In Memory

Mike Long - Class Of 1969

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05/15/12 09:07 AM #1    

Karen Lawhon (Jones) (1969)

 So hard to believe no one has entered a comment about Mike. He was in my homeroom (Coach Smith). I remember him as a rather unruly boy on the other side of the room. No.. I didn't know him personally in high school, but we later crossed paths again when he lived in Dayton and I lived in Georgetown & worked in Dayton . He was a CRAZY guy, full of fun and laughter, with many friends in Rhea County and sadly missed by those friends and his family.

06/27/12 11:31 PM #2    

Jeff Pogue (1968)

Karen, I haven't come to these pages so I just found out about Mike Long's passing....I knew Mike fairly well and yes, he was a tad rowdy at times, but a darned nice guy if you got to know him  and his family.

02/08/14 10:12 PM #3    

Brenda Floyd (Underwood) (1969)

I wrote this in my journal the day my best friend whom I had known since childhood was buried.  There isn't a day goes by that I don't think of him and his wonderful smile and his love for all of his family and friends.  I never met anyone who knew him who didn't love him.  Rest in Peace my dear Mike.  We'll have a joyful reunion someday with you and Del Fuston, your brother Robin and my brother Lonnie in Heaven.

I wrote the following from my heart with no regards to form or grammar. Mike and I had been friends since grammer school and I loved him and his family as my own.
For those of you who have ever visited Mike and Phyllis at their farm in Dayton you can just imagine this scene. The Spivey Cemetery is close to the river and the old ferry landing and right across the road from Mike’s farm. It’s a small, neat cemetery and it’s where Mike’s brother Robin, his mother and dad and others members of the Long family are buried. Parking was out in a field or pasture a little ways before reaching the cemetery. We got there at 9:00 and there was already a crowd. We all hugged, cried and told Mike stories. His family was there trying to speak to everyone and I know it had to be so hard for Phyllis especially. The grandchildren were there as well as Sim and Linda, Mike’s brother and sister. The hearse was already there and at 10:00 we gathered by the hearse for the pall bearers to carry the plain and simple but beautiful pine coffin a few steps to the gravesite. There were people from all walks of life from men in suites to farmers in overalls. We all had one thing in common. We all loved Mike and he loved all of us. The preacher from Mike’s church said a few words and choked back tears at the same time. He had known the Longs and especially Mike for many, many years. A lady then sang Beulah Land and I think it’s the first time I’ve seen so many grown men and women openly sobbing including myself. There was no sound from traffic being it’s out in the country by the river. There was an old dog walking around and it might have been Mike’s, I don’t know. But this old dog even looked sad. The preacher told a few stories about Mike and about Mike’s faith in and love of God. He also told us that on this past Friday before Mike died on Sunday that Mike had called several old friends just to say hello and I love you. He had gone to visit Jim Bullard’s mother and left a note on her car since she wasn’t home. She lives in Chattanooga. He then drove to Jasper and visited with Benny Winny. Told him he loved him,; called Lewie and said the same. On Saturday his entire family went tubing at Hiwassee and they had such a great time. On Sunday he and Phyllis hooked up the horses and buggy and went for a ride for her birthday. After the preacher spoke for a few minutes he then asked Mike’s friends and family if they would like to share anything. Lewie started with such a great story and told of their long-time friendship. Benny-Winny broke down sobbing while trying to talk. Others tried to say something but like the rest of us could only sob. Mike’s son, Matt told how he and his dad were really late for his wedding a few years ago. It was there at the preacher’s church close by and his dad suggested they go for a horse ride before the wedding. They ended having to ride the horses to the wedding with briars etc all over them because they got lost. Between the laughter and tears Sim spoke and it had to be the hardest thing ever for him to do this. His wife was in surgery at the time of funeral this morning and he had left her in Kingsport I think it is. Anyhow, he told how Mike had half sung and half talked this old, old song at Sim’s son’s funeral and he promised Mike he would sing for his funeral too. Well, he did and it was the sweetest old song about Taking The Lord’s Hand and Sim sobbed and talked his way thru it. Then a lady sang Amazing Grace and I honestly believe we all got a little glimpse of Heaven right there in Spivey Cemetery down by the river. If any of us could’ve seen clearly thru our tears I do believe we’d seen the angels coming for Mike. The service last about 30 minutes and then everyone was invited to his home across the road and up the hill. I couldn’t stay but I feel sure many did. The preacher said there were over 700 people at the funeral home last night and they started lining up at 5:30 and the family didn’t leave til after 11:00 last night. Mike had sat down in his chair after the buggy ride and Phyllis went to take a nap. Mike just died peacefully in his chair at home.

I know our world was a better place because of Mike and I know how the angels are rejoicing tonight. Heaven is now a better place because of Mike. Rest in peace dear friend. For all of us who knew Mike knew that he was the best friend we ever had. I will miss him and so will the world.  Brenda Floyd Underwood

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