×

Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home

56 Northwest Blvd., Newton, NC

OBITUARY

Danny Joe Long

October 11, 1933November 19, 2019
Play Tribute Movie

Danny Joe Long, 86, of Newton, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019.

Joe was born on Oct. 11, 1933 in Kingsport, Tennessee, to the late Silas T. Long and Verna Mae Corvin Long who raised him and his older brother, Phil Long, in Bristol, Virginia.

He married Mary Jane Baker Long August 19, 1953 and they were happily married for 66 years.

Joe graduated from Virginia Tech in 1956 with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering. He was Vice President of Virginia Tech’s class of 1956, President of The American Institute of Industrial Engineering, Member of The Corp of Cadets, and Secretary Treasurer of the German Club.

After graduation, Joe went to work with General Electric in its three-year manufacturing training program in Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Vermont.

In 1957, he entered the U.S. Army as a Second Lieutenant. When Joe went to Basic Officers Military Training Camp, he was chosen by his fellow officers as the number one officer in a group of 94 members.

Joe and his wife Jane moved to Newton, NC in 1961 and began working with General Electric where they made transformers.

In 1964, Joe and several other men took a bold step and founded a new business called Stitch, Inc., which later became Regency Home Fashions employing over 500 employees.

In recognition of his professional success, Joe was inducted into Virginia Tech’s Industrial and System Engineering Department’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni. Additionally, as an alumnus, he continued to support his university as director of the German Club Alumni Foundation Board and was awarded as a Distinguished Donor in 1982. Joe and his wife also established the Virginia Tech Brian Long Baseball Scholarship in memory of their son.

A list of Joe’s involvement in his community is long and distinguished: President of the Hickory, N.C. Family Guidance President of the Western Piedmont Symphony Received the Hickory N.C. Arts Council Volunteer Award President of the Catawba County YMCA Received the Service Award in 1995 from the YMCA President of the Newton, N.C. Rotary Club Received the “Service Above Self” from the Rotary Club Served on the Catawba Valley Community College Board of Directors for 30 years Served on the Lenoir-Rhyne College Business Council Received the Lenoir-Rhyne College Business Leader of the Year Received the Outstanding Citizenship Award from the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce President of the Newton Depot Served on the Board of Directors of the Newton-Conover Performance Place Boy Scouts of America (earned the rank of Eagle Scout in his youth), President of the Piedmont Council Boy Scouts, awarded the Silver Beaver Award (its highest national honor) Received the prestigious North Carolina Governor’s award, “The Order of the Long Leaf Pine,” which is an honor granted to individuals who have shown extraordinary service to the state.

Although Joe’s civic and career accomplishments are extensive and impressive, above all else Joe Long was a man of faith who expressed his faith by loving his wife, children, family, friends, and his neighbor as himself. The best way to describe Joe Long is simply a cheerful giver.

In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his two sons; Danny Joe Long Jr., who was born Dec. 14, 1969 and lived only one day, and Brian Jennings Long who was born January 28, 1974 and died at the age of 14 on May 24, 1988.

In memory of Brian’s sudden death in 1988, Joe and Jane established The Brian Long Foundation. The purpose of the Foundation was to provide groups and individuals with financial assistance that foster and enrich the spiritual, educational, physical, and leadership growth for young people in their community. This Foundation allowed Joe and Jane Long to turn their deepest tragedy into a rich blessing for many.

Survivors include his loving and devoted wife of 66 years, Jane Long; and his two daughters and their husbands, Monica and Eric Phillips and Gwen and Tony Jarrett; seven grandchildren, Kirby Phillips, Baker Phillips, Jett Phillips, Kirsten Jarrett, Jenn Jarrett Foster and husband, Matt, Adele Jarrett, and Seth Jarrett; brother, Phil Long and wife Nancy of Simpsonville, SC.

A Celebration of Life for the community will be held Friday, November 22, 2019 at 2 p.m. at Concordia Lutheran Church in Conover, with Rev. Dr. David Ludwig officiating. The family will receive friends at the church immediately following the service. On Saturday, November 23, 2019, a private funeral mass will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Newton at 11 a.m. for Joe’s fellow church members and immediate family with Father James Collins officiating. Burial will be private in Eastview Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the YMCA of Catawba Valley, 701 1st St NW, Hickory, NC 28601 and/or the Newton Depot Authority, P.O. Box 267, Newton, NC 28658.

  • FAMILY

  • Silas T. Long, Aunt (deceased)
  • Verna Mae Corvin Long, Mother (deceased)
  • Mary Jane Baker Long, Loving Wife of 66 Years
  • Danny Joe Long, Jr., Son (deceased)
  • Brian Jennings Long, son (deceased)
  • Monica Phillips and husband, Eric, Daughter & Son-in-law
  • Gwen Jarret and Husband, Tony, Daughter and son-in-law
  • Kirby Phillips, Grandchild
  • Baker Phillips, Grandchild
  • Jett Phillips, Grandchild
  • Kirston Jarrett, Grandchild
  • Jenn Jarrett Foster and husband, Matt, Grandchild
  • Adele Jarrett, Grandchild
  • Seth Jarrett, Grandchild
  • Phil Long and wife, Nancy, Brother and sister-in-law
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Eric Phillips, Active Pallbearer
  • Baker Phillips, Active Pallbearer
  • Jett Phillips, Active Pallbearer
  • Tony Jarrett, Active Pallbearer
  • Seth Jarrett, Active Pallbearer
  • Matt Foster, Active Pallbearer
  • Tyler Shively, Active Pallbearer
  • Wyatt Shely, Active Pallbearer
  • DONATIONS

