob had a special way of putting all of life’s ups and downs in perspective.

He had a passion for civic service. A faith and community leader, Bob became a force in local organizations, such as Main Street Calumet and Keweenaw National Historical Park. At 90 years old, he was not only attending meetings, he was contributing to the advancement of these groups. He advocated for progress, fairness and common sense. He made sure this Pennsylvania newcomer was introduced to people in the right positions. If Bob suggested I meet someone, I did.

Bob and I last communicated via email last Friday after he spoke publicly at a KNHP meeting about the value of a daily newspaper in the community.

With his passing, the Copper Country has lost one of its staunchest supporters – and so have I.


Visitation for Bob Langseth will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. today at Faith Lutheran Church, Calumet, where a funeral service will follow at 1 p.m.

A livestream of the service will be available on the Faith Lutheran Church of Calumet Facebook page.

Read his obituary here.

Daily Mining Gazette publisher Candace Wolf can be reached at cwolf@mininggazette.com.


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