Alexandria resident Morton Langstaff passed away December 7, 2009, from complications due to pneumonia. He was 80 years old. Born November 22, 1929 in Paducah, Kentucky, he attended Sewanee Military Academy. He moved to Virginia in 1949, where he served in the Air Force drum and bugle corps at Bolling Air Force Base. He attended Sewanee: The University of the South and George Washington University. He and his wife Cathy lived in Arlington for eight years before settling in Alexandria, in 1962, where they resided in the Rosemont neighborhood for 38 years. For the past decade they have lived at Watergate at Landmark in Alexandria.
Langstaff worked at the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative and in the 1960′s for Congressman Frank Stubblefield, a Kentucky Democrat. He spent most of his career in the real estate business, employed by Macklin Hansen Real Estate and, Kettler Brothers at Southwood in Alexandria, and in 1975 established his own firm Langstaff Real Estate.
But his true vocation was music. In 1984 he helped to develop the West End Dinner Theater in Alexandria to present Broadway-style community productions. He also participated in many shows at the Little Theater of Alexandria, singing and acting along side his daughter Molly Langstaff. An accomplished piano player and consummate joke teller, Langstaff performed at the JW Marriott Hotel Washington DC for more then a decade, and often appeared at Washington metro area restaurants including Phillips Seafood, 219, The Serbian Crown, and St. Elmo’s. For the past twenty years he played annually for the Alexandria Bar Association Gridiron show, and played gigs at Goodwin House retirement communities in Alexandria and Falls Church. He was a member of Columbia Pike Community Chorus, and the Trinity Episcopal Church in Arlington, VA Chancel Choir, where he also served in the vestry and taught Sunday school.
When he wasn’t playing piano, Langstaff could either be found on the golf course or volunteering in the community. He worked at the 1994 and 1996 Presidents Cup at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Prince William County, was on the City of Alexandria Real Estate Assessment Board, served on the vocational education program board at TC Williams High School, taught real estate training courses at NOVA and community classes, and volunteered his services for the Carpenter’s Shelter for the homeless.
Morton is survived by his wife of 57 years Cathryn Langstaff, children Molly Langstaff (Alexandria, VA), son Bradshaw and daughter-in-law Kerry Langstaff, daughter Kathryn L. Langstaff and son-in-law Stuart Cowan, and his two granddaughters Kelly Langstaff (New York, NY) and Sophia Cowan.
A celebration of his life will be held January 17, 2 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church at 2217 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA. 703-920-7077. He will be interred at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. The family suggests that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Molly Langstaff Continuing Education Fund. Molly has been unemployed for more then a year, and is taking classes at NOVA to train for re-entry into the workplace. The funds will be used for her tuition and supplies.
To contribute checks can be sent to:
Trinity Episcopal Church
2217 Columbia Pike, Arlington, VA 22204
ATTN: Molly Langstaff Continuing Education Fund