Valdosta Daily Times

February 13, 2013

Harley Langdale, Jr.


The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Harley Langdale, Jr., 98, of Valdosta, died on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013. He was born in Lynchburg, Va., on Sept. 8, 1914, the oldest of four children to Harley and Thalia Lee Langdale. After graduating from Valdosta High School, he attended the Citadel before transferring to the University of Georgia to study Forestry. He was the first person from Lowndes County to receive a BSF Degree in Forestry from UGA. Mr. Langdale became the third Registered Forester in the state of Georgia. On Aug. 21, 1943, he married the former Eileen Cox of Valdosta. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Valdosta.

Mr. Langdale was actively engaged in practicing forestry and developing markets for forest products since 1937 and was a consistent leader in the industry for over 70 years. Under his leadership, The Langdale Company and its affiliates grew from a small turpentine and land holding company into a fully integrated diversified forest products company.

As a forester, he was deeply committed to the preservation and protection of all natural resources. He always focused his efforts to grow more and better trees per acre and to find markets for wood products that would be available to landowners and forest managers. Mr. Langdale, one of the first business environmentalists, helped convert a timber industry that traditionally left the land stripped of its trees into a forest products industry that managed the land and its products for future business and recreational uses. He saw the land support several generations of trees and more wild game than ever. In the process, he dramatically expanded forest products for consumers and created employment for communities throughout southern Georgia.  

In addition to serving as Chairman of The Langdale Company for many years, Mr. Langdale served in various business and philanthropic capacities. He served as a Director of Georgia Southern and Florida Railway Co. for 39 years, Director for the Citizens and Southern National Bank for over 29 years and a member of their Executive Committee for over 10 years, Director of Georgia International Life Insurance Co., Trustee of the Herty Foundation for 25 years, Chairman and President of Southern Forest Products Association, President of Forest Farmers Association, President of the Georgia Forestry Association, Chairman of the Forest Research Society - Southeastern Section, Chairman of the Society of American Foresters-Southeastern Section, Chairman of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Industrial Authority during the first five years that it was established, Treasurer and member of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Hospital Authority for 23 years, and a Founder and Trustee of the South Georgia Medical Center Foundation.

As acknowledgment of his contributions to the forest industry and Georgia, he had received the National Forest Products Association’s Forest Management Award, Georgia Man of the Year Service to Agriculture Progressive Farmer Award, Forest Farmer Award, J.W. Fanning Leadership Georgia Award, University of Georgia School of Forest Resources‚ Distinguished Alumnus Award, and Georgia Forestry Association Wise Owl Award and had been inducted into the Society of American Foresters Georgia Foresters Hall of Fame.  

He was preceded in death by his wife, Eileen Cox Langdale; his brother, John W. Langdale; his brother and sister-in-law, W.P. (Billy) and Jacquelyn Langdale; his sister, Virginia Langdale Miller of Augusta.

He is survived by his sister-in-law, Margaret Jones Langdale of Valdosta, as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews and a family of employees.

A funeral service for Mr. Langdale will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, at First Baptist Church in Valdosta. The Rev. Mac Weaver will officiate. Entombment will follow in Sunset Hill Cemetery. Visitation will be held at First Baptist Church on Thursday morning from 10 a.m. until service time.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Langdale Hospice House or the charity of your choice. Condolences may be conveyed at www.mclanecares.com        — Carson McLane Funeral Home