Robert Burney Long Jr.

February 10, 1925June 13, 2013

Captain Robert Burney Long, JR., 88, died peacefully at his home on St. Simons Island on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Born February 10, 1925 in Vicksburg, Mississippi to Robert B. and Lida Lee Long he grew up across the river in Delta, Louisiana on his family’s former cotton plantation. He graduated as salutatorian of Tallulah High School class of 1941 in Madison Parrish, Louisiana . After attending Louisiana State University for one year, he received an appointment to the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT., from which he graduated with the class of 1946. Because of war demands his entire class was assigned on- board duties in the spring of 1945 and the then Ensign Long served aboard the destroyer escort Merrill. He was assigned to post graduate training at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from which he graduated with a bachelor of Civil Engineering in 1951. He became a registered professional Engineer in 1955 in both Civil and Structural Engineering and was a licensed professional Engineer in Georgia, Michigan, Louisiana, Washington D.C. and Mississippi. Capt. Long commanded the 327’ Coast Guard Cutter Campbell from 1967-1968 in Vietnam and participated in Operation Market Time during the Tet offensive for which he earned a Bronze Star with a Combat V. Upon his return to New York City, the Campbell’s home port, he was awarded the “Key to the City” by then Mayor, John V. Lindsay for the Campbell’s outstanding service in Vietnam. After retiring from the Coast Guard in 1969, he took the position of Director of Physical Plant at Central Michigan University where, in 1973, he was awarded one of the first federal grants for a remote energy conservation program that was used as a prototype for other universities to save millions of dollars in energy costs. While at Central, he also earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and was the Chairman of the Isabella County Planning Commission. Captain and Mrs. Long moved back south to St. Simons Island in 1978 where he took the position of Director of Engineering with the Sea Island Company, a position he held until his retirement. At the time, the Cloister ‘s Mobile (5 star) and AAA (5-diamond) ratings were secured despite an aging facilities infrastructure and challenging competition in the resort industry. He remained active in the Coast Guard Auxiliary serving as Commander for a number of years. He also served as one of the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Keepers until 2012 maintaining and cleaning the “Fresnel” lens of the St. Simons Island Lighthouse. He also taught Coast Guard Auxiliary boating safety classes to many Golden Isles residents and was a boat examiner providing complimentary inspections of private and commercial fishing craft for safety and pollution control devices. Unknown to many, he was amateur mycologist, expert in identifying and cataloging mushrooms and fungi. Additionally, he was a certified scuba diver and avid golfer.

He was preceded in death by his wife of fifty years, Patricia McKee Long in 1997, and a sister, Anna V. Case of Falls Church, VA. He is survived by four children and their spouses: Robert B. III and his wife, Susan, of Anderson, SC; Victoria Viall and her husband, Charles, of West Haven CT; Suzanne Meloeny and her husband , John, of Royal Oak, MI; and local Landscape Architect, Candace Long Brewer and her husband, Donald, of Nassau County, FL; four grandchildren , Christine Orecchio, Kayla Viall, Sarah Long and Kent Long, as well as three great grandchildren. The family will receive friends at a Celebration of Life Reception in Captain Long’s honor from 5-7pm on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home in Brunswick, GA. A private burial will take place at a later date in Vicksburg, MS. Major Mike Orecchio, US Army MEDCOM will perform TAPS and “Father Strong to Save” . Any Contributions in Capt. Long’s honor are suggested for the Coastal Georgia Historical Society, Maritime Center, c/o Sherri Jones, Executive Director, P.O. Box 21136, St. Simons Island Georgia, 31522 .


  • Celebration of Life Reception Thursday, June 20, 2013

Robert Burney Long Jr.

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Senior Chief (Retired)

November 19, 2013



June 22, 2013

My friend and I had the pleasure of meeting Burney and his wife when visiting friends in St. Simons. I had charge of pools in my home city and Burney was gracious to give me a behind the scenes tour of the Cloisters and their swimming pool operations. He was a gracious and gentle man, always willing to help however he could. Our friends in common will miss him dearly.
Melinda Minks, Kansas City, MO

Capt. Motts Parrinello

June 22, 2013

Capt. Burney,

Wishing you fair winds and following seas.

Capt. Motts Parrinello

Chuck Viall

June 21, 2013

Vicky made me promise not to cry because you know there's no crying in baseball and that's the way her Dad would want it. So Robert, Vicky, Suzy and Candace this comes from the heart.

I first met Burneyin the fall of 1968;he having just returned from a tour of duty in Vietnam, as Captain of the CG Cutter Campbell. I remember him standing at the top of the staircase in his quarters on Governor's Island holding the biggest cigar I had ever see in my life. I was terrified. Thank god Boots, the dog, was there for me to stare at. Apparently, the meeting went well as I was able to marry my wife of 44 years, his daughter Vicky in October of 1969.
Granburney, as he was dubbed by his granddaughter Christine, was my best friend. We would talk for hours about almost anything. I was never bored and I always paid attention. He loved golf, fishing, boating and the USCG, but most of all he loved his family-be they blood relatives or in laws, it mattered not. To him you were family, case closed.
He was always there for you. If you needed help he would provide it, if you needed to talk he would listen and if you needed advice he would give it, and he didn't expect anything in return.
I've gone on many strange and wonderful journeys with Grandburney. I've been to the ER in Nashville, TN for Christine's swimming pool accident; broken into Riverwood Country Club in Michigan; to get rescued by Ama after an ill fated trip down to Chippewa; seed tick attack on Cumberland Island and that stringer of fish off the boat in the Altamaha. Through it all, he was a rock and for that I am grateful.
I could go on for hours and never stop reveling in his life long pursuit of perfection and happiness. To his four children he was always Dad, to me he was my best friend. He is gone, but not forgotten. Missed, but not missing. We know he is in a better place, reunited with the love of his life.
Fair winds and following seas captain, your duty here is done. Godspeed, my friend.

Kayla Viall

June 20, 2013

Grandburney, You will always be my Hero, I will miss you and you will always be my guardian angel. I will always love you.

Christine Orecchio

June 19, 2013

Grandburney, you will always be with me for the rest of my life. I love and miss you dearly.

Jennifer Novak

June 18, 2013

Vicki & Chuck
I am very sorry for your loss.May he rest in piece. God bless u and your family

Jennie Vedros

June 18, 2013

I feel honored to have known Burney and Pat and I remember meeting Candice and I think Susan when i lived with Mary and Carol in St. Simons. Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

June 18, 2013

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. You all know what Burney and Pat meant to us. We will see all of you in Vicksburg.

Mary & Carol (Baton Rouge, LA)

Margy Jones Wagner

June 18, 2013

I am going to miss Bernie very much. He did a great job on Sea Island. He was a very sweet person also. My thoughts and prayers are with the Long family.