Joanne C. Long was born in Jackson, MI on May 7, 1930 to the late Henry and Bertha Camden. She entered the gates of heaven on June 8, 2018. A consummate mother, grandmother and homemaker, she was preceded in death by the love of her life of 61 years James H. Long. They called South Daytona their home and there she was a loving mother to James Long (Kim), Seeley Lake, MT, Judy Lopez, Hephzibah, GA, Joni Long, St. Petersburg, FL, John Long (Barbara), Traveres City, MI, and Joe Long, South Daytona, FL. Joanne had many grandkids and great grandkids that she loved deeply. She was loved by many and her life will not be forgotten. There will be a graveside service on Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 10:00 am at Greenwood Cemetery with Chaplain Jim Smith officiating.
Life Story for Joanne Long
MEMORIES OF JOANNE C. LONG
May 7, 1930 – June 8, 2018
As anyone who had the esteemed pleasure of knowing and loving Joanne Camden Long would know, a piece of paper filled with structured paragraphs full of colorfully poetic words will not be enough to describe the imprint she left in this world, and more importantly, in our hearts. As you continue reading, you will likely agree.
Joanne, whose name was originally intended to be Jo Anne Camden, was a skipping stone creating ripples in the fabric of time from the day she was born on May 7, 1930, through her time as a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, until the morning she entered the gates of heaven on June 8, 2018.
Born to Bertha and Henry “Hank” Camden on 825 Herbert Street in Jackson, Michigan, Joanne, the youngest of four children, was a good girl with good grades who wanted to make sure that her parents were proud. She and her siblings learned about the world during The Great Depression and WWII. Perhaps these catastrophic events are major contributing factors to her love of all people. She truly took count of a person’s character vs. any physical descriptor they may have had. Her sisters, Donna and Arlene, and her brother, Charles, most certainly, were among those who welcomed Joanne into heaven.
Joanne met her future husband, James H. Long (Jimmy), on the Daytona Beach Board Walk while he was working as a Lifeguard and she was on vacation with her Mother, Father and her Best Friend. On January 13, 1950, the two made vows in front of God to have and to hold each other, whether they become rich or poor, through any sickness and during the blessings of health, until death would they part. Joanne was Jimmy’s caregiver even when it became difficult for her to walk. Although her beloved Jimmy went to be with the Lord on October 5, 2011, Joanne never let go of her vow to have, hold & to cherish her husband as we now lay her to rest next to him. After nearly 62 years of marriage, not a day went by that she didn’t miss his presence. Even in her last year, take solace knowing that she had some lucid moments knowing she was the cherished wife of an amazing man. Her daughter, Judy, fondly remembers her mom saying, “I don’t care that he had Alzheimer’s, I would take another day of it just to have him back”. Now, by the grace of God, they are eternally reunited.
Joanne and Jimmy, better remembered as Mom and Pop to their six children, Jimmy Long Jr., Judy Lopez, Joni Long, John Long, Joe Long and step daughter, Jinxie, were always a true north for their children to know the difference between right and wrong. Joanne, who was once in training as a Licensed Practical Nurse, was a true nurturer. When her memory was fading, she often used the nicknames she’d given her kids. To name them, Jimmy, her “Mountain Man”, Judy, her “Judy Booty”, Joni was “Joni Boney”, John, her “11 Pounder”, and Joe was her “Baby Boy”. Notice that all of the kids’ names started with the Letter “J”. She & Pop did that on purpose. They were a whole family of “J” names. As the kids got older, it was tradition for her to load up the kids into her blue Ford Falcon Station Wagon, while Pop stayed behind to work, for a family road trip into the Smokey Mountains, then on to visit her hometown of Jackson, Michigan. Joanne’s children recall that she went through wood shop training and was very successful at it. She made several pieces of furniture for the family. Of note, a beautiful preacher’s pulpit is now on display in her son and daughter-in law, John and Barb’s, home.
In 1960, Joanne’s favorite singer would debut on the circuit and that’s when her love of Willie Nelson emerged! She actually saw him in concert at least three times. In fact, ‘All Of Me’ was a big comfort to her in her last months. She would light up and remembered several of the words as she’d keep up with the sweet melody.
