Thomas Ira Long

June 13, 1921 - June 14, 2014

Thomas Ira Long

June 13, 1921 - June 14, 2014


Ferndale, WA

Thomas Ira Long passed away peacefully in his Ferndale home on June 14, 2014. He was born in Pleasant Valley (Custer), Washington on June 13, 1921 to Thomas B. and Helga (Bruland) Long of early Whatcom County pioneer families.

Tom attended school near his family homestead farm in Pleasant Valley. He graduated from Custer High School in 1940 after which he joined the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) serving in Whatcom County. During WWII he joined the Navy Air Corps where he began his training to become a pilot. While his air training was still underway the war ended. In 1946, Tom met his future wife, Ruth Hansen, while they both worked at a Safeway store in Ferndale. They were married on September 28, 1947 and the following year started their family. Tom attended Cornish Art School in Seattle to pursue his interest in art and design until the needs of his growing family lead him to seek employment fulltime in Whatcom County.

For many years Tom found fulfillment in combining his love of work and art by becoming a Glazier at Dutch McBeath’s glass and paint company in Bellingham. Notably, he designed and built the beautiful large stained glass window on the Forest St. wall of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Later he was a founding partner in the St. John Glass company where he served as a glazier, estimator and manager until his retirement in 1986. Tom served in an elected position on the Enterprise Cemetery Board for many years.

Tom’s favorite hobby was his membership in the local Experimental Aircraft Association group whose members built small airplanes and took weekly flights around the northwest. Since his childhood, Tom loved everything about airplanes and flying, which he studied with great enthusiasm and always took an opportunity to “go up”.

Throughout his lifetime, Tom loved his family, his work and flying. He lived each day with a sense of humor, a willingness to work hard, kindness to all he met, and a quiet dignity. His smile charmed the world and made every day look brighter. Being part of a large extended family provided him with great pride and joy.

Tom is preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Ruth M. Long, parents Thomas B. and Helga Long, brothers Pete and Gene Long.

He is survived by daughters Rosanne Braden and Melanie (Marv) Prinsen, son Thomas J. Long, MD (Christine), grandchildren Reed Braden (Ellen Lebitz), Ethan and Greta Long, great-grandchildren Thomas and Samara Lebitz-Braden, brother David (Angie) Long, sister Mary Ann Stone and by many loving nieces, nephews and members of his extended family.

Tom embraced his experience at Louisa House, an assisted living residence in Ferndale, where he made many friends and touched the lives of residents and staff alike. His family are deeply grateful for the care, love and friendship he received there.

Farewell Tribute Information

Graveside services will be held on Tuesday, June 24 at 1:00 p.m. at Enterprise Cemetery, 7041 Vista Drive, north of Ferndale. A reception will follow at Christ Lutheran Church, 5904 Vista Drive in Ferndale, Washington.

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3 responses to Thomas Ira Long

  1. Extending strength and encouragement to Tom’s family during this time of separation. Your Dad was one of the good guys! I always enjoyed doing business with him and the friendship that resulted from him being a very nice guy. Norm

  2. Melanie & Marv, We were so very sorry to read of your dads passing. Just know that our hearts go out to you, and you are in our thoughts as you go through this sad time. Hank & Kathy

  3. My deepest sympathy to Tom’s family and friends. While it saddens me greatly to learn of the loss of someone such as Tom, it saddens God even more. He does not want your family to grieve in pain. Please know that he is very much aware of the many fond memories you shared together. That is why He promises to resurrect all those in The Memorial Tombs. ( John 5:28,29) As you await the fulfillment of His promise, take comfort from His word and extend comfort to your other grieving loved ones. ( 2 Cor 1:3,4) You can also find and share encouragement from this site All the best wishes for your family at this difficult time. I am truly sorry for your loss.

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