By Tony Parra
Dewey Langston devoted his time to helping organizations in Portales and his marks are all over Eastern New Mexico University.
He enrolled at Eastern New Mexico Junior College in 1939. Langston’s past began much the same way Harold Knox, another Pioneer of the Year Award candidate, began. He attended Eastern New Mexico Junior College, which is now ENMU, in its first years of existence. ENMU College’s inception was in 1934.
“He’s the greatest man in the world,” Judy Langston, Dewey’s daughter, said. “I adore him so much. He’s been so involved in the community. He did so much.”
He has served for Roosevelt County Chamber of Commerce committees and the Red Cross board. He was responsible for establishment of the United Way Fund in Portales.
“Many organizations were asking for money separately,” Dewey said. “I got together with Bill Foster and the leaders of different organizations pleading for money. I think it (uniting them) was very beneficial. We became affiliated with the United Fund, nationally.”
Dewey received his bachelor’s degree in 1943.
Serving the United States was not just a choice, it was a way of life for the Langston family. Langston had five brothers and two brothers-in-law who served for the U.S. during World War II.
“We were all volunteers,” Dewey said. “We felt like it was something that had to be done. Three of us were wounded, but none of us died serving in the war. We were very fortunate. I have a strong faith in God.”
Dewey was wounded in combat in active duty when he was serving as a marine in Okinawa.
Later on, Dewey worked as part of the ENMU faculty and administration for 38 years before retiring.
“In terms of quality, if you take a look at teachers, doctors and business men it (ENMU) has developed, you’re not going to find any university more successful than Eastern.”
Dewey has lived in Portales for 65 years and has served in many community organizations. He was a deacon of the First Baptist Church and is the current president of the Rotary Club.
“He has a strong belief in country, family and god,” Judy said. “He served the community in so many ways. He’s too humble to talk about it.”
He was also president of the New Mexico Association of Educational Retirees. He established the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Alpha Phi Omega and Phi Delta Kappa.