Eugene “Gene” Lee Long, 96, a beloved member of the community, passed away peacefully at his home in Thurmont, MD on September 19, 2023. Born March 1, 1927 near Graceham, MD, he was the sixth of ten children born to the late Franklin and Ruth Troxell Long.
Gene served his country with honor as a member of the U.S. Army during the end of World War II. He returned home with a deep sense of patriotism and gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy. He graduated from the University of MD and began a career in agriculture – managing St. Joseph’s College Dairy Farm in Emmitsburg (the current site of the National Fire Academy). As a pitcher and 3rd baseman for the Creagerstown Baseball Club from 1947 – 1957, he was a force with which to be reckoned. He attended seminary in the early ‘60’s but returned to agriculture, retiring as General Manager of Mid-East Dairyherd Improvement Association in 1992.
Gene found great joy in golfing, hunting, gardening, woodworking, playing cards and bowling. He was still playing cards and bowling in a league at age 96. He was a founding booster in the football program at Walkersville High School and was involved in many community projects throughout the years. His signature project was the renovation of the Thurmont Trolley Trail, which was dedicated to the Town of Thurmont in 2007. As the project manager at age 80, Gene along with other community volunteers, transformed a very challenging project into a labor of love that continues to benefit others. His more recent passion was to partner with the National Wild Turkey Federation to provide archery equipment/program for local schools. He always enjoyed helping others – often undertaking fundraising challenges for a good cause. He was a member of the Lewistown United Methodist Church and loved his church family.
Gene’s dedication extended far beyond his personal pursuits – he deeply valued his relationships with family and friends. He shared a profound love and commitment with his wife Shirley A. Long. In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children: Gloria (Gary) Rollins, Steve (Jane) Long and Janice Long (Steve Insley); eight grandchildren, ten great-granddaughters, one great-grandson and another great-granddaughter on the way. He is also survived by siblings Gloriae Green, Harold (Peggy) Long, Raymond (Naomi) Long, and Carole (Dan) Beauchamp and numerous nieces and nephews. Gene was preceded in death by his parents; his son Davey Long; siblings Franklin Long, Jr., Frances Dreith, Elizabeth Auldridge, Naomi Winifred O’Connor and Blanche Keilholtz as well as several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
Gene always stood tall for what he believed even when it was not the popular opinion. His unconditional love, unwavering strength, sense of humor and quick wit was an inspiration. He touched the lives of many with his generous spirit and infectious laughter. His memory will forever live on in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to have known him. How blessed we were to have shared life with someone for whom saying goodbye is so difficult!
The family wishes to thank the staff of Frederick Health Hospice for his recent care and Dr. Hegazi and the staff at MD Oncology & Hematology who managed his care for the past two years – allowing him to continue to enjoy life even after his grim diagnosis of Stage 4 Cancer.
Visitation services will be held at Stauffer Funeral Home, 1621 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, MD 21702 on Saturday, September 23, 2023 from 2:00 PM to 6:00 PM and on Sunday, September 24, 2023 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM, followed by a Celebration of Life ceremony at 1:00 PM. Officiating will be Pastor Mark Claiborne Sr.. Military honors and interment will follow at the Creagerstown Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be mailed to the Lewistown United Methodist Church, 11032 Hessong Bridge Road, Thurmont, MD 21788, Attn: Financial Secretary.