site image
obituary header
Welcome to the memorial page for

Michael Joseph Langenfeld

May 26, 1952 ~ July 15, 2017 (age 65)

Michael J. Langenfeld, age 65, of Crete, passed away on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.

Michael was the eldest of five children.  He was born on May 26, 1952 to Captain N.M. Langenfeld and Mrs. Mary Dorothy (Birmingham) Langenfeld at the Naval Hospital U.S.M.C. Camp Lejeune, NC. 

He is survived by his wife, Sheila Elizabeth (Diercks) Langenfeld of Crete; a brother and sister-in-law, Thomas (Nancy Diercks) Langenfeld of Crete; a sister, Marita (the late Scott) Jay of Miami, FL; two sisters-in-law, Eliese Diercks of Round Lake Park and Christina (David) Holston of Monee; and three nieces.  He was preceded in death by his parents and twin brothers, John Brendan and Christopher James Langenfeld.

Visitation will be held at the Fedde-Helfrich-Cross Funeral Home, 112 W. Main St., Peotone, IL on Sunday, July 23 from 2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m.  Funeral services will be held at the Fedde-Helfrich-Cross Funeral Home on Monday, July 24 at 10:00 a.m.  Committal services and military honors will take place at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, IL.  Memorials to Boy Scouts of America Crossroads District would be appreciated.

Michael started scouting in Pack-331 of the old Pokagon Trails Council, crossing the bridge to Boy Scouts in May of 1963.  That Summer (as a newly minted Boy Scout) he first attended Camp Betz as a resident camper.  By 1966 he was a patrol leader in a newly created troop and in 1967 he joined Explorer Post 312 (Marian C.H.S), where the skills learned in scouts were put to use on yearly ten-day canoe trips over the border into Canada.  That experience led to his first job guiding for his old Explorer adviser when he returned from the Marines.  When the guide business was slow he helped Dr. Lynn Rogers trap and tag wild bears for his Black Bear Study.  Michael was a United States Marine Corp Veteran volunteering for duty.  He served with the 3rd Marine Air Wing and received an honorable discharge.  Many years later he went back as a civilian doing volunteer work for the Marine Corps Historical Branch at Quantico, recording oral history from WWII Marine air-crews. 

Michael attended school and became a commercial artist for Sweetheart Cup Corp.  He met Sheila Elizabeth Diercks and married her on October 7, 1978 at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Monee.  He was an accomplished bicyclist touring Ireland in 1975.  He learned to fly aerobatics but following the fatal crash of some friends gave up flying and got a sports car.  For fifteen years he worked as a high-performance driving instructor at places like Road America, Road Atlanta, and Autobahn Joliet working in Porches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Ford GTs and even once in an Austin Martin.  He enjoyed shooting, loved history, and collected medieval arms and armor.  Michael was active in living history in multiple eras ranging from 10th Century Irish, to Revolutionary War, American Old West, Edwardian Shooting Parties, and World War II. 

Michael was a member of the American Legion, Marine Corps League, Viet Nam Veterans of America, member of the Queen’s York Rangers 1st American Regt. Royal Canadian Armoured Corps  Regimental Council (Toronto, Canada),  1st American Regt. Simcoe's Queen’s  Rangers (NorthWest Territory Alliance), Medal Society of Ireland (Dublin, Ireland) Sports Car Club of America, Vintage Sports Car Drivers Association, Lotus Corps, Audi Club of America, Chicago Volkswagen Org., and of course Boy Scouts of America.

He was currently semi-retired working seven months a year as “Race Control” (the fellow with the checkered flag in his hand) at the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet.  Michael was also currently busy with scouting commitments as Cross Road’s District Commissioner.

 Service Information

July 23, 2017

2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Fedde-Helfrich-Cross Funeral Home
112 W. Main St, PO Box 1048
Peotone, IL 60468

Funeral Service
July 24, 2017

10:00 AM
Fedde-Helfrich-Cross Funeral Home
112 W. Main St, PO Box 1048
Peotone, IL 60468

© 2018 Fedde-Helfrich-Cross Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS