Harry Thomas “Tom” Long, 84 of Duluth, MN passed away April 19th, 2022, due to injuries related to a fall and advanced Alzheimer’s disease. What that terrible disease never did take was Tom’s gentle spirit, his beautiful smile, and his love for family and friends. Tom was born on December 29, 1937, in Brackenridge, PA, to Joseph Merle Long and Ruth Lorraine (Eurich) Long.
Tom was the fourth child (and second son) of five children. Tom left--but never forgot-- his vibrant “steel mill” town of Brackenridge, PA on the Allegheny River at age 17 to attend Anderson College, IN. From there he attended the University of Chicago, graduating with a BA degree in English. He married the true love of his life, Vyonne Annette Houghtelin (Owatonna, MN) and together they adventured west to Oregon, where he worked as a fire ranger and a teacher. He earned his Master’s degree in Linguistics from San Francisco State University, CA. His love for Spanish, poetry, literature, and language led him to the doctoral program at UC Berkeley. He moved his young family to Duluth, MN in August of 1969 where he taught in the Spanish Department for 8 years at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. Mid-life, he began a 25-year career for the USPS as a rural mail carrier. He loved being in nature. He enjoyed Minnesota in all seasons, cared for everyone in his life, including those on his route, and had time to write, read, think, and write poetry, his true passions in life. He taught Community Adult Education courses in Spanish and The Great Books; volunteered faithfully for Meals-on-Wheels; played cello in the Duluth Community Orchestra; and assisted his community and neighbors in numerous ways. He will be remembered most for how he appreciated the people in his life and being an amazing storyteller that conveyed his deep care, insight, and appreciation for them. He was able to paint the detail in just the right words and stories often had people laughing with tears streaming down their faces. Tom’s quiet, beautiful, humble spirit and his deep love for his family will always be with us.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Vyonne (Houghtelin); son, Eric Long; brother, Rex (Rose) Long; sister, Carol (Joe) Kowalski; sister, Ruth (Lou) Lisko; grandson, Samuel Krebs; and granddaughter, Laura Krebs.
Tom is survived by his daughter, Karlin (Eric) Krebs, Duluth, MN; son, Matthew (Jorge Guttierez Naranjo) Krebs, Barcelona, Spain; sister, Joyce (Harold) Orris, and numerous and always treasured nieces, nephews, other relatives, friends, and caregivers.
Our family is truly grateful for the support family and friends have shown us through this extremely difficult time.
We would also like to express a very special thank you and deep gratitude to the caregivers, staff, and all the residents at Westwood Terrace (Benedictine Living Community), who were able to care for him, enjoy him, and truly give him the best quality of life a person with Alzheimer’s could have during the past 2 ½ years.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider a donation to any organization that supports research and a cure for Alzheimer’s.
We will celebrate the life of Tom Long on May 27th, 2022, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth, 835 West College Street, Duluth MN. Visitation at 1-2 pm. Service at 2 pm. Refreshments following the service.