Obituary – Earl Smith Long Jr.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Earl Smith Long
Earl Smith Long Jr. 1926-2016

Loving husband, brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Earl S. Long Jr., aged 89, of Shoreline, Washington, died peacefully last year on February 3, 2016.

Earl was born on May 25, 1926 in Clarinda, Iowa to Earl and Lois (Linebaugh) Long. He was the fourth of ten children, and spent his youth moving frequently, with his family, in both Iowa and Missouri. They ultimately settled in Hartsburg, Missouri, where he would be the first member of his family to graduate from high school.

Following graduation in 1944, Earl was drafted into the US Army where he served as an Infantryman and saw combat in Europe during WWII. Following the war and a brief return to civilian life, he reenlisted and returned to Europe where he served in the Constabulary Forces in Austria and met the love of his life, Gunde Friedl.

They were married on November 24, 1948 in Salzburg, Austria and celebrated their 65th anniversary before Gunde died in 2014. Earl made the army his career, serving for 22 years before retiring as a Major of Infantry in 1966. During his career he served several tours in Germany, in Korea during the Korean War, and at numerous posts throughout the US.

He was also a remarkable football player, captain of both his undefeated high school football team, and the team that won the US Military European Championship in 1949.

Along the way, he and Gunde had two children – Ronald and Jeffery. His last posting with the army was at Fort Lawton, in Seattle.

They bought a house in the neighborhood just north of Seattle, now the city of Shoreline, which was their home for the next 50 years. Following his military career, Earl worked for almost 20 years as a driver’s license examiner for the State of Washington.

After his and Gunde’s retirements, they continued their travels throughout the US and world, frequently visiting family and friends in Europe, walking on the beaches in Hawaii, and visiting the distant countries of New Zealand and Fiji.

It can be said of Earl that he never sat still for very long, and he was always ready for travel and adventure. Following the death of his loving wife in 2014, Earl spent his last two years in the kind care of the staff at Brookdale Memory Care in Alderwood, Washington.

Earl is survived by his sister Delores Sloan of Maryville, and brother Larry Long of Holts Summit, both in Missouri; by his sons Ronald and Jeffery; their wives Heidi Bodding and Missy Long; grandchildren Nick, Lindsey, Anneliese, and Tristan; and great-grandchildren Connor and Aidan. Additionally, Earl is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. He is remembered fondly, and missed by all.


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