Thomas F. Long Jr.
1929 - 2020
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Thomas F. Long, Jr.

Wichita Falls, Texas - Thomas F. Long, Jr. at age 90 went to be with the Lord on April 8, 2020. Tom was born on August 21, 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Tom's parents were Thomas F. Long and Viola Koerber Long. Tom's father had been sent to an orphanage at a young age, and when he was 17, he enlisted to fight in World War I, earning the French Croix de Guerre. Tom's father graduated from the University of Montana, and returned to Philadelphia and became a lawyer.

Tom attended prep school at The Haverford School outside of Philadelphia where he was active in many sports including football, soccer, diving, wrestling, baseball and track. He attended Yale University on a U.S. Navy ROTC scholarship. He was quickly introduced to sports at Yale when the Crew team coach snapped him up to be coxswain, as he suited the weight qualifications. In addition, he wrestled and was captain of the team his senior year. Tom was a member of Chi Phi fraternity and Tau Beta Pi (recognizing the top 10% of engineering degree candidates). During his senior year, Tom's father died suddenly, leaving him to look after his mother and older sister. Later that spring, in a testament to his fortitude and dedication, he wrestled in a match against Lehigh while suffering from a ruptured appendix. He was immediately rushed to the hospital and spent one month recovering, but graduated on time, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Tom reported for duty aboard the USS Lowry immediately after graduation, and ultimately sailed around the world twice in his three years of active duty, seeing some limited action during the Korean War. Tom's business career started in 1954 with Sperry Rand Corporation, working on the precursor to today's hard disc drives and the first computers. During this time he began dating a stunning beauty, Donna Jean Simenson, who was originally from the Chicago area, but she was in Philadelphia as an occupational therapist at the U.S. Naval Hospital. They married April 13, 1957, and lived in the Philadelphia area.

Later in 1957, Tom joined a small manufacturing company, Formsprag, which was later acquired by Dana Corporation. This job ultimately took the family to Chicago, Wichita Falls, London, and Detroit where Tom took early retirement from Dana. Tom then took over a product line that Dana had discontinued, and started a truly "mom and pop operation", Brunel Corporation. They moved back to their favorite town, Wichita Falls, to be around family and friends. Tom and Donna were joined by their son, Randy, and in over 28 years together, they built Brunel into a business that sells torque limiters and clutches worldwide.

Tom was extremely proud of his three children, Trip, Randy and Susan, and their spouses, and his six grandchildren. Family memories are centered around summer adventures of sailing, golfing, canoe-camping in the wildernesses of Maine, and the Quetico Provincial Park in Canada, and winter adventures of skiing in the Catskills, Poconos, Rockies, Alps, and Utah. The grandchildren especially remember returning to Alta, Utah each winter for a week of skiing.

Tom never met a stranger with whom he could not converse for hours. After pretending to step away from day-to-day involvement in Brunel, people who knew Tom will recognize that he became more focused on three things: 1) Restoring his 1952 MG TD, which he had owned since 1955; 2) His flamboyant attire. Tom was seldom seen after 5pm without one of his colorful sport coats or dinner jackets; and 3) correcting everyone's grammar. Remember: "'Is' doesn't take an object". And, "never end a sentence with a preposition". In his final weeks he was brazenly telling the nurses "it is 'lie down', not 'lay down'" while they were preparing to stick him with a needle.

Tom was preceded in death by his father Thomas F. Long; his mother Viola Koerber Long; and his sister Anita Long Boyd. Tom is survived by his wife of 63 years, Donna Jean, his son Trip and his wife Laurie of Wichita Falls; his son Randy and his wife Jane of Wichita Falls; and his daughter Susan and her husband Bobby Dan Roberts of University Park, Texas. Tom was known as PopPop by his loving grandchildren, who include Dalton Long Vick and husband Jeff of Dallas; Logan Long of Austin; Sara Long Harland and husband Lance of Conroe; LTjg Andrew Long of San Diego; Drs. Lindsey West Riepen and Dietrich of Dallas; and Katie West of New York; and several nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to: First Christian Church or the charity of your choice.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Lunn's Colonial Funeral Home. A celebration of life will be conducted at a later date.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.lunnscolonial.com






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Published in Times Record News from Apr. 10 to Apr. 12, 2020.
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