Mary Helen Langston passed away peacefully at home under the care of Sangre De Cristo Hospice on Thursday, June 1, 2017, from pancreatic cancer. She was born the last of four children to her mother, Pearl Rogers, and father, Amos Rogers, of Dalton on July 3, 1948. Her two sisters, Wilma Rogers Guthrie and Juanita Rogers Dyer, and her brother, Jerry Rogers, all grew up living a simple country life in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia. The Southern kindness and values instilled in her by her family would stay with her the rest of her life.
Helen was bitten by the wanderlust bug early in life as she became an avid reader of books that opened many windows to worlds she wanted to see. She left the security of family and friends to strike off on her own in the big city of Atlanta where she went to school and began her work life. At 19 she met her husband, Dante Langston, and married in April of 1968 a few months before he was drafted into the Vietnam War.
Helen is survived by her two sisters, her husband, Dante; son, Hamilton Langston; and many nieces, nephews and cousins in Georgia. Her brother, Jerry Rogers, passed away in 2015 after battling cancer.
As an organizer and leader of bicycle and river trips, Helen found a spiritual home and friends for life while working and living at the Nantahala Outdoor Center in the 1980s and '90s. In 1983, Helen and Dante traveled west and canoed the Salmon River. Seven months later she would have her first and only child, Hamilton. Once having moved out west, Helen became an avid hiker and skier of Colorado's many fourteeners.
Helen taught for school districts RE 1, 2 and 11 Colorado Springs, specializing in working with children with autism. She traveled every chance she got, including volunteering for Habitat for Humanity in Honduras and serving as a safety monitor for sled dogs during several Iditarod races.
A celebration of life was held at her home for friends and family on Saturday. A memorial service will be held locally at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations will be accepted for the local Zonta chapter, of which Helen was a member. Zonta is an international organization that empowers women through service and advocacy (zontaroyalgorge.org).
Announcement courtesy of Dalton Funeral Home.
Published on June 12, 2017