Obituary: Ursula Carney Langfeldt, 1947-2021 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Ursula Carney Langfeldt, 1947-2021 

Elementary school nurse improved the lives of countless children and raised her own in a household full of love and laughter

click to enlarge Ursula Carney Langfeldt - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Ursula Carney Langfeldt

Ursula Carney Langfeldt passed away in the early morning hours of Thursday, November 18, 2021, from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. She was under the loving care of Addison County Home Health & Hospice and the nursing staff of the Gardensong memory care unit at the Eastview at Middlebury retirement community.

Born on January 28, 1947, to Thomas Joseph Carney and Genevieve Donelan Carney in Boston, she spent her formative years in her family home at 22 Edgemont Street in Roslindale, Mass., surrounded by the love of her parents; two brothers; three sisters; grandparents; and countless aunts, uncles, cousins and close family friends who circulated in and out of the house. Raised in a proud Irish Catholic family, Ursula attended Holy Name School and Notre Dame Academy before graduating from Catherine Labouré School of Nursing in 1967, where she met a group of women who became lifelong friends. After graduation, Ursula began her career as an RN, first at Carney Hospital in Boston and then at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, rising to head nurse positions at both.

In 1971, Ursula met the love of her life, Dr. John C. Langfeldt, on a blind date, while he was stationed with the Navy in Rhode Island. The city girl from Boston and the hayseed Nebraskan hit it off immediately and began a romance that lasted the rest of her life and just shy of 50 years of marriage. They were married at Holy Name Church in West Roxbury, Mass., on June 10, 1972, and moved to Middlebury, Vt., later that year.

In Middlebury, Ursula and John purchased a 100-plus-year-old Victorian home on Court Street, promptly renovating it into John’s dental office and their first home together. Ursula continued her career, this time at Porter Medical Center, until the birth of their first child, Carl, in 1976. Like nursing, being a mother was second nature to Ursula, and she had two more children, Evan and Gretchen, in 1978 and 1982, respectively. In 1978, the growing family moved to Halladay Road, where they raised their three children in a household full of love and laughter.

Ursula was a wonderful wife and mother who instilled in her children a love of reading and education, encouraging — and sometimes demanding — that they create and achieve lofty summer reading goals at the Ilsley Library. Throughout their childhood (and into adulthood), Ursula was forever correcting her children’s grammar, quizzing them on spelling, and ensuring that they drank lots of water, were well fed and were always wearing enough sunscreen. She insisted that they always give a firm handshake, use proper manners, write thoughtful — and prompt — thank-you notes and be grateful for the many blessings they enjoyed. Ursula gave everything to her family, and they loved her unconditionally in return.

When her youngest went off to school, Ursula returned to work, first at Middlebury Pediatrics and then as a school nurse at Mary Hogan Elementary. It was in the latter position that she made the greatest impact of her professional career through her fierce advocacy for children. She worked at Mary Hogan for close to two decades, improving the lives of countless students over the years.

But her greatest passion was always family: her beloved siblings and their families; her husband, John, and their three children and two daughters-in-law; and, more recently, her grandchildren, Harper, Louisa and Rowan, whom she loved with every fiber of her being. Ursula was totally committed to her grandkids’ happiness and healthy development, and she loved them with her heart and soul.

Despite knowing no one when they moved to Vermont in 1972, Ursula and John quickly amassed a group of friends that became like family. Those decades-long friendships made Vermont similar in many respects to Ursula’s childhood in Roslindale, where there was a never-ending rotation of friends and family cycling through their home. She helped raise her friends’ children in the same way they helped raise hers. And those friends were there when Ursula needed them through her battle with Alzheimer’s in the same way she had — and would have — been there in their time of need. That has meant so much to her family, and we are eternally grateful for the support.

We are also thankful for the Eastview at Middlebury retirement community, as well as Addison County Home Health & Hospice, for the care and dignity they provided her toward the end. Ursula gave so much to her community over the years, and the community gave back to her by being there when she needed them.

Ursula was predeceased by her parents, Thomas and Genevieve Carney. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Dr. John C. Langfeldt; sons, Carl (Amanda) and Evan (Elizabeth); and daughter, Gretchen; as well as her three grandchildren, Harper and Rowan Langfeldt of Laguna Niguel, Calif., and Louisa Langfeldt of Charlotte, Vt. She is also survived by her siblings, Thomas Carney Jr. (Diane), Jane Conaway (Pat), Miriam Hopkins (Mark), Martin Carney (Betty) and Elizabeth O’Neill (Billy); her 16 nieces and nephews; and in-laws, cousins and countless friends. She will be missed by so many.

In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be directed in Ursula Langfeldt’ s honor to the Friends of Ilsley Public Library in Middlebury, Vt. (ilsleypubliclibrary.org). A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, January 15, 2022, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Middlebury, Vt., with a reception to follow at Tourterelle Restaurant & Inn in New Haven.

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