Michael James Long, Jr. (1936 – 2010)

Mike Long was born in the Bronx, NY on Father’s Day, June 21, 1936, the first son of Michael J Long and Margaret Mary Kelly Long. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Astoria, Queens where Mike and his siblings Thomas, Theresa Evelyn, and Ann Marie spent their childhood.

During Mike’s formative years, Astoria was mostly an Irish immigrant neighborhood where it was easy to become part of Gaelic Ireland, listening to music, songs and stories and discussing Irish issues. Mike did not have far to venture to find the Irish experience. That came from his Limerick born father and his Mayo born mother. There was no shortage of Irish history lessons in the Long household. The Treaty Stone, the Land League and other milestones in Irish history were all discussed and committed to memory by the children during their early years in Astoria.

Mike was proud to note that he graduated from the School of Hard Knocks.  Courage, determination and endurance were the core subjects taught in that institution, all of which Mike excelled at.  These imbued qualities helped him overcome the many challenges he faced during his lifetime.

In 1956, Mike met and married Marie Fulmer.  After their marriage they moved to New Jersey where they raised four children, Theresa Marie, Michael, Patricia Ann and Kathleen Mary. Seven grandchildren rounded out the family. 

Mike served his country in the US Marine Corps. He became a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and worked in that industry for 10 years. In 1970, Mike served as President & CEO of Long Life Lighting an independent electrical contracting company.   The company specialized in designing and building innovative, energy and cost-effective custom structures for the transportation, rail, marine and airport industries.

Since 1965, Mike was a member of all four chapters of the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh. He was also an active member and supporter of all the Irish fraternal, cultural and charitable organizations in Essex County.

Mike was the Adjutant of 1969 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Newark. As Grand Marshal of the same parade in 1976 he had the honor to lead the American contingent honoring the American bi-centennial at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland.

In the early seventies, Michael, already imbued with his Gaelic background became involved with all of the leading cultural and fraternal Irish organizations in the Central Jersey area.  In 1996 he became a member of the Total Abstinence Association of the Scared Heart / Pioneers. He served that organization proudly until his death in 2010.

In 2002, Mike married Elsie Ford and became stepfather to two children and four grandchildren.  Mike’s family was complete with the inclusion of two great grand children

The State of New Jersey proclaimed June 21, 2006, the Michael J. Long, Jr. Day, in recognition of his contribution to the State of New Jersey, political and community service and support of its cultural diversity.

Despite all the accolades bestowed upon Mike Long in America, he did not shun the call for help when it came from the beleaguered people of Ireland in the early seventies. He worked as hard for their cause as any human could assisting the various organizations that supported the families of the front line warriors. 

Mike proved to be very effective operating behind the scenes during that period.

 Mary Margaret Kelly from Mayo and Michael J. Long from Limerick would have been very proud of their son Michael Lames Long JR.


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Posted 11/15/2011