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Written by Administrator   
Saturday, 01 November 2008 09:00

It is with a heavy heart we must inform everyone that Joseph J. Long, Sr. passed away this morning at Peninsula Regional Medical Center. He loved all his friends, local and online. It is a very difficult time for Mabel and the rest of the family. We ask you please hold all emails and telephone calls while we deal with this trying time. Please feel free to leave your thoughts and messages on the blog.

Official Obituary & Arrangements | Print |
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 02 November 2008 13:30

Senator Joseph J. Long, Sr., 87 of Salisbury, MD, died Saturday in the Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Salisbury, MD.   Born in Delmar, MD, on July 19th, 1921, he was the son of the late John Frank Long, Sr. and Mary Anna Parker Long.

He was a member of the Bethesda United Methodist Church, American Legion and the Democratic Clubs, and was one of the original organizers of the Sea Gull Club of Salisbury University. He was also very active in many other community organizations over the years.

Senator Long attended school in Delmar until moving to Salisbury in 1933.  He was in a group of four classes that first attended Wicomico Elementary in the new high school on East Main Street.  After graduation in 1938 from Wicomico High School where he played varsity football and baseball, he attended Paynter Business School.

His first real job was with Eastern Shore Public Service (now Delmarva Power) as an inventory clerk.  He left that employment and worked at the Seaford Nylon Plant until he went into the military early in World War II.  He spent almost four years in the United States Army Air Corps as an airplane mechanic before being discharged as a Technical Sergeant and Line Chief.  While in the service, he attended Mechanical School in Lincoln, Nebraska, P-39 School at the Bell Corporation in Niagara Falls, New York, P-51 School at the North American Corporation in Inglewood, California, YO-60 Autogiro School in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania and other related courses by the Air Corps.

During those service years, he was fortunate to have worked directly under Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio which was the heart of the Air Corps.  His squadron was primarily an outlet for testing and instruction.  Testing was done on all types of new aircraft to learn the qualities they had for aerial combat and durability and sorting through information sent to it to help solve aerial combat problems faced by pilots.  This was some of the main functions of his squadron.  During an emergency, the squadron was stationed at Batista Air Field outside of Havana Cuba.

Discharged on February 1946, he was employed by Chesapeake Airways in Salisbury as a licensed airplane and engine mechanic.  From 1947 to 1981, he was employed as an electrician on the Pennsylvania Railroad, Penn Central and Conrail, when he retired with 34 years of service.

In 1958 he was a winning candidate as a member of the Salisbury City Council.  During that term he became the Vice President of the Council when another member moved up to be Mayor.  It was during this term that cable television (CATV) legislation was introduced and passed, making Salisbury the first privately owned paid television cable system in Maryland.

During those years he had become involved in community projects, such as Little League, Pony League and the Boy Scouts.  He was a Manager, President and District Representative of Little League, Manager and President of Salisbury Pony League and Scoutmaster at Bethesda United Methodist Church.

In 1948 he was a member of the Shad Point Blue Sox and later from 1949 to 1958, played as a catcher for the Princess Anne Legionaires.  He was manager of the Delmar Railroaders and also played with Greenbackville in the Marva League.  He was elected and inducted to the Eastern Shore Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993.

After the four years on the Salisbury City Council, he was a successful candidate for one of the four seats Wicomico County had in the House of Delegates.  Serving four terms in the House he was a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the Economic Matters Committee, where he served as Labor Sub Committee Chairman for approximately eight years.

In 1978, he successfully ran for the Maryland Senate where he served two terms.  Committee assignments in the Senate were on the Constitutional and Administrative Law and the Judiciary Committees.  Other assignments were the Governor’s Commission to study the Public Employee Labor Relations Laws, the Governor’s Commission to study the Revision of the Child Labor Laws, Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee to study the Economy and as a member of the Advisory Committee on Elevators.  He actively supported all employee “safety on the job” legislation and sponsored more of this type of legislation than anyone in the Legislature.  He was a charter member of the Bi-State (VA and MD) Chesapeake Bay Commission and in 1983, was chosen Vice Chairman of the Commission.

Richard Cooper wrote in one of his columns that three people in Wicomico County’s history had gone from the Salisbury City Council to the Maryland Senate and that Senator Long was the only one that had served during the last century.

After serious neck surgery in 1983, he retired from the Legislature in 1986 and enjoyed doing the things he had been unable to do while a Delegate and Senator.

He loved serving his community (especially the Epilepsy Association) and his work as a legislator.  He always wanted to help those who needed his assistance and often told his friends that all he wanted out of life was to be of service to his people and to have his children be proud of him.

He is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Mabel H. Long; 5 children, Joseph J. Long, Jr. and his wife, Sharon, Jack Long and his special friend, Sheree, Brenda Austin and her husband, Perry Missel, Brian Austin and his wife, Marcy and a “special son” Matt Adams; 5 grandchildren, Jennifer Lord and her husband, Arty, Jessica Long, Michael Long, Matthew Austin and Lindley Austin; a great grandson, Joshua P. Lord and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by 3 sisters, Dora Emily Long Smith, Miriam Long Burton and Anna Parker Long Fay and by 2 brothers, J. Frank Long, Jr. and Gilbert Clark Long.

A funeral service will be held Friday, November 7th, 2008 at 1:00 pm at the Holloway Funeral Home with Rev. Dr. Robert L. Harris officiating.  There will be a visitation on Thursday evening from 5 to 8pm and also on Friday from 11 to 1pm.  Interment will follow at Wicomico Memorial Park in Salisbury.

Contributions may be made in his memory to the Epilepsy Association of the Eastern Shore, 688 E. Main St., Salisbury, MD 21804 and or the Bethesda United Methodist Church, 406 N. Division St., Salisbury, MD 21801.

Arrangements are in the care of Holloway Funeral Home, PA, 501 Snow Hill Road, Salisbury, MD 21804.   Please visit to express condolences to the family.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 November 2008 20:32