Eugene "Gene" Thomas Long III

March 16, 1935March 13, 2020

Eugene (Gene) Thomas Long, III, loving husband, father and grandfather, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus of the University of South Carolina, died at home on Friday March 13, 2020 following a three year struggle with Pulmonary Fibrosis. Gene was born in 1935 in Richmond Virginia, the first child of Eugene Thomas Long Jr. and Emily Barker Long. Gene and his parents lived in Washington DC for three years before returning to Richmond where he lived until he graduated from college.

Gene is survived by his wife, Carolyn Macleod Long, Ph.D., son, Scott Alexander Long of Roswell, Georgia (his wife, Emilie Hermel, and their children Thomas (his fiancée, Natalie Tilly), Nicolas and Anäis) and daughter, Kathryn Long Mahoney of Columbia, South Carolina (her husband, Robert Mahoney and their children, Caroline and Elizabeth). Gene is also survived by his brother Burke Long of Brunswick, Maine and sister Nancy Roberts of San Antonio, Texas. It was not unusual to see the family gathered around the dining room table at the homes of Scott and Kathy or at Lyn and Gene’s home on Lake Murray in Chapin, South Carolina and their summer home in Cashiers in the mountains of North Carolina, where from time to time you might catch Gene working with his chain saw or cooking a Chinese or Thai dinner.

Gene was a member of the award winning John Marshall High School Cadet Band, playing baritone horn and trombone and serving as Lieutenant Drum Major. He also played trombone in the popular Tommy Hall Dance Band. A reluctant college student, he commuted to Randolph-Macon College where he studied Economics and Philosophy while working part time as a florist, and playing dance music on the weekends. Upon graduation he enrolled in the Bachelor of Divinity degree program at Duke University where he met Carolyn (Lyn) Twiname Macleod of Carmel, New York. Lyn, whom he always called his girlfriend, was at Duke studying for the M.A.T. in Mathematics and Education. Shortly after their wedding in 1960 they moved to Glasgow, Scotland where Gene was a postgraduate student in philosophical theology at the University of Glasgow and Lyn was a primary school teacher. Gene often said Lyn and he grew up together in Scotland and over the years made numerous trips “back home.” While in Scotland Gene and Lyn also spent a summer in Marburg, Germany where Gene was a research student at Marburg University.

Following graduation from Glasgow in 1964, Gene was invited to join the faculty in philosophy at his alma mater. Lyn and Gene quickly settled in and soon Scott and Kathy were born. During that time the family spent a year in Chapel Hill, North Carolina where Gene was a Research Fellow in the Duke-UNC Cooperative Program in the Humanities. He joined the philosophy faculty at the University of South Carolina in 1970 and subsequently served as Department Chair for fifteen years before returning to full time teaching and research. His first book, Jaspers and Bultmann: A Dialogue Between Philosophy in the Existentialist Tradition was published while at Randolph Macon, but many books and articles in European philosophy and the philosophy of religion followed, including, Existence, Being and God and Twentieth Century Philosophy of Religion 1900-2000. He served as President of the Society for Philosophy of Religion, The Metaphysical Society of America and Secretary/Treasurer of the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Society. In addition he was for twenty years Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal for Philosophy of Religion. Gene often expressed deep gratitude to his European and American colleagues who, on the occasion of his retirement, presented him with a collection of essays entitled, Philosophy of Religion for a New Century, Essays in Honor of Eugene Thomas Long and to the Associates for Philosophy of Religion, for establishing the Eugene Thomas and Carolyn Macleod Long Scholarship in the Philosophy at Randolph Macon College.

A few years after retirement Gene returned to some of his earlier musical interests. He played euphonium with the Columbia Community Concert Band, and trombone with the Gene Dykes Jazz Orchestra, the Blythewood Jazz Orchestra and the Carl Payne Big Band. He also sang with the Lexington County Choral Society and the Dutch Fork Choral Society and collected what he called his ordinary guy’s art collection, including works from Piranesi, to the impressionists, post impressionists, the modernists and the cobras. In their Glasgow days Lyn and Gene crossed the Atlantic on ship several times carrying their household belongings. In later years, however, they felt themselves fortunate to be able to travel widely in Europe and Asia, “mucking about” on their own, as Gene often said, meeting and making friends in local pubs, theatres, jazz clubs and restaurants.

A member of Saint Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church in Chapin, Gene served on the vestry, organized workshops on themes of world religions and social justice, prepared Chinese banquets for church auctions and provided instrumental and vocal solos for worship services and concerts. A Celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on his Birthday, Monday March 16th, at Saint Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, and in accordance with his wishes, there will be music, perhaps including a bit of jazz.

Memorials may be made in his name to South Carolina Association of Habitat for Humanity Affiliates, PO Box 1990, Mount Pleasant, SC 29465.

Interment will be later this summer at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Cashiers, North Carolina where the family spent summers for more than 40 years.

Please share memories at


  • Celebration of Life

    Monday, March 16, 2020


Eugene "Gene" Thomas Long III

have a memory or condolence to add?

