Gerald Longbons

December 16, 1924July 1, 2018
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Philip Gerald Longbons, 93, of Albion, IL passed from this life to the next on July 1, 2018 at Rest Haven Manor in Albion.

Gerald was born December 16, 1924 in Albion, IL to Nettie (Fewkes) and Edward (Ted) Longbons. He married Vera Pixley on February 12, 1950 at her parents’ home in Wabash County, and she preceded him in death on November 1, 1965. He married Leatrice Woods on August 25, 1968 at Little Prairie Christian Church, and she survives.

He was a Veteran, serving in the Army in the South Pacific. Gerald was a farmer, and a Vigertone dealer for 43 years. He was a lifetime member of the Little Prairie Christian Church where he served as Treasurer for 20 years. He served on the Greater Wabash Regional Planning Commission Board for 15 years, and was a County Commissioner and Road District Commissioner and Clerk for several years.

Gerald is survived by his wife, Leatrice; one daughter: Ellen Sams of Albion; three step-daughters: Cindy (Vic) Lowe of Lincoln, IL, Lesa (Rick) Etheridge of Albion, and Sheila (Sam) Smith of Albion; one brother, Roy (Pat) Longbons of Albion; one sister-in-law, Dixie Longbons of Albion; and 10 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife; an infant son, James Edward on September 1, 1953; a grandson, Eli Sams on July 1, 2012; his son-in-law, Larry Sams on April 1, 1998; two brothers: James and Doyle; and two sisters: Evelyn and Mary.

Visitation will be held Thursday, July 5, 2018 from 10 a.m. until noon at Ingram Funeral Home in Albion, IL. The funeral service will be held at noon at the funeral home with burial to follow at Graceland Cemetery with military rites at the graveside.

Memorials may be made to the Little Prairie Building Fund, and envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

Online condolences and fond memories may be shared with the family at

Ingram Funeral Home of Albion is honored to be entrusted with the arrangements.


  • Visitation Thursday, July 5, 2018
  • Funeral Service Thursday, July 5, 2018

Gerald Longbons

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tom Cater

September 18, 2018

I knew Gerald as a quiet man with a big grin and a firm handshake. I used to tease him about that grin...accusing him of looking like he'd just gotten away with something. The thing that I'll miss most about Gerald is his enthusiasm to pray. During his time in the nursing home, when I'd go for a visit and ask to pray with him, he'd grab my hand and say, "Yes, please!" Then he'd ask me to pray for other family members first before I'd pray for him. Gerald was a good man with a kind, selfless heart, and I'm honored to have known him.

Tiffany McVaigh

September 13, 2018

I have known Gerald my entire life. His granddaughter, Lydia, is my oldest friend, so he has always been a part of my life as well. I will always remember his kind smile and bright eyes, and how he would always pull me close with a handshake. He loved to watch my daughter and Lydia's son play together at Samuel's birthday parties. He thought it was neat that Lydia and I were so close in age, and then we had babies that were also very close in age.

On the Wednesday before he passed, I went to visit him in the nursing home. I hadn't seen him in a few months, and knew he wasn't doing very well; so I wasn't sure if he would remember me or not. As soon as I walked in, I could see that he had deteriorated a lot since I had seen him last, and my heart broke. He was not feeling well and he kept saying "Dear Lord, please help me". Even in a time when he was hurting, scared, away from home, and not well, he looked at me and said "Hi Tiffany Mann (my maiden name, and how he would always know me)". He then proceeded to tell me that I lived in the Trapp house (what my house was known as when he knew of it many years ago) and that I was a teacher. We talked about birthdays and I asked him how old he would be on his next birthday. He told me and I reminded him that our birthdays were close. He said "I know, yours is December 19th." I was shocked and humbled.

Gerald was a wonderful man who will be greatly missed. I am forever thankful that I went to visit him that week, and that I have that final memory in my heart.

