TERRE HAUTE —
Ernest “Ernie” Franklin Long, 92, of West Terre Haute, passed away at 9:40 p.m. Friday, June 13, 2014, in Terre Haute Regional Hospital’s Rehabilitation Unit. He retired as a shop superintendent from Conrail Railroad in December 1981 after 40 years of service. Born Oct. 25, 1921, in West Terre Haute, to William Long and Catherine Belle Medley Long, he was the youngest of four children; Helen Smith (Herbert), Edward Long (Betty) and Marion Long (Annabelle) that predeceased him.
Ernie married the love of his life, Helen Jane (Blackburn) Long on March 1, 1941 in West Terre Haute, who he had been “sweet” on since the fourth grade. They celebrated 59 years of marriage prior to her death on April 7, 2000. Their marriage produced three children, Richard Ernest Long (deceased), Donald Edward Long, Terre Haute, and Loree Jane Roberts, West Terre Haute. Ernie is additionally survived by seven grandchildren, Richard “Doug” Long and his wife Jackie of Albion, Ill.; Kim Long, Ramona Long, Donald Jeffrey Long and Joshua Long, all of Terre Haute; additional grandchildren, Britanee Roberts Stivers and her husband Michael and Emilee Roberts, all of West Terre Haute. He is additionally survived by 12 great-grandchildren, Rhonda Long Hellis and her husband Phillip Jr., Nicole Long, Richard Ernest Long and his wife Ashlee, Mandy Long Ribolla and her husband Jamie, Jessica Long Cooper and her husband, Chris, Lyndi Bahr and her husband Andrew, Nate Long and his wife Anne, Kole Kemmer, Madison Long, Andrew Michael Paul Stivers, Cambree Denyelle Rene Stivers, and Brayden Franklin Wayne Stivers; additional survivors are 13 great-great-grandchilren; numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews; close friends, Naomi and Bill; and his beloved dog, Buffy Lou.
Together, Ernie and Jane were the co-owners of Long’s Beauty Shop in West Terre Haute, and Valley Beauty Supply in Terre Haute. They were also the co-founders of Long’s School of Hair Design, with Donald E. Long, which was in operation from April 1973 through February 2010. In March 2010, Ernie opened a new cosmetology school, Long’s School of Cosmetology with his daughter, Loree J. Long Roberts and granddaughter, Britanee J. Roberts Stivers.
He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army, stationed in Okinawa, Japan. He is a member of the American Legion Post 501 and a founding member of the Wren Smith Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6574, both in West Terre Haute. Additional memberships include First United Methodist Church in West Terre Haute, Terre Haute Hairdressers Association Affiliate No. 8, Indiana Hairdressers Association of Cosmetology, National Hairdressers and Cosmetologists Association, the Retired Railroad Men’s Association, and West Terre Haute Young Men’s Club. Ernie also was a member of the West Terre Haute Masonic Lodge, Zorah Shriners, where he was involved with the Zorah Zips, Shrine Banjo Strummers, Drum and Bugle Corps and enjoyed playing with a special group of friends known as the Banjo Strummers.
Funeral services for Ernie will be 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, 2014, in West Terre Haute First United Methodist Church, 116 N. 3rd St., in West Terre Haute, with the Rev. Michael Baker officiating. Burial will be at Bethesda Cemetery with military graveside rites provided by the Vigo County Veterans Honorguard. Visitation will be 11 a.m. until service time Wednesday at the church. Fitzpatrick Funeral Home assisted with arrangements.