Madrona Society – leaving a legacy for Whatcom County

The Madrona tree is deeply rooted in its place. Its roots add stability to the tree’s environment, as Madrona Society members do to our community.

Madrona Society Spotlight: Francis and Dorothy Lang

Dorothy Lang grew up in Ferndale. Her family included some of the early settlers of Whatcom County. Francis (Frank) Lang was born to an immigrant family in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  As the youngest of eight children, he shared many stories of his life as a child during the depression with no money and no father. Times were hard but this inspired a strong work ethic in Frank. After his mother died, in his late teens, Frank began working in a linen factory to help support the family.

As fate would have it, years later Dorothy and Frank met at a dance in Bellingham. Frank was visiting during leave from the Whidbey Island Naval Base and it didn’t take long for him to become enthralled by the tall blonde. Romance bloomed into marriage soon after and their new life began. During this time, Frank was called to active duty. As a navigator on PV1 scout airplane, Frank was sent on tour in the Pacific. After the war in 1946, the Lang family resumed life in Whatcom County and purchased a modest home on Cedarwood St, which they lived in the rest of their lives. Frank and Dorothy were married for 61 years. 

As life progressed, Frank worked at a print shop in Bellingham for many years, and finished his working life, as a janitor at the court house. Dorothy worked in the Whatcom County assessor’s office. She was the assistant assessor for many years. After retirement, each followed their passions. Frank felt he had traveled enough in the service and stayed home to do what he loved to do most, gardening. Planting roots in Whatcom County.  Dorothy took yearly trips hosted by the Bellingham Senior Center. She traveled to Australia, Africa and Europe and through the Senior Center developed many friendships and travel partners. Dorothy dearly loved the Senior Center, a place where she would meet with friends and live her most empowered life.

After living in Whatcom County for more than 50 years, Francis (Frank) and Dorothy Lang left an enduring legacy for our community. The Langs gifted a $2.4 million bequest to the Whatcom Community Foundation to benefit the Bellingham Senior Activity Center. This bequest underwrites many wellness programs including; flu clinics, dental care, strength training, meal preparation, hiking clubs and more. Enabling others to benefit from this incredible resource and thrive locally.

Since 2013, the Francis and Dorothy Lang Endowed Fund has distributed more than $500,000 to the Whatcom Council on Aging, the host organization of the Bellingham Senior Activity Center. Their legacy and enduring love story lives on through the Madrona Society.

Madrona Society members provide a foundation for new life to grow.  It is LOVE transitioned.

You can make a lasting difference to the community you love. Learn more here: Madrona Society