Joseph “Doke” Langan

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MADISON–Joseph “Doke” Langan, 68, of Madison, passed away on April 17, 2022. He was born on May 15, 1953, in Columbus, NE, the son of Joseph and Rosemary Langan. 

Joe was one of 11 brothers and sisters and grew up in Colorado. He graduated from Arvada West High School in 1971 and later served eight years in the US Navy. His proudest achievement while in the Navy was a successful search and rescue mission for which he earned a humanitarian aid award. Joe was an active member of the American Legion post No. 481.

Joe married Cheryl Nelson in 1985 and together they raised two daughters, Heather and Heidi.  He worked at Meriter Hospital as a mechanical engineer for 36 years before retiring in 2016.

Joe was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing, gun and bow hunting, bird watching and attending gun shows every year. His favorite pastime, however, was ice fishing with friends and family in the shack on lake Mendota. Joe was very creative and loved learning new skills.  He was always working on projects in the home which he designed and built for his family. He was an avid reader who enjoyed reading about history and historical adventure novels.

Joe’s most important priority was spending time with his family. He made it a point to check in with his extended family to make sure they were OK. Joe enjoyed sitting out in the garage and greeting everyone that walked past. He was known as the neighborhood watch and unofficial Mayor of Veith Avenue. He was helpful with all repairs, a great cook and a lover of music–especially Johnny Cash. He was a major fan of Wisconsin sports and loved hosting grill outs for Brewers, Badgers and Packers games.

Joe is survived by his wife of 36 years, Cheryl; daughters, Heather Jackowski and Heidi J. Langan; grandchildren, Heleana Jackowski and Camdon Fischer; mother-in-law, Jean Nelson; son-in-law, Matt Tesauro; sisters, Donna Millie, Janet Langan, Helen (Dale) VanderSchaaf, Mary Jo (Curt) Erickson and Bernadine (Barry) Smith; brothers, Michael (Diane) Langan, Tim Langan, Patrick Langan, Erich (Karen) Langan and Max (Paulette) Janikowski; sister-in-law, Janet Langan; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, John Langan; father-in-law, Harold Nelson; and sister-in-law, Mary Michael Langan.

A funeral service will be held at Gunderson East Funeral and Cremation Care, 5203 Monona Dr., Madison, at 3 p.m. on April 28, 2022, with military honors to follow. A light supper and drinks will also follow at the American Legion Post 481, 5337 River Rd., Waunakee. A visitation will be held at the funeral home from 1 p.m. until the time of the service on Thursday. Online condolences may be made at

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