Bill Lee Long, 86, passed from this life on January 11, 2020, in Cleveland, Okla. Born on July 26, 1933, in Dalhart, Tex., Bill is the son of James “Jim” and Francis E. (Roberts) Long. Growing up in Dalhart, the family later moved to Wynona, Okla. During high school, Bill was baptized at Wynona Baptist Church and was a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. After graduating from Wynona High School with the class of 1951, Bill began working in the oil fields of Osage County. On May 3, 1952, Bill was wed to Dorothy Mae Martin in Pawhuska, Okla. The couple made their initial home in Wynona, moving to Pawhuska five years later. In 1958, they moved to Wichita, Kan., where they raised their two children; Sandra and Michael. Bill opened Long’s IGA in Goddard, Kan. Later, he managed Mr. D’s Grocery in Central Heights in Wichita. In 1973, the family moved to McPherson, Kan., where Bill opened Long’s IGA Grocery Store. In 1980, Bill decided to leave the grocery business. Bill drove a school bus for school activities for McPherson School District, taking teams to state tournaments. Upon Dorothy’s retirement in 1995, the couple returned to Cleveland.
In his spare time, Bill was an avid gardener. His homemade salsa was a favorite. You could sometimes find Bill at Lake Keystone, fishing, or camping at the Old Mannford Ramp. Sunday drives would go for hours; his shortcuts would end up in the swamp with an almost empty tank of gas. Before it was closed to vehicular traffic, Bill drove his motorhome on Gold Camp Road from Cripple Creek to Colorado Springs, Colo. Bill had a sense of direction, sometimes being referred to as a ‘walking map.’ Instilled in his children is a sense of ownership and responsibility. He is also described as a hard-working, caring, loving, generous, and practical joker. Bill was adventurous; he would get a thrill riding rollercoasters with Shelly. Bill was a mason, holding membership in the Masonic Lodge in McPherson, Kan.
Bill is survived by his children; Mike and his wife, Betty, of Cleveland, Okla., and Sandra Long of Colorado Spring, Colo.; 5 grandchildren, Terry, Bill, Shelly, Shawn, Kristy; 9 great grandchildren, Promise, Madison, June, Kai, Corbin, Mia, Jack, Will, Dori; and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceding Bill in death is his parents, his wife of 51 years, Dorothy, his brother, James Long, and his sister, Carol Rodick.
A graveside service will be held today (Wednesday, January 15, 2020), at 2:00 P.M. at the A.J. Powell Memorial Cemetery in Hominy, Okla. Services are under the direction of Chapman-Black Funeral Home in Cleveland, Oklahoma. An online guestbook is available at www.chapman-black.com