Shirley Ann Lang, of Mora, died and went home to be with the Lord peacefully surrounded by family at home on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021. It was just how she would have wanted it as she was not fond of being elsewhere. She was 87 years old.

Home truly was where her heart was, seeing her children grow and become parents and grandparents themselves. She took great pride in what all her children became in life and treasured their continued presence in her and Dad’s life.

Mom was born the first of five children, and the only girl to Lester and Florence (Tallman) Struckman on April 16, 1934. She and her family lived in North Minneapolis, where she soon became like a second mama to her four younger brothers. They kept Grandma Struckman and Mom very busy. That may have had something to do with her wanting to become a nun. She was totally in love with the Lord and saw no greater calling than to become a “Little sister of the poor.” That is until Art Lang came along looking like a movie star and all. Credit goes to Grandma and Grandpa Lang for finding and tracking her down for him. She quickly realized God had a hand in it as well, and they were united in marriage three months later on Nov. 26, 1960. She ended her employment as an elevator operator at the Sheridan Hotel and threw herself into becoming a wife and mother. The couple firmly believed children to be a gift from God and by September of 1975 they had 10 children. Their hearts were full.

Mom kept life interesting. She sent us to college courses for woodworking or poetry. She and Dad would take us on Sunday rides in the country sometimes stopping to visit Minnesota politicians. (She was very politically minded all her life.) We would visit manufacturing plants to see how things were made. (She always wanted to take a car totally apart and put it back together.) She taught us how to re-wire lamps or reupholster furniture. She eventually taught some of us her secrets of cooking…” Make everything with love.” Oh she was an awesome cook! She made sure to share this gift with many friends getting platters of food before any of us sat down to a holiday meal. 

She was truly Gods hands and taught us to think of others first. She loved nature and would cry just thinking about her trips with us to Lake Superior or the mountains out west. 

Mom and Dad moved to the countryside north of Mora after discovering the area during one of those Sunday drives. They had finally fulfilled Dad’s dream to live in the country. No more cramped backyard with rabbits, chickens and ducks. We really couldn’t believe it for a while. It was like a never-ending vacation for us kids. 

Mom put us all to work “cleaning up the pastures” with everyone in gloves with pails. We didn’t know those were cowpies. She had us planting gardens in the rain (best time she said), building fences and hauling a small building home on hay wagons. Soon we had quite a farm going – pigs, horses, chickens and Dad’s favorite, Jersey milk cows. I’ll never forget Mom fighting to get a wash rag out of a cow’s mouth after she slurped up the wash water out of mom’s bucket rag and all as Dad milked. That was quite a picture.  

Well, we certainly ate well. Soon we were using animals for other things like an annual live nativity at Christmas each year. Once Mom and Dad couldn’t manage the short trek to the barn we had it in Mom’s “big room” minus the animals. We would all take turns each year playing different parts, using the youngest family members as baby Jesus. Dad always had a comic moment and Mom as narrator, would just say “OK Dad!” Such good memories and priceless videos. Mom and Dad loved Christmas and taught us all its significance to our faith. 

When we had big family meals Mom would have us all hold hands and she prayed so beautifully. And then the football games (oh, she was an avid sports fan too) with the boys making 25 cent bets with her on big games. She took this very seriously.  

Mom found so many ways to encourage us and the grandchildren, taking the time to learn what our passions were; whether politics, sports, drawing, flowers, writing, science, music, nature, cooking or traveling she loved it all. She taught us to appreciate the moments in life. Don’t take it for granted. She taught us to treasure one another, to reach out to others as Jesus would and most importantly to pray. Pray like Jesus is right there next to you because HE is. Her desire to reach others with Christ’s love as a young woman was realized with all of us and those who were blessed to know her.  Passing on this desire to see Jesus working in our lives was her greatest achievement and highest joy. May others always see our mom through us – that will make her smile.

Mom- you will be missed beyond measure but we know you are with the Lord and Dad forever. We will all be together again.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Art; son-in-law, Steve Linn; daughter-in-law, Julie Lang; and brothers, Don, Jerry, Duck and John Struckman.

She is survived by her children, Terry, Steven, Virginia (Byron) Anderson, Mary Jo Linn, Jim (Janis), Catherine (Steve) Porter, John (Qi Ling Huang), Sarah (Karl) Barwin, David and Susan (Josh) Hartman; 20 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-granddaughter; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

A funeral service was held on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021, at St. Kathryn’s Catholic Church in Ogilvie with Fr. Derek Wiechmann officiating. Burial was in Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis. Arrangements are being handled by Akkerman Ingebrand Funeral Home. Condolences may be posted at

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