Lange, Gordon

hgordonlangeGordon Lange, the son of Henry Lange and Julia Agusta Constance Carlson, was born in New York, NY on July 22, 1908.  He married Barbara Wolfe Pearson on June 15, 1932 in Swarthmore, PA.  On Wednesday, June 15, 1932, one of the hottest days that whole summer, Gordon Carlson Lange and Barbara Wolfe Peterson were married in the Friends Meeting House on the Swarthmore College Campus.  Gordon’s brother Stanley, just off crutches from his broken leg, was best man, Barbara’s sister Ellen was maid of honor , and her niece Ellen was flower Girl.  Sourch: The Sunshine Man, p. 156.  The newlyweds honeymooned on Cape Cod,driving the new convertible Grandma Carlson had given them.  They also spent three weeks in the virgin Islands, then continued by boat to other islands on the way home.

When Gordon was 35 years old, he was called to duty  in the Army.  Being a Quaker, and a conscientious objector, but wanting to help his country, he agreed to serve if they could put him in a non-combat position.  He attended Medical Technicians School and graduated one of the top ten out of 500, but when they discovered his background in theatre, the reassigned him to the Entertainment Branch of the Special Services Division.

In June 1944, when Josie was only nine months old and Gordon was still in the Army, Barbara moved the family to a new home.  So, with Gordon’s parents paying the down payment, they bought their first house at 319 Cedar Lane, across the street from the Swarthmore College President’s house.  Built before World War I, the house had once been a tea room, where teenaged Barbara had waited tables to earn extra money.

Gordon served a total of 18 months in the Army, was in New York City for VJ Day and released a few months later.

Gordon died on November 2, 1979.


Gordon Carlson Lange

International environmental consultant Gordon Carlson Lange, 71, died Friday November 2, after a short illness.  A resident of Swarthmore, Pa., Mr. Lange lectured throughout the country on creativity and environmental affairs and is the author of The Survival Game, a book on creative solutions to environmental problems.  He participated in environmental conferences in Stockholm, Rome, Caracas, and Toronto, was on the Energy Advisory Committee of the Penjerdel Council, and an adviser to the National League of Cities.  A native of New York City, Mr. Lange was also on the Board of Directors of Weber, Bunke, Lange Coal company, founded by his father, Henry J. Lange

Mr. Lange received a B.A. and M.A. in English Literature from Colgate University and attended Yale University’s School of Drama.  He as director of dramatics at Scripps College and Stanford University before turning to professional theatre as director and producer with the Federal Theatre in San Francisco.  He returned to the east to work in the coal business, for sixteen years associated with the Dickson Fuel Corporation in Philadelphia, becoming Vice President.

During World War II, Mr. Lange served as Entertainment Director in the Army Special Services Division, supervising shows for service men in hospitals.  He was a consultant and manufacturer’s representative for new products, and for the past thirty-five years gave his energies to a variety of positions that reflected his unending interest and concern for all peoples.  He served with the National Association of Mental Health, helped organize the 1964 Ne Year’s Eve Bell Ringer Ball in New York’s Grand Central Station.  He was active in the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Poor Richard Club, and the Leadership Council of the Creative Education Foundation.

Know for his contributions to Quakerism, Mr Lange initiated and promoted Friends Family Work Camps, served many years on the Social Order Committee of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, and was a teacher and superintendent of the Swarthmore First Day School.

He was a cubmaster in Swarthmore, a treasurer of Home and School, founder and First Vice President of the Swarthmore Swim Club, and founder and executive director of the Swarthmore Creative and Development Service, a consulting organization for retired executives.

Mr. Lange is survived by his wife, Barbara Pearson Lange, dean of Women Emeritus of Swarthmore College; a brother, H. Stanley Lange; three children, Julie Lange Hall, Jonathan T. Lange, Josie Lange Seymour, and nine grandchildren, all grateful for the 71 years he spent celebrating life.

A memorial service will be held at 4 P.M. Friday, November 9, in the Swarthmore Friends Meeting House on the college campus.  Contributions in his memory may be made to UNICEF or Swarthmore Friends Meeting, Swarthmore, PA.

Source: The Sunshine Man, p. 251

Children of Gordon and Barbara were:





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