GENEVA – Robert Langeness was named the 2019 Swedish Days Parade Marshal, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce announced in a news release.
Over 25 years ago, Langeness joined the Geneva Chamber of Commerce Board and continues to be an active member. He has served on the golf committee and volunteers at all of the chamber’s festivals.
“He is the first person to help out whenever we need extra hands,” Laura Rush, chamber spokeswoman stated in the release. “He is the perfect unsung hero to lead the 2019 Swedish Days Parade.”
The Swedish Days Festival is from June 18-23 with the parade on June 23.
If you don’t recognize his name, you would certainly recognize Langeness, as every day he can be seen walking around downtown, and visiting local businesses, with his Doberman pinscher, Grace. He says it helps him stay current with Geneva happenings.
“I am taken aback that I have been honored as this year’s parade marshal,” Langeness stated in the release. “So many fine people have sat in that carriage and I am honored to be a part of that group. I am happy to help Geneva and the Geneva Chamber of Commerce celebrate 70 years of Swedish Days.”
Langeness was born in Duluth, Minn., but grew up in Wasco and graduated from St. Charles East High School.
He married Joyce and started their family of three children in Geneva shortly after and has lived in the same home since the 1960’s. Langeness has eight grandchildren, three of whom serve in the military.
First working at the Chicago Tribune as an advertising manager, Langeness then chose a job in advertising closer to home with the Geneva Republican, the only local weekly paper at that time.
When Shaw Media acquired the paper, Langeness stayed on dividing his time between the Geneva Republican and Chronicle publications, which went to a daily paper.
After retiring from the media industry, Langeness drew upon a career he had once done as a young man, and started working with Yurs Funeral Homes as a funeral director assistant, where he currently works today.
His civic involvement began shortly after moving to Geneva as a Republican precinct committeeman.
He was elected to three terms as Geneva alderman.
During that time Langeness was chairman of the Police and Fire Committee and a board representative for Geneva TriCom.
Langeness was part of the planning for Geneva’s sesquicentennial celebration in 1985.
Additionally, he also served on the Delnor Hospital Foundation Board when the hospital was being built west of town.
Geneva Community Chest, Geneva Lions Club, Fox Valley Shriners and Geneva Masonic Lodge No. 139 have all benefitted from Langeness’ contributions.