Elsie Mehlhop Lang

Honored by:Julie B. Lang
Brick location:E:14  map

July 11, 1921 – October 29, 2009

Elsie was born to Henry W. Mehlhop and Emma Erichsen Mehlhop on July 11, 1921, in Remsen, Iowa. She grew up on the family farm with a brother and two older sisters: George, Alma, and Marie. At Remsen High School, Elsie met her future husband, Allen. Allen and Elsie both attended Iowa State University, where Elsie graduated in 1942 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Foods and Nutrition. She was employed as Assistant to the Director of Food Service for Iowa State Teacher's College (now UNI) from 1942 – 43. On March 18, 1943, Elsie and Allen were married in Ames.

Elsie, Allen, and baby Allen G. Lang moved to Iowa City, where Allen began his veterinary practice. Elsie took pride in her accomplishments as a professional homemaker as she and Allen raised five children, moving from a home on Brown Street in the city, to “Pinehurst” on Prairie du Chien Road. Elsie transformed each house into a home, utilizing her expert skill in sewing, cooking, and design. She also devoted one day a week to bookkeeping at the veterinary office.

Elsie leaves to her offspring a legacy of artistic creation, culinary skills, and deep appreciation for friends and family. She created wedding gowns, quilts, calligraphy wall hangings, and braided rugs for her children. Each grandchild received a hand knitted or crocheted afghan for their twelfth birthday. The kitchen was the heart of her home, and from it emerged preserved garden produce, nutritious daily meals for an ever-expanding family, elaborate baked goods, and experiments with the latest recipes. Elsie regularly stayed in touch with college friends and family through long hand-written letters. Lucky recipients enjoyed newsy, humorous stories, written in impeccable penmanship.

The community organizations of TTT and Eastern Star attracted Elsie, and she rose to positions of leadership in both. She participated in several of her children's activities, serving as a Girl Scout and a 4-H leader. In honor of her contributions to 4-H, Elsie was named an honorary Johnson County 4-H member. She was also a member of Altrusa International, a women's professional organization. A long-time volunteer at Mercy Hospital, Elsie was a Mercy Guild Life Member.

Of Allen and Elsie's five children, two graduated from Iowa State and one has made Ames his permanent home. Dr. Allen G. Lang (Joy Engel) Ames, IA; Tania Lang Burger (Beckey Phipps) Waltham, MA; Susan Lee (Stephen) Solon, IA; Becky Lang-Boyd ISU Vet Med '80 (Tom) Yakima, WA and Julie Lang ISU Ag '82, Peacham, VT.

As of 2009, Elsie was Grammie to eleven grandchildren and Great Grandma to twelve great-grandchildren:

Christy Lang DeGoey & Darin (Halley, Abbey, Marryk)
Jenny Lang Tuetken (Emma, Kate, Claire)
Jamie Lang & Dawn (Jackson, Beckett)
Rachael Burger & Hitesh Hathi (Mohan)
Alex Burger
Natasha Burger
Sam Lee
Amy Lee Ashbacker & Steve (Milo, Marin)
Kelvin Lee
Heidi Boyd
Eric Boyd

Submitted 8/27/95; updated 1/10/2014