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Elma K. "Ellie" LONG


1930 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Elma K. "Ellie" LONG Obituary
LONG, Elma K. "Ellie" 88, of Traverse City passed away July 3, 2018 at Munson Medical Center with her family by her side after a brief and unexpected illness. Ellie was born on February 1, 1930 in Fairport Harbor, Ohio to the late Matti and Maria Kalliomaa who immigrated from Finland. Ellie lived the American Dream. She was born to hard-working immigrants who came to the United States to seek out a better life and to raise a family. While she was raised speaking Finnish at home, her parents were committed to providing for her success. Ellie had a lifelong passion for learning; she and her brother both achieved advanced degrees. She loved American history and the American democratic institutions, and she found a role in local democracy in action everywhere she lived. Throughout her life she cherished her Finnish heritage, and worked hard to maintain communication links between relatives in Finland and the United States. She made several trips to Finland to meet with the older generation and to forge an international bond with the next generation of relatives. Her home was decorated with Finnish design items and photographs of living relatives and ancestors all had a place of honor. In 1951 Ellie married Robert Oscar Long of Crystal Falls, Michigan. They briefly lived in Ann Arbor, Michigan, then moved to Springfield, Ohio to raise a family. Robert Long preceded her in death in 1994. Ellie attended Suomi College, where she earned an associate's degree, then transferred to Lake Erie College, where she completed her bachelor's degree. She later earned a master's degree in Public Administration from Central Michigan University. She was a public school teacher and became a professor of English and Humanities at Clark State Community College in Springfield. She was a vital part of the faculty life at Wittenberg University in Springfield, where her husband was Dean of Students. She remained up to date with all of these academic institutions, and keenly followed what was going on in education nationwide and locally with the Traverse City Area Public Schools. In 1992, Ellie and Robert moved to their lake home on Duck Lake following retirement, and later to Traverse City, where she lived the rest of her life. She was a member of the League of Women Voters, a docent at the Dennos Museum of Art and a volunteer and advocate for the Traverse City public library system. Ellie was famous for being an avid reader and took great joy in her book club friendships. Ellie was a devoted and lifelong member of the Lutheran Church and while in Traverse City belonged to the Bethlehem Lutheran Congregation. She was baptized at Zion Lutheran Church in Fairport Harbor, Ohio, and was a member for many years at Good Shepherd (formerly Fourth) Lutheran Church in Springfield, Ohio. Ellie was the family matriarch of both her immediate and extended family. She was also the keeper of the family heritage. She was a loving mom, grandma and great grandma who loved nothing more than to have a family gathering. She looked for beauty in all its forms including in her garden, kitchen and art. She was keenly interested in all the forms and functions of city planning and government which made for healthy communities where families could thrive. Ellie will be remembered for her exceptional ability to connect with people. She was always so kind and genuine. She will be greatly missed. Ellie was preceded in death by her parents, husband Robert, and brother Mauno. Ellis is survived by her daughter Kathryn Long (Dale) Myers of Ann Arbor, son Erik Christopher (Whitney) Long of Arlington, VA and daughter Laura Long (Jacob) Reiter of Swarthmore, PA; grandchildren Katy (Jeff) Holden of New Canaan, CT, Kristin (Bill) Middlesworth of Grand Marais, MN and Matthew Reiter of Swarthmore, PA; and great granddaughter Henley Holden. The family will celebrate Ellie's life on September 22, 2018 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. Details with be forthcoming. She will be laid to rest next to her husband in the Garden of Remembrance at the First Congregational Church in Traverse City. Memorial contributions in her honor may be directed to Bethlehem Lutheran Church (1050 Peninsula Drive, Traverse City, MI 49686), the Peninsula Community Public Library (http://www.peninsulacommunitylibrary.org/support.html ) or Planned Parenthood ( https://www.weareplannedparenthood.org/onlineactions/2U7UN1iNhESWUfDs4gDPNg2?sourceid=1000063 ). Please visit www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com to share your memories with the family. The family is being cared for by Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published in Springfield News Sun on July 8, 2018
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