Keith Lewis Long
(June 13, 1920 - July 28, 2013)
Keith L. Long was born June 13, 1920, in Stella, Missouri, to Lewis and Ola (Patton) Long. He was the second child of six children. The family moved from Stella to Franklin in 1935 during the depression. After graduating from Franklin High School, in 1939 he moved to Tonganoxie, Kansas, where he lived with his Uncle and Aunt, Elmer and Lilia Groves. He enlisted into service of the United States Navy on January 16, 1942 serving three years and eight months during WW II. While stationed at the naval base in Pensacola, Florida, he worked his way up to 1st Class Aviation Metal Smith working on planes. While in the service he met and married Betty Jean (Holobaugh) on July 7, 1943. The newlyweds made their home in Fairhope, Alabama, for the next six years where he attended electrical school and received his State License. At the request of his father Keith moved back to Franklin to help manage Long's Café from 1949 - 1953 and farm. In 1957 he became employed by the U.S. Postal Service and on July 11, 1980 retired after 23 years. He renewed his electrical license for the State of Nebraska and did electrical work for the next 10 years. He has served his community as a member of the Board of Education for many years and signed the Bond Issue for the new school, a member of the Franklin Fire Department, Boy Scout Leader. He was a life time member of the American Legion. Keith had a love for baseball. As a high school student he and his classmates spent many weekends walking to nearby towns to play games. After high school he played shortstop for the Wellborn Blues out of Kansas City. While in the Service he organized pickup games. He coached baseball in Franklin from 1951 - 1971. At one time he was coaching four different teams the same season.
He was an avid hunter, fisherman, Husker Fan, gardener and card player. He played with the Franklin Card Club for 30 years. He cherished sharing his garden produce with everyone. He enjoyed teasing people. Even at the age of 90 he would drop something in a friend's grocery cart when they were not looking and then stand back and grin as they checked out wondering how in the world that item got in there
He enjoyed life, family and friends. He was surrounded by friends his entire life, old, young and families from Missouri, Alabama and Franklin. People were important to him. His house was always open to anyone and Betty saw to it they had a plate at the table. His children often referred to their home as Grand Central Station saying, they had to share their mom and dad with a lot of people.
Keith leaves behind his wife, Betty of 70 years, a sister-in-law he raised as his own daughter, Martha Reppert and husband Tom of Crofton, Maryland, his three sons; Keith (Buster) Long and wife Jan of McPherson, Kansas, Elmer (Tom) Long of Franklin, Nebraska, Kenny Joe Long and wife Lona of Kearney, Nebraska, seven grandchildren, Brenton, Stephanie, Kinley, Erin, Jason, Jeannie, Tory; nine great grandchildren; one great-great-granddaughter; brothers: Bill Long and wife Jean, Bob Long and wife Karen and a sister-in-law Chris Long. He was preceded in death by his parents; sister Lola and brother-in-law Les Meyer; his brothers - Buck and Kenny and his wife, Wilma Long; and two nephews - K.C. and Russell Long.
He was very proud of his entire family, nephews and nieces.
Grand Central Station will be closed but he will be remembered for his quiet, unnoticed acts of kindness and the first question he will probably ask when he meets his creator will be, "are the fish biting?"
Keith died Sunday, July 28, 2013, at the Golden Living Center, Franklin, Nebraska, at the age of 93 years, 1 month, and 15 days.
A celebration memorial service will be Saturday, August 10, 2013, at 2:00 p.m., at the Greenwood Cemetery, Franklin, Nebraska, with Pastor Chad Boggs officiating. Military honors will be given by American Legion Post, and United States Navy Honor Guard. Inurnment will follow services in the cemetery. The family is inviting everyone to a reception at the Senior Citizens Center in Franklin. The family has requested memorials to Franklin Senior Citizens Center for Meals-On-Wheels at 621 15th Avenue, or Grace Lutheran Church, both of Franklin, Nebraska 68939.
Online condolences may be left at www.hutchinsfh.com. Hutchins Funeral Home, Franklin, Nebraska, was in charge of arrangements.