Baltimore natives Williams Thomas Langan, a coal expert with the U.S. Department of Energy, and his wife, Charlotte Lorraine Langan, were among the 132 killed aboard the crash of USAir Flight 427 Thursday evening.
Mr. Langan, along with seven other Department of Energy clean-burning coal experts from Pittsburgh and Morgantown, W.Va., were returning from Chicago, where they had attended a conference sponsored by the department.
Mr. Langan, 57, had been director of the Department of Energy's Clean Coal Technology Division in Morgantown since 1990, said Michael Gauldin, the department's director of public and consumer affairs.
His wife, the former Charlotte Warczynski, 55, was an active community volunteer known to everyone as "Shirley." She had decided to join her husband for the trip.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Langan grew up in Baltimore, living in the city until about 1960.
Mr. Langan graduated from Calvert Hall College in 1955. He received a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University in 1959 and a master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963.
Mrs. Langan graduated from Patterson Park High School in 1956. The couple married June 25, 1960.
After leaving the University of Pennsylvania, the Langans moved to King of Prussia, Pa., where Mr. Langan began an 18-year career with General Electric. During his early years with the company, Mr. Langan did research for the space re-entry program.
Mr. Langan's work at G.E. led the couple to move to Syracuse, N.Y., and then to Lebanon, Pa. He joined the Department of Energy in 1988, and the couple eventually settled in Morgantown about four years ago, said James Langan, Mr. Langan's brother, of Catonsville.
Wherever the couple lived, they were active in Roman Catholic churches, most recently at St. John's University Parish in Morgantown. Mrs. Langan also volunteered at Catholic school libraries and local welcome wagons.
"They were kind, caring people," said their son, James Patrick Langan of Morgantown. "They were always concerned about their friends and relatives, always trying to be supportive of people in everything they did. They were generous to a fault."
Funeral services had not been set for the couple by last night.
Survivors include the couple's son, James Patrick Langan of Morgantown; their daughter, Judith Ann Walters of Morgantown; Langan's brother, James K. Langan of Catonsville; Mrs. Langan's sister, Julie Neenan of Baltimore; Mrs. Langan's brother, Ronald E. Warczynski of Baltimore; and Mrs. Langan's mother, Constance Arnold of Highlandtown.