Lonnie “Wayne” Long completed his 72 years of service on this Earth on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020. He lived his life as a servant to others.
Wayne was born on Aug. 30, 1948, in Nevada to Andrew Jackson Long and Mary Lucinda Spencer Long. He spent his early years in El Dorado Springs and Kansas City, before his family moved to Riverside, California, where he lived until he joined the Navy in 1968.
Wayne served in the U.S. Navy for 24 years and retired as a senior chief petty officer in 1991 after serving in Vietnam through Desert Storm as an aviation electrician, mission planner, drug and alcohol counselor and maintenance chief. During his service in the Navy, Wayne spent time on every continent except Europe, including Antarctica.
On April 4, 1981, Wayne married Kathleen Truxaw in San Diego, California. They traveled extensively by RV, timeshares and hotels in the U.S. Yosemite was a favorite destination. They also traveled internationally, filling in the last continent for Wayne with trips to Europe.
While in the Navy, Wayne completed a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science with an emphasis in drug and alcohol counseling, and a master’s degree in counseling psychology. He was working on a doctorate in clinical psychology until he decided that he did not need another stressful career.
After he retired from the Navy, Wayne delivered mail for 12 years and always connected with his customers and their dogs along his route. After retiring from the post office, he moved to Bolivar, where he served as a custodian and building manager at Bolivar First Christian Church.
Wayne was ordained to serve as an elder in the church and was recognized for his concern for the members of the church, checking in regularly with many of them and helping scores of people in his community through his kind presence and steady helping hands. He was also the go to person for anything people needed at church because he noticed what needed to be done and did it.
Wayne was predeceased by his parents and aunts and uncles. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen; children Karl Dana Long of Phoenix, Arizona, and Patricia Long Crawford (Drew) of Springfield; his sister, Ginger Mazzola (Bill) of Dallas, Georgia; his grandson, Nathan; stepgrandchildren, Alex and Kenna; and many nieces and nephews.
Services were Monday, Dec. 28, at Bolivar First Christian Church. Burial was at the Springfield Veteran’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Bolivar First Christian Church.