William James Langstaff

Twining, Michigan
September 20, 1954 - July 26, 2016


Visitation will take place Monday August 1st from 10AM-12 Noon.

Service Location

Buresh Funeral Home - Twining Chapel


A memorial service will be held Monday August 1st at 12 noon.

Obituary Notice

William James Langstaff (61) passed suddenly on July 26, 2016 at his home in Twining. William was a 1972 graduate of LaSalle High School in St. Ignace, MI, a graduate of Central Michigan University, and a longtime teacher of math and physical education at Arenac Eastern Schools. Moreover, he was a son, father, brother, uncle, husband, and friend to many.

“Bill” was a resident of Arenac county for over 30 years, moving to the area after teaching for one year at Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart. It was in Twining that he set down roots with his wife of 33 years, Mary Jo (Card), and had three children John, Brian, and Marcy. Bill was the heart of his family and loved doing things with them. He coached baseball in the summers and vacationed to the family cabin at Petaguin Lake in Ontario. He took joy in fishing with his sons and daughter and nephew Daniel. He hunted in the fall on his land in Twining and spent countless hours each year cultivating food plots, scouting spots, and building blinds so he and the ones he loved could have a successful hunt. He built a home and life that his family is proud of.

Bill took joy in teaching others. He was an educator by profession, but he spent his years on this earth trying to help others through his labor. He worked hard at everything he did and had “projects” beyond count. Even after suffering a debilitating stroke in 2010, he worked diligently and optimistically to regain what he had lost and then some (except when the Tigers were playing!). His hours of work did not guarantee he would catch a trophy brook trout or bag a monster buck, but they did teach everyone who knew him what it took to be a great man. He was the first person his sons turned to when they needed advice. He was honest to a fault. Perhaps the thing that defined Bill the most was his sense of humor, and he used it frequently to brighten the lives of those who were lucky enough to know him. “Wild Bill”, his wit and his grin, will be missed by all.

Bill is survived by his wife Mary Jo (Card), his sons John (Teri) and Brian (Anna) Langstaff, and his daughter Marcy (Chad) Taylor. He is also survived by his sister Kay Langstaff and her children Jodie and Jordan, his mother-in-law Jean Card, and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Leonard and Ella Langstaff and his father-in-law Ken Card. Visitation will be held at Buresh Funeral Home at 15 W. Maple Ridge Rd. in Twining from 10 AM to noon on August 1, 2016 and a memorial service will be held at noon. A luncheon will follow at the Knights of Columbus Hall in AuGres.


There are no words or thoughts that can express the sadness in our hearts at the lose of a wonderful man and the mentor that Bill was. You are all in our thoughts and prayers, may God give you peace and strength in the days to come
— Ken & Sherry Waldie
Thoughts and prayers are with your family......So sorry for your loss.
— Dick and Sherry Jackson
Mr. Langstaff was good gym techer. He was the one that got me into softball. You will be truely missed
— Jennifer
We are all very saddened to hear of the loss of Bill. I can only imagine the devastation his family is experiencing. Our deepest condolences to all of you and our prayers are with you during this terrible time and in the days to come. Dwight, Diane Selle and family
— Diane Selle
We are so sorry for your loss.
No words can express our sincere sympathy at this time Alway in our thoughts and prayer the families. Sue snd Art Rivard
— Sue Rivard
The entire family is in my prayers. My most sincere condolences.
— Roberta
Wild Bill...I had the opportunity to see him at my retirement party as well as others from A.E. When I think of A.E. And what education meant to me..I need to start with the lessons Bill taught me. He was what educators were suppose to represent..my dear friend you will be missed by me and we'll as all the Ives you touched..to Mary Jo and kids keep those heads high your husband and father was a great inspiration to all he crossed paths with..
— Ray Locke
I am so sorry for your loss. Mr Langstaff was one of the best teachers AE had.He will truely be missed. Heaven has gained another angel. Prayers are with your family.
— June Lowes/Lee
Bill and Mary Jo Card are one of the very few people I allowed my daughter to spend the night with. They became her school family. Laikin traveled with them every year to Canada and once it was just Bill,Marcy and Laikin going. They actually got detained because this man had two young girls alone with him crossing the border lol. So many memories of this wonderful family. We know he's looking down at his family trying to figure a way to fix this too.. God bless you all. Craig and Patti Berry.
— Craig and Patti Berry
I am so sorry to hear of this loss. I was such a terrible student and, I'm sure a burden, to "Mr. Langstaff's" teaching career, but he never once lost his temper or his sense of humor. Not only did he tolerate me and my friends all through our years of terror at AE, he taught us too. He truly was a great educator and wonderful person. I am deeply saddened by your loss.
— James Kintner
Dear Mary Jo, John, Brian, and Marcy,

