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Ronald Dean Long, 81, died unexpectedly Friday, May 17, 2013 in Norwalk, IA. Memorial services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at Peace Lutheran Church, 5615 SW 14th St. in Des Moines with burial at the Norwalk cemetery. A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, May 20, at Hamilton's Southtown Funeral Home in Des Moines.
Ron was born February 3, 1932 in Arispe, IA, to Elton E. (Jack) Long and Golda Jackson Long. He graduated from Arispe High School in 1950 and attended Tarkio College in MO before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in January 1952. He was commissioned and earned his pilot wings May 1953. He married Carol Ann Immel of Adair, IA on December 19, 1953.
He retired from the Iowa Air National Guard in 1987 as a Colonel after spending 35 years in the U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve and the Air Guard. He attended various military schools including Nuclear Safety School, Air Force Safety School, Squadron Officers School, Air University Command and Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces. Among some of the positions he held were Instructor Pilot, Operations Officer, Squadron Commander and Director of Wing Safety. He was a Command Pilot with 6800 hours of military flying in 16 different aircraft including: T-6, T-28, T-33, F-80, F-86, F-102, F-89, F-84, F-100c, F-100d, F-100f, A-7D, L20, C-47, C-54, C-131.
He was a member of Peace Lutheran Church, Silver Squadron, the Air Force Association and the Cumming American Legion. He enjoyed flying, hunting, fishing, golf, travel, attending kids' and grandkids' activities, and woodworking. He was an avid Iowa State fan and also a fan of the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears.
Ron is survived by his wife, Carol Immel Long; daughters Terri Pitcher of Windsor Heights, and Sheryl Dailey (Glenn) of Bloomindale, IL. He's also survived by grandchildren Katherine Ball (West Des Moines), Tyler Dailey (Chicago, IL), Michael Ball (Los Angeles, CA), and Cody Dailey (Iowa City). He was preceded in death by his parents Elton (Jack) Long and Golda Jackson Long and half-sister Doris Nicholson.
Memorial contributions may be made to Peace Lutheran Church or the Puppy Jake Foundation which helps to train service dogs for returning veterans.
Published in Des Moines Register from May 19 to May 21, 2013
Hamilton's Southtown Funeral Home
5400 SW Ninth Street Des Moines, IA 50315