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Milton (Butch) Long

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Milton (Butch) Long Obituary
Milton (Butch) Long

Port Clinton: 100 and 24 days , died quietly August 10 at Edgewood Manor Nursing Care. His century of life was populated by a love of walnut trees, Camp Perry, history, all things Lake Erie, St. John's Lutheran (Port Clinton), reading, his farm in Bay Township and his children Milt, Jr. (Sandra) of Norfolk, Virginia, and Deb Long of Liverpool, New York as well as two grandchildren, Annie Walker Phelps (Dan) of Houston, Texas and Nicole Long Coker (Cooper) of Charleston, South Carolina and great grandchild Eliza Legare Coker. He never stopped missing his wife of 63 years, Ethel Roser Long who died in 2014. He had met and married her in Atlantic City during WWII.

He had a varied career that started with delivering papers when he was in 4th grade. It lead to the first of a lifelong habit of doing what he felt was right for him by not taking physical education during first period of school, stating that he didn't need it because he'd just bicycled 4 miles delivering papers for the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Only in his late 90s would he laugh and contemplate if he should have made more of an effort in school. Mrs. Dorthea King was a new teacher in those days and used to laugh about that story in their many years of friendship as he often was called to remodel projects for her.

That job was followed by a stint at Matthews Boats where he loved working wood and the building of wooden boats, a love that stretched across his life. It was working with the highly skilled craftsmen at Matthews that eventually led him to become a cabinet maker after the war. With the advent of WWII he left for Philadelphia where he worked wartime marine salvage, eventually captaining a large scale derrick. One of the salvage jobs was to raise the tanker Chilor which had sunk in a heavily used marine channel of Chesapeake Bay. Raising that ship had two consequences; one that led to his firing: his company had counted on charging the government to raise that ship before Mr. Long told the customer it was impossible. The second consequence was that his son Milt, Jr, a career Navy officer, had to steer around that wreck every time he brought a ship into Norfolk Navy Base. Mr. Long was well known for his honesty and integrity as well as his precision work.

After Milt, Jr. was born, Butch moved his East Coast wife to a farm in Bay Township. He worked for a bit with Jeremy's Marina on the Portage River, then Gates Construction before finally going out on his own as a cabinet maker. He never advertised but for many years carried a healthy backlog because people depended on his honesty and the quality of his work. He lost his eyesight from macular degeneration in the late 80s. There was a period of depression from the blindness after which he built a 6' x 6' chest on chest with crown molding, shelves and 4 perfectly aligned doors. It was a labor of love for his wife who couldn't bend over to the lower cupboards anymore. One of the points of pride he often mentioned was that at the Port Clinton Lumber Company, Joe had him put his hands on the counter and pointed out to people that this carpenter had all his fingers. He goes to eternity with all ten fingers even after building that large cupboard while blind.

Milton was a founding member of the Port Clinton Rifle Club where he ranked in the top 10 competitive shooters in the state for many years and continued his love of shooting by working at Camp Perry to liaise between the local, state and federal governments and organizations like the Ohio Rifle and Pistol Association, handling multiple arrangements to stage matches. He served on the Boards of OR&PA as well as the Oak Harbor Conservation Club. They used to refer to him as Mr. Camp Perry and relied on his lobbying efforts to make sure the federal Civilian Marksmanship Program was fully funded by Congress.

The family extends its gratitude to the fine people who provided his care at Edgewood as well the Magruder staff who watched over his health. Also to niece Cindy Connor who made it possible for him to remain on the farm until he was 97 then visited with him almost every day, as well as his sister Clarabelle Bothe who also visited him almost daily. Also Jeff Cheney, Michael Appel, Jennings and Bothe nieces and nephews, Scott Smith, George Schneider, all of whom walked an extra mile for him, and to a rich lifetime of friends in the Port Clinton area. We also want to thank Bruce Bridgemon who quietly asked if he might help Pop after he lost his eyesight, then spent years faithfully showing up on Mondays both on the farm and at Edgewood to shave him as well as bring him Communion. Pop was often heard explaining to whoever would listen that he had lived a good and interesting life and that he thought he enjoyed his life more than most people. He also hoped he wouldn't need asbestos after he died. He leaves a legacy of wisdom, a reverent sense of place and love for his family. Rest in Peace Pop, no asbestos needed.

Contributions can be made to the Ida Rupp Library or the Port Clinton Lighthouse Conservancy.

Visitation will be Monday, August 14, 2-4 and 6-8 at Neidecker, LeVeck & Crossier, 1124 Fulton Street, Port Clinton. Funeral services will be Tuesday at 11:00 am at St. John's Lutheran, 207 Adams Street in Port Clinton, where Milton was a member his whole life. There will be a bereavement luncheon in the Parish Hall following the funeral. The immediate family will then proceed to the St. Paul Lutheran Cemetery, 541 Church Road, Danbury where he will be interred next to his wife, his grand and great grandparents. Online condolences may be shared with the family at .
Published in the News Herald on Aug. 12, 2017
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