OBITUARY: Walter Long

Walter Long, retired clinical social worker, died on Nov. 24, 2020.

He was born Aug. 28, 1932, in Norton. His mother, Beulah Samuelson, died in childbirth, and he was cared for by his maternal grandmother, Pearl Samuelson, and his aunt, Mary Margaret Samuelson. When he was 1-1/2 years old, his father, Ralph Long, a Methodist minister, married Mary Margaret.

As a “preacher’s kid,” he grew up in several different Kansas communities, including Lenora, Hunter, Agra, Wayne, Logan and Tescott. He graduated from Logan High School in 1950.

He met his future wife, Shirley Mosburg at the Broughton Methodist Church Easter Sunrise Service in 1950 where his father was minister. They were married in Broughton Methodist Church on Aug. 28, 1953.

After two years at Kansas Wesleyan, he joined the Air Force and was discharged four years later to return to Kansas Wesleyan for his undergraduate degree. His major studies were sociology, elementary education, vocal music and church music. He then completed his master’s degree in social work at The University of Kansas in 1960. He later completed a Program of Advance Study in Social Work from Smith College, 1964.

Walter’s 35-year work history focused on children and families in mental health and youth residential programs sponsored by private church-related institutions. (Youthville, Prairie View, and Missouri Methodist Home for Children).  He also coordinated field placement and taught students at Tabor College in the 1960s.

Upon retirement, he volunteered at several community outreach programs in Newton including Health Ministries and Respite Care. Otherwise, his activities included trying to learn how to play golf, bicycle rides across Kansas (19 times), bicycling with this wife Shirley, weekly table tennis competition, gardening, photography, music, church attendance and mixing with the grandchildren.

Walt placed a high value on encouraging and challenging people to experience growth, resolution of their struggles for a more satisfying life, and change for the better in their lives.

Proceeding him in death were his parents and half-brother William Andrew Long.  Survivors include one daughter, Sheri Appel, (Jon) Manhattan, Jared, Logan and Aaron (Lindsey); and two sons, Wes Long (Sara) of Silver Spring, Md., Sienna, Wilder and Sage and Wayne Long (Sheri Anne) of Spring Hill, Krista and Matt. Two sisters were adopted by his parents, Evelyn Kay Zink and Margaret Louise Long.

Memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 13, at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church. Memorial contributions can be made to the music department at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, 1200 Boyd Ave. Newton.

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