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Dr. James Baird Longley

  • "Dear helen, i was so very sorry to hear of the loss of..."
    - Sarah Cohen Okoon

LONGLEY, DR. JAMES BAIRD, a scientist and educator, died on May 1, 2014, at Balfour Retirement Community, near Boulder, CO, where he had lived since 2012. He was 93.

Dr. Longley was born in Baltimore, MD, on June 27, 1920, to William Harding Longley and Hazel Baird Longley. He graduated from Haverford College with a B.S. in biology in 1941. He met his wife, Helen Post Kent Longley, as a teenager at a summer camp in the Adirondack Mountains. They were married in Baltimore, November 5, 1944. He then deployed to Europe with the U.S. Army during World War II, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge. After the War, he and his wife attended Cambridge University in England, where he completed his Ph.D. in zoology in 1949.

From 1950 to 1960, Dr. Longley worked at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, where he did research on the kidney. From 1960 to 1962, he held a teaching position in the Anatomy Department of Georgetown University Medical School. From 1962 to 1989, he served as Professor and Chairman of the Anatomy Department at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Over the course of his career, he served as editor for several scientific journals, including Stain Technology and the Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry.

Dr. Longley was passionate about education and often invested his time and resources to help individuals and groups of people improve their lives through education. He knew that education was a key to living a rich and productive life. During the Vietnam War, he participated in an American Medical Association project to improve medical education in South Vietnam. At that time, he did two tours of several months each in Vietnam collaborating with colleagues at the Saigon Medical School.

Dr. Longley was a world traveler, and lifelong aficionado and patron of the arts. In his retirement years, he enjoyed doing extensive genealogical research on his and his wife's family tree. He maintained a keen interest in world affairs, progressive politics, and all forms of intellectual stimulation until near the end of his life.

Dr. Longley is survived by his wife of 69 years, Helen, of Boulder; three children, Gillian Elizabeth Longley, Boulder, Stephen Kent Longley, New Knoxville, OH and William Harding Longley, Brooklin, ME; five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his brothers William Harding Longley, Jr. and James Prescott Longley, his sister Elizabeth Fowler Baird Longley Lacey, and a son Andrew Jessup Longley.

Cremation arrangements have been made through Darrell Howe Mortuary of Lafayette, CO. Messages of remembrance of Dr. Longley are welcome, and may be left at: Contributions in Dr. Longley's memory may be made to the University of Louisville School of Medicine. No public service is planned.

Funeral Home
Darrell Howe Mortuary
1701 West South Boulder Road Lafayette, CO 80026
(303) 665-5518
Funeral Home Details
Published in The Courier-Journal from May 6 to May 11, 2014
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