Ralph Henry Long, 93, originally of Wilmington, NC returned to the Lord on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 at the North Carolina State Veterans Nursing Home in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Ralph, as he was known to all who crossed his path, was born on February 9, 1922 to the late Mr. & Mrs. Willis Belton Long in Wilmington, NC. He began his career selling automobiles with his father and later joined the United States Air Force, serving in World War II, The Korean Conflict and The Vietnam War. Ralph earned numerous awards and commendations as a Tech Sergeant until his retirement in 1970. In 1948, Ralph married the love of his life and devoted mother and grandmother, the late Kathleen (Mickie) Hartis Long also of Wilmington. They resided happily in Fayetteville for the remainder of their days. Ralph began a second career shortly after at Kelly Springfield in Fayetteville.
Upon his “second retirement”, Ralph was able to perfect his golf game and frequented both the Fort Bragg Officers Golf Club and other area courses several times a week. Golf was a game he so dearly loved, that he never missed an opportunity to give one of his son-in-laws or grandchildren a friendly tip on how to get out of the sand. Ralph also loved warm summer days spent at the Hanover Seaside Club at Wrightsville Beach, NC surrounded by close family and lifelong friends. You would often find him sound-side in his favorite rocking chair telling stories of the past. Ralph is probably remembered most by those that knew him for his uncanny sense of humor and devotion to his family.
Ralph is preceded in death by his parents, Willis Belton Long and Wyonna Wallace Long, his wife of 59 years, Kathleen Hartis Long, sister Camille Long Reaves, and brother-in-law Joseph R. Reaves. He is survived by his two daughters, Patricia Long Cowan and husband Doug of Raleigh; and Susan Long Rose and husband James of Fayetteville. He is also survived by his four grandchildren, Robert Douglas Cowan Jr. of Raleigh, Laura Cowan Wilson and husband Stephen also of Raleigh, Brian Patrick Rose of Fayetteville, and Adam Henry Rose of Greenville.
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The family will receive friends this Sunday, March 15, 2015 from 3:00 to 4:30 pm at Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home in Fayetteville, NC. A graveside service will then be held on Monday, March 16, 2015 at 12:00 noon at Oleander Memorial Gardens (Bradley Creek) with the Rev. Robert Beasley officiating.
The family would like to express its sincere gratitude to the staff and hospice nurses of the NC State Veterans Nursing Home in Fayetteville for their genuine compassion during the last several months.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the NC State Veterans Nursing Home (Hospice) in Fayetteville or a charity of one’s choice.
Arrangements and services entrusted to Jernigan-Warren of Fayetteville, NC.