I cannot begin to put into words what Bill meant to me. Always supportive and understanding, he never questioned my decision to foster, even when I cried in exasperation at my kids' antics. He let me boss him around for years, even when I was a newbie. We worked so well together whether it was being Union rabble rousers down in Lansing or conspiring with kids to throw me into the pool when we co-advised together. A teacher through and through, Bill remained convinced that he could help me like math. I admired his tenacity, but remained steadfast in my refusal to give math a chance. At work I nagged him unmercifully...especially when Mary Jo shared any dietary restrictions. I was too lazy or too busy to carry my purse to lunch, so my daily refrain was "Bill, I need a dollar for the pop machine." He always obliged (and eventually started leaving my "paid back" dollar in his mailbox so I could help myself if he wasn't there!) Ten of the people I taught with retired in the same year, and it was hard to keep going, missing them at staff meetings, in-services, and events. Nevertheless, via graduation parties, weddings, and other social events we remained the kind of friends who could pick up instantly where we left off without missing a beat. When I was going stir crazy after foot surgery, it was Bill and Mary Jo who offered me recuperation time in Florida...well, OK, maybe it was more Mary Jo...each of these moments brings a smile to my face, yet tears to my eyes because I know I'll never get the chance to continue making new memories, and to use the vernacular, that just sucks. Every day I read or see or hear news about you all, I see what I came from and what I tried to create for myself--a loving family to serve as a legacy. Bill and Mary Jo, your work will only continue to shine as you welcome the inevitable additions to a special family such as yours. I love you all, and I'm so sorry for the loss of such a wonderful man way too soon.
— Barbara
We cannot comprehend the pain you are feeling right now.
May the Lord send special angels to comfort you and your family to give you peace through this very difficult time.
Thoughts and prayers to your families
— Ron and Virginia Cymbal
We cannot comprehend the pain you are feeling right now. May the Lord send special angels to comfort you and your family to give you peace through this very difficult time. Prayers & thoughts are going your way.
— Ron and Virginia Cymbal
...didn't know I had such a heart, but it is breaking for this kind, loving man that I''m honored to call a great friend for over 48 years...you showed us what it is to be a great man for sure...you made one hell of a mark on us and we will forever hold you up. If I could only have one more visit with you...I miss you already buddy.
— John Bosley
— Craig Jasman
Mr. William (Bill) Langstaff was the best PE teacher I ever had. He taught me what it ment to be a team player and always encouraged his students to do their best no matter what the outcome was. He loved to talk about hunting and fishing and he would always get a big smile on his face when he talked about it with his students. He was a great mentor and will be missed by everyone that know him foe the person he truly was. I am praying for his family and friends and may God bring confront to them during this tragic event.
— Steven Ladach
Bill my buddy. I remember when I had my beagle,we would go hunt rabbits and you would wise crack about how bad my dog was at running rabbits. So many memories over the decades of our friendship. We're a couple of ol' deer hunters who never stopped talking white tails. You're in the big hunting grounds now. I miss you. But you'll be with me in the stand. You were a great friend,teacher,father and husband. Our condolences to Mary Jo, John, Brian, Marcy. Love, Stew & Chris
— Stew and Chris
R.I.P. You will always be remembered as a great teacher who wore a big smile every day.
— Dawn Sesler-Linseman
I was Bill's Supervising Teacher at the Richardson Jr. high School in Oscoda where he did his student teaching. My sympathy to his family - he was way too young to leave us! May god grant him peace and bless his family at this most difficult time.
— Paul Fredenburg
Thank you for knowing you were a great teacher to my children at Arenac Eastern.Having a great family that you will always shine though.Many prayers to the family..
— Carol Steward
So very sorry to hear of your loss. Though Bill will be missed by so many people, Mary Jo, John, Brian and Marcy, you are the ones who hurt the most. My heart and prayers go out to all of you. May you always remember the good times you shared with him, the lessons you learned from him and the strong man that he was.
— Debra Rice
I am so sorry, he was a favorite teacher of mine. It was clear to see he was passionate about teaching and I learned a lot from him. Heaven has gained a very intelligent teacher......
— Mariann Herek
Mary Jo, John, Brian, Marcie & Family
So very sad to hear about Bill. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I so enjoyed knowing and working with Bill. My last memory of him was a big bear hug at Ray's party two weeks ago and good conversation. He will be missed by all who knew him. God keep you all strong during this sad time....Debbie
— Debra Lee DeBois
My heart felt condolences to Mary Jo and the entire Card family on the loss of this very special person.
— Walter Suminski
My heart goes out to the Langstaff family. May God comfort you at this time. So sorry for your loss.
— Patti jo
Bill was a good friend and neighbor. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you.
— Bob, Rob and Jeff Kemp
It has been many years since I last saw Bill and Mary Joe. They are wonderful decent, humorous, caring people. The perfect couple from day one and for eternity. Their children a wonderful legacy.