Scott Saxe

September 12, 2018

Gerald was a great neighbor and was always very nice to me. Once when I was in high school I got my dad's truck stuck in the back of Wanboro lake, while I was checking my traps, and I walked to Red Hill Station and saw Rick Etheridge and told him what happened and he drove me to Gerald's house and Gerald fired up the tractor and the three of us went to Wanboro and he pulled me out. I remember my dad told me Gerald was a really great high school football player.

Ellen Sams

September 8, 2018

Daddy, I found this and it needs to be put on your tributes
Farmer's Passport
A man stood at the pearly gate, his face was lined and old; he stood before the man of fate for admission to the fold.
What have you done, St. Peter asked, to gain admission here? I've been a farmer, the old man said, for many and many a year. The pearly gates swung open wide, St. Peter rang the bell. Enter--choose your harp, he said, you've had your share of hell.

Kevin Smerdon

September 6, 2018

I have a lot of memories of Gerald, and all of them are positive! I loved his laugh, and his eyes twinkled when he would smile. I grew up across the street, and Gerald and Leatrice were always great neighbors. They used to take me to church with them back in the early 70's (when I would go, Lol). I have a small pocket bible that they gave me that is dated 1973, that I have kept over the years. As I grew older, I came to know God better and have developed a personal relationship with him. I'm positive that he put people in my lives like Gerald and Leatrice to help mentor me along!

As I grew older, I would always enjoy visiting with Gerald when I would see him. He would always have a story about something I did in my childhood. I know Gerald is in peace now and with no pain. I look forward to being able to visit with him again someday!

Sharon Sullens

August 20, 2018

Gerald was such a kind, caring, Christian. Most of my remembrances center around Little Prairie Christian Church where he was a leader for many years. He always had a smile and words of encouragement for the young people. I will always remember his concern for our family when my Dad died suddenly at an early age. His support meant a lot to my Mother.

MaryJo Barnard

August 4, 2018

When our children Nathan and Jessica joined 4-H, we wanted them to have some farm experiences. My cousin had dairy goats then and gave each of our children a goat kid. Nathan named his goat Patty and Jessica named hers Cocoa. I think Gerald (and Bruce) had some goats at that time. Anyway, we went to Gerald for advice about care. Whenever we had a question about the goats, our neighbor Gerald had the answers.
He told us that when the horns started growing, we should call him and he would cut off the horn buds and cauterize the wounds. He had a box for the goat to be penned in, and an electric "knife." The deed was done quickly: the goat just bawled a few seconds.
I also enjoyed walking by on the road in front of their house and visiting with him if he happened to be sitting in his "meditation chair." He knew a LOT about Wanboro, and I didn't, so it was a pleasure to learn from him. Good guy.

Gene Shepherd

August 3, 2018

There has never been a time in my life when I did not know Gerald Longbons. As church leader, friend of my parents, hard working farmer, dedicated husband and father of my close friend, he was always in my life as a positive role model. While his memory initially provokes very happy thoughts - playing in the tree house he made for Ellen, parties and events at the Longbons’ house, not getting into too much trouble for regularly driving his car before I got my license and visits together in recent years - he always stands tall in my mind as a positive Christian role model who persevered, with faith and dedication, during the most difficult times life had to offer.

Tony Johnson

August 2, 2018

I have very fond memories of Gerald from Little Prairie. When I attended Lincoln Christian College he was so supportive and always found me when I was home to ask how I was doing. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you Ellen, Leatrice and family.

Eli Sams

August 1, 2018

There are three things that I like about my grandpa. My grandpa farms, helps me with the lawn mower, and mows his hay field. To begin with, my grandpa farms in the summer. When my grandpa has trouble with his tractor he comes to my house. I go in his combine and watch him shell corn. Next, he helps me with the lawn mower when it's broke. He charges the lawn mower up. He could tell me to slow down. I went really fast. Last, he mows his hay field. Three times a year he mows his hay field. I can ride through his hay field with my bike.
This was written by Eli in l999 at school. His teacher was Mrs Kay Roser.