Gill-Montague School Committee mourns death of member

  • LANGKNECHT

Staff Writer
Published: 1/28/2022 2:19:03 PM
Modified: 1/28/2022 2:17:45 PM

MONTAGUE — The Gill-Montague Regional School District School Committee has a position to fill, following the unexpected death of 17-year member Mike Langknecht.

School Committee Chair Jane Oakes said Langknecht, who was also a woodworker and actor, was an irreplaceable contributor to the committee. He died Jan. 15.

“He was really dedicated to the school district. It was really important to him,” she said. “He was always committed to making decisions and doing what he thought was right.”

Oakes added that “besides being a valued colleague, he was a friend” to his peers.

“Mike was really such a presence,” she said. “He was very intelligent, thoughtful, and had a really great sense of humor.”

Langknecht’s death opens another vacancy on the School Committee, with the group’s last vacancy being filled by John Irminger’s appointment at a Jan. 25 meeting. Oakes said filling the gaps has historically been a “fairly daunting” task, with the nature of this most recent vacancy not making it any easier.

“I have a hard time using the word ‘replace,’” she said. “You can’t replace him. I don’t think it’s possible.”

Langknecht was born in 1959 in upstate New York and was raised in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, according to his obituary. He graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where he studied acting and producing before passionately pursuing woodworking. He had a business for many years before working for Peterman’s Boards & Bowls in Gill. He also served on The Brick House Community Resource Center board for 15 years, as well as assisted Montague Community Television (MCTV).

According to the obituary, Langknecht leaves his wife of 39 years, Stacey Langknecht, who is currently the Parent and Family Program director at The Brick House and a family engagement coordinator for the Gill-Montague Regional School District. He also leaves three children: Shayna Reardon, Jesse Langknecht and Troy Langknecht.

Donations in Langknecht’s memory can be made to Cummington Wildlife Inc. at cummingtonwildlife.com, MCTV at montaguetv.org or The Brick House at brickhousecommunity.org.

Reach Julian Mendoza at 413-772-0261, ext. 261 or jmendoza@recorder.com.


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