Roger Lee Long, 95, a rural Larwill farmer, WW II veteran, and civic leader died peacefully at Parkview Whitley Hospital on October 13, 2020, following declining health. He was born on September 15, 1925, in Noble County, Indiana, to Milo and Rosetta (Rider) Long, and he grew up on the family farm.
Roger graduated from North Webster High School with the class of 1943, where he served as class president. Shortly after turning 18 in the fall, he answered the call of duty and was inducted into the U.S. Army, where he trained at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, and Vint Hill Farms Station, Virginia. He served as a combatant overseas with the Army Signal Intelligence Service as an intelligence-gathering specialist in the Philippines campaign, earning commendations that included the Philippines Liberation medal. He rose to the rank of Sergeant.
Roger returned home to Wilmot after the war where his mother introduced him to Bonita Jean Scott, and to both his mother's and father's delight, Roger and Jean fell in love and were married on April 22, 1950.
They spent the next seventy years farming, staying civically involved, and raising three children, primarily on their farm on the County Line Road in northern Whitley County.
Roger was curious, well-read, proud of his heritage, and appreciative of diversity, as reflected in his long list of friends and family. He was active in local politics, where he held elective office and served as a precinct committeeman with the Democratic Party. Roger was a voracious consumer of information and religiously followed his daily routine that included crossword and math puzzles and the reading of multiple newspapers and news magazines. He was always aware of the world, national, and local news of the day.
Roger and Jean's greatest love, however, has always been their family, and Roger enjoyed nothing more than time with his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. They also enjoyed their many friends and neighbors. They were members of the Etna United Methodist Church, where Roger was active in the Men's Group. He always looked forward to the weekly meetings, and he especially appreciated Mike Gregory's kindness in driving him to the church to attend those meetings.
He was also very touched when the group surprised him with a party to celebrate his 95th birthday.
Roger is survived by his wife Jean; his children Mike (Joyce) Long, Jill Long (Don) Thompson, and Mick Long; his grandchildren Chad (Gina) Johnson, Ryan (Chassidy) Johnson, Madison (Todd) Lehman, Shawn (Alysia Desbiens) Thompson, Gretchan (William Anderson) Thompson; his great-grandchildren Tyler (Abby) Johnson, Bradley Johnson, Michael Johnson, Ella Johnson, Nicholas Lehman, Jackson Lehman, Nora Lehman, Mychael (Constance) Thompson, Malcolm Thompson, Jay Thompson, Claire Thompson, Ryan Thompson, and Dash Thompson; and his great-great-grandchildren Autumn Johnson, Tegan Johnson, and Caleb Thompson.
He was preceded in death by his parents Rosetta and Milo; his brothers Merwood, Robert, Joe, and Phil Long; and his sisters Virginia and Donnabelle.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the family will hold a private interment at the Salem Cemetery, Wilmot.
For those wishing to make a memorial gift, Roger would have been honored by a contribution to the Etna United Methodist Church. Please mail or drop at the funeral home for delivery.
Condolences may be sent to www.smithandsonsfuneralhome.com