James Liszka

April 23, 2020

Gene Long was a great educator and mentor to me. He supervised my Master's thesis at University of South Carolina, and helped me get to graduate school at the New School for Social Research. This changed my life, and allowed me to achieve what I wanted to do most in life--to be a philosopher. I will always remember him for his kindness and friendliness. The last time I saw him was in Columbia, sometime around 2007 and had lunch with him. My condolences to his family.

Louise Power

March 24, 2020

March 24, 2020
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o' life shall run.
And fare thee weel, my only luve!
And fare thee weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Though it were ten thousand mile.

I know this Robert Burns quote would have been Eugene's eternal sentiment to Lyn. He had an enduring love and affection for Scotland. My late father Rev Dr Hugh Anderson, Edinburgh taught Eugene when Lyn and he first came to Scotland (they were, in the coming years to become much more than professor and student and ended up as firm friends) A friendship that spanned the years. I only learned of Gene's passing today . We have a heavy heart for he was a great character and I must ask Lynn if he was a theologian who found jazz or a jazz player who found theology. Whatever, he was an erudite gentleman who had a great love of music. It was only weeks ago that he was in touch by e mail (uplifting and humorous anecdotes as always and his concern was only for others) His innate zest and joy for life was apparent and there was no alluding to his serious health issues. We knew of them, of course but he didn't focus or complain at all. My husband and kids had the honour of meeting with the family at their wonderful Lake Murray home in 2018. Our daughters were over-awed when Gene took them out on the boat. Their hospitality was superb -their deep love for one another almost tangible. His love for his whole family the same. I often quote Peter Marshall (the Scottish preacher) married to the late author Catherine Marshall. He was pastor of the New York Presbyterian Church in DC where my dad had preached many decades ago. He said "when you long for a life without difficulties, remember that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure" Without a doubt Gene was that mighty oak and that rare diamond. Louise Power (formerly Anderson) Scotland

Barbara Sharpe

March 18, 2020

So sorry to hear of Gene's passing. We go back a long way and have had so many fun times together. Gene's Asian cooking was the very best. Bill will be so happy to see Gene in that heavenly place. Lynn, I love you and your family and am so sorry you have to go through this also. You and I have so many special memories and that makes it somewhat easier in the months ahead. Love you my friend!
Barb Sharpe

Brandon Liles

March 17, 2020

I was very fortunate to have met Dr Long as an undergraduate in the Dept of Philosophy at USC and studied the Philosophy of Religion under his tutelage. I always enjoyed his lectures and found his courses to be thought provoking and challenging.

Later in life our paths crossed again and he would remind me that the formality of Dr Long was unnecessary, to please call him Gene. I consider myself better for my time in his classroom as well in his home enjoying good music, very good scotch and pleasant conversation.

Mrs. Long, please accept my condolences to you and your family. He made a significant positive impact on my life and I am very grateful our paths crossed.

Angie Bankhead Derrick

March 17, 2020

Our deepest sympathies to you,
Mrs. Long, and your family.
With much love,
Angie Bankhead Derrick
David Bankhead
two of your former students

Lynn Gray

March 16, 2020

Gene was my wife’s uncle. The first time I met him was at our wedding dinner. I was struck First by his dignified southern bearing. He seemed as sophisticated as a character from a James Bond movie. Over the years as I grew to know him better he became even more impressive. His academic accomplishments were astounding. His musical accomplishments were astounding. His love of life was inspiring. He was a philosopher of life and knew how to enjoy it. Best of all we shared a taste for fine single malt scotch! What a man. We will not see his like soon and he will be sorely missed by me and my family.

Kenneth Peters

March 16, 2020

Dear Lyn and family,

Ellen and I are saddened by Gene's death and we wish to convey our heartfelt sympathy. We have apprised our daughter Kathy Peters Vizachero of Gene's passing; Kathy is a friend of your Kathy.

In studying Gene's obituary, I was amazed by his prowess in so many fields. I had not known about his talents as an instrumentalist musician. Gene did so much for the University of South Carolina, I appreciate this as a former USC colleague.


Ken Peters

James & Carrie McLachlan

March 16, 2020

We met Gene and Lynn through Mike Jones (who passed away about 4 years ago). Gene had mentored him when he taught at USC and they stayed friends. Soon after we moved to Cullowhee in 1989 Mike drove us up the winding road to Cashiers and then to Sapphire Valley. Lynne served us appetizers and we went to the Lee’s Chinese restaurant in Brevard. That was the first of several times they welcomed us to their home. One time they came with us to a WCU football game, not for the game, but to see our stellar band. They never lost the twinkle in their eyes and that infectious joi de vivre. It lives on. It is a joy to know Gene and Lynn Long.

Sam Taylor

March 15, 2020

Gene has been my friend since we were in high school together in Richmond in the early 1950's, and I am going to miss him very much. He has always been an inspiration as to what a gentleman should be, and as close to being faultless as anyone I have ever known. May he rest in peace.

I will attach a photo of him taken in 1953 and wearing his John Marshall High School Cadet Corps uniform.

Bob Knox

March 15, 2020

I am shocked to learn of Gene"s death. We go back sixty years+, beginning with Duke Divinity School. Had many good and fun times together. I will miss you my friend . .