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July 31, 1922-July 7, 2011

KINSTON -- Cecil Early Long, known as "Shorty" to all and affectionately as "Pop Pop" to the four grandchildren he doted on, passed peacefully from his worldly existence early on the morning of July 7, 2011, at his home.

As befitting his nature, a private family memorial service was held at his home Saturday, July 9, 2011, conducted by Pastor Ronald Fletcher of Faith Lutheran Church. Visitation to pay respects was held Sunday, July 10 from 2 until 6 p.m. at 2107 West Road, Kinston. Garner Funeral Home has been in charge of all arrangements.

Born July 31, 1922, on a family farm near the crossroads community of Shelby in Madison County, Va., he was the second of five siblings, all of whom still survive him. His father, Cecil Early Long Sr., worked as a postal clerk and his mother, Ruth Elizabeth (Shifflett) Long was an educator, having graduated from Blackstone College in the Richmond, Va. area. Growing up in Charlottesville, Va., he attended McGuffie grade school and graduated from Lane High School. In 1942, his senior year, Shorty was class vice president, voted best all round, and secretary of the "C" Club, an athletic organization for which he earned his varsity letters in both football and boxing. He also competed in basketball and intramural track.

Following graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army and served his country during World War II as an expediter/supply clerk for the 48th Supply Squadron in an airplane parts depot in the China-Burma-India theater, achieving the rank of staff sergeant. Upon his honorable discharge from military service in January, 1946, he returned to Charlottesville and pursued several odd jobs until enrolling at Hampden-Sydney College in Farmville, Va. Although his dream of a career in dentistry was never realized due to economic hardship, he continued his educational pursuits through the G.I. Bill and graduated with a diploma in Master of Accounts from Dunsmore Business College in Staunton, Va. During this time, he had met his bride-to-be, Dorothy Ann Hiserman from Waynesboro, Va. on a blind date set up by his good friend, John Sensabaugh. Shorty and Dot were married on Oct. 24, 1947, and enjoyed 63 years together.

Starting with the DuPont de Nemours Company in Waynesboro, Va., Shorty and Dot moved south and became TarHeels for life in 1952 with the world's first Dacron/Polyester facility in Kinston. Work and family life became Shorty's driving forces. From their union came four children and four grandchildren, Thomas B. Long; Vicki S. Long Rosenow (Phil) and children, Cameron (Elizabeth) and Conner; William B. Long (fiancée, Kathy Percise); and Stacy A. Long Frankfort (Ed) and children, Alex and Nicolas.

Shorty also is survived by his wife, Dorothy H. Long, all of their children and grandchildren, and his four siblings; Shirley D. Alessi of Erie, Pa., and Frances E. Boger, Jeanne R. Jones and Charles F. Long (Ann), all of Charlottesville, Va.

Shorty's passions for reading, learning and seeking answers to the unknown kept his mind sharp in later years. His desire to assist, financially and emotionally, all of his children and grandchildren in achieving educational and academic prowess was a daily commitment that he took great pride in. From all of us, we owe his legacy a supreme debt of gratitude.

Shorty never met a stranger, had an ease with all who encountered his presence, was humble and as unassuming as they come, never boastful, and had an incredibly infectious smile and laugh that endeared him to many. Always helpful, his spirit and determination will live long among us all in remembering the odds and heartache he overcame in his youth and the drive to succeed he instilled in us. To the "biggest kid at Christmas," you will be in our hearts, never forgotten.

The family also extends a sincere debt of gratitude to all individuals, especially Noelle, Waheetah and Gale, who participated in his care and comfort during his final days.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Heart Association or to a charity of one's choosing.


Published in Obituaries on July 17, 2011 12:40 PM