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Bernard E. Long, age 90, died on Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at his home at The Jefferson in Middleton. He was surrounded by his loving family and friends during his last days. Bernard “Bernie” was born December 4, 1931, in the Town of LaValle, Wisconsin, the son of Everett and Edna Long. Bernie was born on a bitter cold day with lots of drifting snow at his parents’ home. Bernie grew up on his family farm heated by a warm wood-burning stove. Bernie graduated from Reedsburg High School in 1949. After high school, he enlisted in the Army National Guard. After four years in the army, he started college at Aurora University. Bernie started his career as a Pastor for the Advent Christian Church. His main career was as a Social Worker in Dane County, Wisconsin.
Bernie’s first marriage was to Sally Howland on October 7, 1958. They had two children, Jay and Benjamin. They divorced in 1966. Bernie was married to Diana C. Hillebrand on July 21, 1966 at the First Baptist Church in Madison. The Rev. Andy Davison officiated in the private ceremony. Bernie’s longtime friend, Ed Phillips, and Diana’s social worker, Linda Hisgen, were the witnesses. Bernie adopted Diana’s three children, Sheila, Jeffery and Sherri. Bernie & Diana had one child, Timothy “Tim” Long. Bernie is survived by five of his children, Sheila (friend Paul White), Jeffery, Timothy (Paula), Jay Medrano (Andrea) Hilo, Hawaii and Ben Medrano (Jessica) Fresno, California. Bernie is also survived by a sister, Marian (Warren) Knight Coon Valley; four grandchildren, Nicolas “Nick” Retana, Madison; Sarah Buhler; Devin & Connor Long, Mt. Horeb and step-granddaughters, Chloe Medrano, Hilo, Hawaii and Hannah, Allison & Natalie Medrano, Fresno, CA. and three great-grandchildren, Isabel, Rowan and Jack Retana.
Bernie was preceded in death by his wife, Diana Long on 26 July 2020; a daughter, Sherri Buhler on 09 Nov. 1998 age 34; his parents; and sister, Elsie May Kelly (Patrick, deceased) on 25 Nov. 2003.
Bernie, along with wife, Diana, found activities that brought joy, contentment and happiness to life. Many dear, loving and supportive friendships & much learning & personal growth came from fifty years of membership with First Baptist Church. Years of fun and family togetherness resulted from 15 years of camping and travel with a pop-up camper. In 1980 Bernie & Diana found another way to meet people. The Friendship Force provided a way to travel and make friends around the world. The goal was, “A World of Friends is a World of Peace”. Bernie & Diana traveled on 15 International trips and hosted an equal number of times. Fifteen domestic visits (within the U.S.A.) and equal number of hosting visits occurred after 9-11 when visas were difficult to obtain.
Bernie’s passing is sad, but his life was a joy to his wife Diana, and to his family and many friends. He was a lifelong learner and he made a significant difference with his family and with everyone that knew him from around the world.
Funeral services will be held on Tues Aug 2, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at the Winn-Cress Funeral Home 5785 Hwy Q Waunakee. Friends may call at the funeral home on Tues from 9:30 a.m. until the time of services.
We say thank you to the staff at the Jefferson Senior Living in Middleton and to the staff at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg for their gentle and loving care.
Burial will be at the Oaklawn Cemetery, LaValle, Wisconsin.
Tuesday, August 2, 2022
9:30 - 11:00am (Central time)
Tuesday, August 2, 2022
Starts at 11:00am (Central time)
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