James Henry Long, age 85, passed from this earth at 5:45 p.m. Saturday, May 5, 2007, at home in Commerce and now rests with his wife and family in God's heaven. He studied the scriptures and applied them to his life.

James Henry Long was born near Rankin (now known as Reydon), Okla. on Dec. 23, 1921, to George W. and Hattie Mae Long. He had one brother and two sisters. He attended first grade at New Meadowbrook School in Roger Mills County, Okla.. The family moved to northeastern Oklahoma and he grew up on Hudson Creek near the Narcissa community where he attended second through sixth grade at Oseuma School and seventh and eighth grade at Hudson Creek School. He attended Fairland, Okla., High School, graduating in 1939. He also attended Northeastern Oklahoma A&M before marrying Mildred, his wife of 64 years. She preceded him in passing on May 2, 2006.

James was a veteran of World War II, serving with the Naval Reserve in the Pacific Theatre. He was a flight engineer on a PB-2Y seaplane and flew over much of the Pacific Ocean during the war.

He and Mildred lived in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Memphis, Tenn., and Oakland, Calif., during those years of service. After the war, James and Mildred lived in Commerce, Okla.; the state of Washington, and Bonner Springs and Baxter Springs, Kan., before settling in Joplin, Mo.He worked as a millwright, carpenter and worked the mines named Blue Goose and Kenoyer in the area. He also worked for many years for Empire District Electric Company, starting as a lineman and finishing as the electrical maintenance foreman at the the Riverton then Asbury generating plants. He was a mechanical whiz-kid from his youth and enjoyed taking apart and then putting back together anything mechanical or electrical. He invented tools for his work and he especially enjoyed helping neighbors and family in everyday tasks.

Survivors include one daughter, Susan Temaat and husband Keith of Hutchinson, Kan.; one son, James Long Jr. and wife Rebecca of the home; one daughter-in-law, Nancy Daffin of St. Lake City, Utah; nine grandchildren, David Long, Claire Long, Christine Long, John Long, Brad Long, Nathan Long, Andrew Long, Kenneth Temaat and Kendra Temaat; one great-grandchild, Connor Long, and two sisters, Anna Jane Lee of Miami and Marjorie James of Norwalk, Calif.

In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; one son, George Louis Long, and one brother, George Willis Long.

Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Southeast Baptist Church in Commerce. Pastor Jerry Von Moss will officiate. Burial will be in G.A.R. Cemetery in Miami. The family will serve as pallbearers. The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Paul Thomas Funeral Home in Miami.

Memorial contributions can be made to Heaven and Earth Hospice in care of the mortuary.

Services are under the care and direction of Paul Thomas Funeral Home of Miami.

Paid Obituary