  • YMCA of Catawba Valley
  • Newton Depot Authority

Services

  • Celebration of Life Friday, November 22, 2019
  • Private Funeral Mass Saturday, November 23, 2019

Memories

Danny Joe Long

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY
Anne Barrier

December 4, 2019

Moving to Hickory 40 years ago, I was lonely, broken, and scared. Joe became a friend to me and helped me get on my feet. When I offered to repay him, he said "no, just help someone else someday". I have never forgotten his kindness to me, and every time I help someone I think "thank you, Joe"

Jackie Teague Logan

December 3, 2019

Please accept our sincere condolences on the passing of Joe. Our Mom thought very highly of him and enjoyed their work together in the community.
Family of Angela Phillips

Pegarty Long

November 25, 2019

I am deeply sorry to hear of the sudden death of my first cousin Danny Joe Long. We played together as kids, when we were six and he twelve and lived for a year in the same house “The Bristol House” we called it, others “Ole 816” on Russell Street in Bristol, Virginia. That’s something for a 12-year-old to condescend to play with the six-year-olds. But, he did. He liked to play tricks on my twin sister Philomene and I. One time he said, “I bet you I can get to the storage room upstairs faster than you can” and we said “no you cannot, Danny Joe!” We rushed up to the room and there he was standing miraculously already there. We were stunned. It was like he just appeared. Well, it wasn’t quite a miracle, he had tricked us. He had gone up a secret staircase that we did not know existed. No wonder he did so well in business. He was smart with a sense of humor and would play. We moved to California. I took a trip in 1999 up the East Coast and tried to see him and missed him. He visited my father, Paul Tommy Long (his uncle) in San Diego , but we couldn’t get down there to see him. Philomene talked to him on the phone though. When she expressed our sorrow that we wouldn’t be able see him he said, “We’ll be all meeting in heaven.“ He was speaking the truth again and we didn’t realize it. So, that’s the way it’s going to have to be. He went up the secret stairs before us. Bless you, Cuz Danny Joe. May you rest in peace. See you in heaven.

Brenda Smith

November 23, 2019

Dear Long Family,

I wanted to express my sincerest sympathy on the occasion of your loss. Even though I have had only one short conversation with you, in a restaurant when I was with Susan Wicklin, your family’s kindness and generosity has impacted my life, and therefore the lives of many students, more than any of us will ever know. Through the Brian Long Foundation you enabled me in multiple instances to enrich the lives of students by allowing me to purchase materials for my classroom at Newton-Conover High School.
One of the most life-changing examples is, I think, the last time I called upon you for help before I retired from public school teaching. You donated the money that allowed me to provide the book The Other Wes Moore for my students to read. This is an amazing book—so amazing that they actually read it, and many copies mysteriously disappeared from my room. But I didn’t mind because it is a book full of wisdom about life, a book that should be read again and again (even if it was stolen!) One of the ideas from the book that young people today fasten onto and hold in their hearts is the idea that you get many chances in life, but you never know whether you are being presented with a second chance or your last chance, so you better make each opportunity count. Make your whole life count, because you don’t want to leave this earth wondering if it mattered that you lived; you want to leave this earth knowing that you made a difference. And that’s what you and your family have done, again and again. Thank you for caring enough to do that, thank you from all of us whom you’ve touched.
I hope that the knowledge that Joe, and all the rest of you, have truly, truly made a difference in so many people’s lives will be of some comfort to you at this very difficult time.


Wishing you the peace that passes all understanding,

Brenda Smith

John Tolbert

November 22, 2019

My sincere condolences to all of Joes family. He will be missed. John Tolbert

Dorothy Bjorness Long

November 21, 2019

I will always remember being so excited to be parked next to Joe and Jane at the Virginia Tech football tailgates. You would always get a warm welcome. No matter how many guests I had, I always had to go see Joe, Jane and the family. I am also thankful my sister has been blessed by being part of Joe and his loving family by marriage.

Anne Rodman

November 21, 2019

The Corriher family sends heartfelt condolences and love to all.
Charles, Cindy, Ted, Anne and Bob

Rev. Robert Silber

November 21, 2019

Joe was a fellow Rotarian and member of the Newton-Conover Rotary Club. We frequently had lunch at the same table, and what a joy it was to learn of Joe's full and rich background. An intelligent man, his conversations could move fluidly from the deeply intelligent and thoughtful, to the humorous with his quick wit.

A generous man, Joe was a supporter of ECCCM. The community was made richer by Joe's many interests and civic contributions. His legacy will remain as we mourn his physical loss.

D.D. Ballenger Weaver

November 20, 2019

A Life well-lived...so proud of gentlemen of this generation that gave so much to better our world..God Bless ❤️

Addie Sifford, shuford

November 20, 2019

Praying for your family. I love your parents. Your dad done so much for our family. I was so glad when your parents ask my mother Mary SIFFORD to be ya nanny. Your daddy paid for my dads funeral, and I am so thankful and greatful for the Love your parents has shown the SIFFORD family over tje many years. My mother worked for your dad at Recency Bedspread. He always treated his employees very good. Prayers are with you all. Much love Addie

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Joe and his brother Phil

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Joe, Phil, and their mother Mae

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY