Matthew Ruskin Long, of Monument and Palmer Lake, passed away comfortably at Colonial Columns Care Center in Colorado Springs on June 6th, just short of his 56th birthday. Born in Rockville Center, New York, Matthew spent most of his early life in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. When the family moved to Colorado in 1974, Matt fell in love with the beauty and grandeur of the Colorado Rockies. He worked at first in the Springs/Denver area and on the west coast of Florida, but found his calling when he joined IATSE Local 62 in Colorado Springs in April 1993, and he remained a member until his death. His associates there described him as a "darned good rigger" and a "really good electrician" who will be missed. He spent much of his leisure time hiking and climbing in the mountains along the Front Range and in Rocky Mountain National Park, summiting Long's Peak a number of times and taking friends and relatives across the Continental Divide from Bear Lake on the East side to Grand Lake on the West. In addition to hiking in Colorado, Matthew enjoyed houseboating on Lake Powell in Utah. Matthew is predeceased by his parents, George W. Long and Robin H. Long of Monument, and his brother Curtis Long of St. Petersburg, Florida. He is survived by his brother Steven Long of Delaware, his sisters Kathrin Harris of Illinois and Robin Doughty of Tasmania, Australia, his nephew Kenneth Long and grand-nephew Joshua Long, also of Delaware, his companion Cynthia Runfola, and many other relatives and friends. Matthew chose to be cremated at his passing, and did not want a memorial service at this time. Donations in his name may be mailed to the Rocky Mountain Nature Association (RMNA), attention Matthew Long Memorial, P.O. Box 3100, Estes Park, CO 80517, or on the donations page of their Web site, www.rmna.org
. Matt's name will appear on a Donor Recognition Wall in the Beaver Meadows Visitor Center when the wall is completed next fall.