Joanne’s kids grew up nicely and had children of their own, thus dubbing her, Granny Long. She was a sweet and affectionate Granny to all 17 of her grandchildren. She even took a few of them in when they needed a place to rest their heads. She helped to raise Judy’s daughter, Stephanie, when Judy enlisted in the Navy and attended school to be an LPN. When Jimmy’s Son, Jake, was in a terrible motorcycle accident, she took him in while he recuperated in a nearly full body cast. When Judy’s son, Rafael, needed a place go in order to get on his feet, she made sure he had 3 square meals and a roof over his head too. Granny kept track of every single birthday and, although she didn’t have much, she would often times surprise them with a little bit of cash in the card if she could. She and her grand-daughter, Kristen O’Brien, once made a pillow together. Kristen recalls that Granny enjoyed stitching little pouch pockets, sewing them together and then sewing them to the front of a pillow. Kate remembers one Christmas the whole family received custom hand-knitted scarves. Hers, which she still has, is pink and her dad’s is camouflage colors. Her giving heart was one of her best traits. She gifted her dear grandson, Jared, a lifetime sportsman’s license which, if you know him, he truly appreciated. Granny was also a very good pencil artist, sketching family members and other images in her sketch pad. Two of her most notable sketches were of her late grandson, John, who she loved and missed greatly, and of the late mother of one of her granddaughter, Isila’s, friends when they were in high school. Every sketch she made was nearly identical to their actual image. She sketched nearly every family member.
Joanne was a friend to many. Her best friends were Barbara Shea (longest dearest friend), Joan O’Leary, Marie Rosenbaum, Joyce Kern (her church visitation buddy), Ellie DeWeese (Sister In-law). She enjoyed writing letters to them and certainly enjoyed reading theirs. As a matter of fact, she and Shea, as Joanne would call her, were together on the beach when she first met Jimmy. She told Shea, “I’m going to marry that man someday”. She did exactly that. Joanne and Jimmy were long-time members of White Chapel Church of God in South Daytona Beach, Florida. She especially enjoyed her time spent volunteering with a handful of other ladies at the White Chapel Thrift Store. Joanne was such a giver of her time and her listening ear. Her dear friend from church, “Uncle” Bob Caldwell, lost his eyesight in his later years. She picked him up and drove him to church every Sunday, to his doctor appointments, grocery shopping, etc. She even made sure he spent holidays at home with her family so that he wouldn’t be alone. We fondly recall a senior moment Joanne once had when she slipped up and asked Uncle Bob, while driving to and fro, if she was clear to change lanes.
Sadly, Uncle Bob passed on and Joanne adopted his adorable pup, Snoopy. Snoopy loved her and she loved Snoopy. The two were inseparable. Joanne had a true love for animals. Her front yard was an oasis for squirrels with tall trees in all directions. She loved to sit on the porch and feed the squirrels. She always had a pet cat or two. One of her favorite cats was a grey cat named Buggy Boo. Losing Buggy was a very difficult time for her, but it didn’t keep her from loving her animals. In fact, in the last year or so, she loved and cared for her stuffed animals. One little tiny stuffed puppy, appropriately named Blue Eyes, for his giant blue eyes, was her source of comfort. She loved Blue Eyes and held him in her hand every chance she could get. Her son, Joe, believes that she loved that puppy especially because her sweetie, Jimmy, had blue eyes too.
Joanne was an old school democrat who liked to give everyone a hand up. She used to get so sad when she’d see someone acting ugly. She’d say how sad it was that they used to be someone’s innocent baby and that she couldn’t imagine what they’d been through to make them behave so ugly toward others. Joanne had a very giving heart. She made regular charitable contributions to The Disabled American Veterans and the Domestic Abuse Council Thrift Store. She had only a few weaknesses in life and those were Pringles, Vernors, Ice Cream & Root Beer.
Bigger than the sadness of our loss, we must be so grateful that she was rescued from the pain her body confined her to. Even bigger than that, we must be overjoyed to know that Joanne Camden Long is with her Heavenly Father for eternity. “Like sands in the hourglass, so are the days of our lives”.