Also a wonderful legacy are the posting on this memorial site. It brings both smiles and tears. Smiles from “Yes that is the Bill I remember” and tears from “Yes that’s the Bill I wish I could see one more time. He was a good and gentle man. A good husband, and father.

Fire up good friend

College roommate Stan Ryzinski
— Stan Ryzinski
My heart broke when I heard the news. I remembered having Mr. Langstaff as my gym teacher and math teacher. I know he will be missed. My heart goes out to the family and everyone who knew and loved him. God only knows what tomorrow brings, but His love endures forever. I will be praying that the Lord will bring you all thru this time and that you will be filled with God's love and peace.
— Jamie Ladach
Although I have never had the great opportunity to meet Bill, I knew his living wife Mary Jo and our hearts pour out to her and all family. I offer you peace as you go through this trying period. May God's blessing be poured over the family. RIP
— Pam and Joe Bell
No words can truly express the pain and loss you and the kids are feeling. We are thinking of you and sending healing prayers.
— Brian & Sandy Snyder
Mary Jo, Marcy, Brian, John, and your families,

I cannot comprehend the nightmare that you must be living. I hurt for you and have been thinking of you and asking God for some kind of peace for everyone who knew him.
It makes me smile toremember many little kindergarteners learning to tie their shoes while sitting on the floor of gym class over the years. Shoes had to be tied for gym! And, they all could do it before the first week was over! I'm wondering how many there were over the years? That would be just a tiny sampling of the many lives Bill touched.

I'm so glad I got to visit with him just last week. RIP Wild Bill.
— Chris Schneider
— Tom & Carol Norton
So sorry to hear about Bill. I am sure he will be greatly missed by you and your family. We miss seeing you at your shop. You are in our prayers.
— Keith & Sherry Hasty
So sorry for your loss. Praying for you Mary Jo and your family.
— Judy Tolgo-Vane
Thoughts go out to a great teacher and friend and his family.
— Steve Rittenberg
Mary Jo & family, we read an email telling us about Bill. Paul was shocked and we are so sad for you all. He watched all you kids grow up while he worked there. We are both sad for your family. So sorry!
— Paul & Alice Lieber
So very happy Cheryl & Cindy had Bill for their teacher.
Great to have shared 16 years at A E with. Still remember the 'Must Have Folder' , with Cindy ironing and sorting the pages til very late the night before due, she learned a valuable lesson that had escaped our
tuteledge. GOD be a very present help & comfort !!
— Denny & Nancy
I worked at AE for 5 years will the gang there & they very quickly become good friends/family. Bill was very to a "newbie" and as I'd tell them all adventures being a home owner for the 1st time and setting the stove on fire, etc. He'd find me later and tell me a similar event that happened to him such as forgetting there was oil on the stove while on the phone and poof a huge fire as well. Thank you for making me feel at home at AE Bill!!! Rest in peace! Thoughts and prayers to the entire Langstaff family!
— Connie Botzau
So saddened to hear of Bill's passing. May all of the good memories his family and friends have keep everyone going through this difficult time. Prayers to his family.
— Angela, Guy & Brian Knoll
Mary Jo and family,
So sorry for your great loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
With sympathy,
Dean and Judy Thompson
— Dean Thompson
Mary Jo and family so very sorry for your loss. Prayes and thoughts are with you all.
— Mary, Norm, and Trish Nichols
Mary Jo and family, I just got the news last night about Bill from Howard Parkhurst. I am sorry that I didn't have a chance to come and pay my last respects. Through the decade that Bill and I worked together, I often marveled at how even tempered and upbeat he always was even though he taught math, which is easily the least popular subject among young students, resulting in the most whining on their part! He was well suited to his work, which helps to explain why he was so good at it. I truly enjoyed knowing him. My deepest sympathy is with you.
— Ric Barta

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