Laurie Lang knows what’s important in life.
“I’ve had a lot of happy moments, a lot of sad moments,” she said.
After losing her first husband in 1989, the former child-care provider started a new life. She went back to school and in 1991 joined the Columbine Courier.
“I started working part time, and they offered me a full-time job,” said Lang, the Courier’s senior employee. “And here I am. I’ve been here ever since.”
And after more than 18 years of managing advertising accounts and answering the office phones, Lang is leaving the paper.
“This job has been a very rewarding job,” she said. “I love working. And this is going to be hard, to leave the community. I’m going to do some volunteer work for probably a year, until my husband can retire.”
Lang began working at the Courier while the paper was still in its infancy. By any measure, the paper, now 20 years old, is still relatively young. And Lang was a crucial element in the paper’s success in the early years.
“There are several people who have made it succeed. And Laurie is one of maybe two or three,” said Kamal Eways, one of the paper’s early owners. “She made call after call after call, and followed up. … Without Laurie, I don’t think we would’ve survived the first several years without struggling.”
Though she worked tirelessly to generate business, Lang, a Quebec native, employed a sense of humor. Eways, for example, created a special section of the paper to help raise advertising revenue. If the goal was met, he said, he would let the staff shave his head.
“She did everything she could” to reach the goal, Eways chuckled.
After leaving the paper, Lang plans to spend a lot of time on the priorities in her life.
“The most important person in my life is my husband,” Lang said about Howard, her second husband, to whom she has been married for 17 years. “When you lose a loved one, you learn to cherish life and not take one another for granted,” she said. “We work together. We play together. We do everything together.”
The two are planning to tour the country in their fifth-wheel RV and tend campgrounds along the way. Lang said they will keep a permanent residence in Colorado, where they have three children and five grandchildren.
The Columbine Courier has meant a lot to Lang. Not only is she a South Jeffco resident, she’s also seen the paper mature and survive in an unstable time for print media. And working with her customers has been the highlight.
“I love working with people, so my customers are probably the most important,” she said. “They’re part of my family, too. That’s going to be a hard part for me to leave.”