Victor “Vic” Lee Long, 96, of East Alton, died at 9:53 a.m. Thursday, March 26, 2015, with his family by his side at Jerseyville Nursing and Rehab in Jerseyville.
He was born on Nov. 29, 1918, in Wrights, the son to the late Benjamin and Lona B. (Cunningham) Long.
Victor graduated early from “Wrights University,” where he went on to farm and hunt his family’s land. A lifelong baseball fan and player, he was picked up by the St. Louis Cardinals as a pitcher but before the season started he was drafted into the U.S. Army. He landed on Normandy Beach and was an Artillery Crew Chief in the 29th division for four years.
He returned home and married Betty Lou Roodhouse on Oct. 28, 1945. The couple built their home in East Alton and he then worked as a machinist for 37 years at Standard Oil. Vic and Betty enjoyed traveling, fishing, horseshoe pitching, and spent their summers in Montana. He is still the only person to hold the title of State Horseshoe Champion in both Illinois and Montana at the same time. Betty preceded him in death on March 27, 2003.
For the last 12 years, he was a daily regular at Golden Corral in Alton, where he ate mashed potatoes and pot roast seven days a week. Vic was adopted by many of the staff as an official “grandpa” and he in turn considered them family.
Survivors include a son and daughter-in-law, Steven Long and Jing Chen of East Alton; a daughter, Luana J. Lee of Nokomis; six grandchildren, Curtis Williamson, Lori Williamson, Julie Smith, Sara Neely, Benjamin Long and Jacob Long; honorary granddaughter Kristy Jacquin; 14 great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law, Marilyn (Roodhouse) Goeben.
Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until time of services at 10 a.m. Monday, March 30, 2015 at Paynic Home for Funerals. Burial with military honors will follow at Wrights Cemetery in Wrights.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the United Service Organization.
Online information and guestbook may be found at www.paynicfh.com.