Walter Charles Long


Mr. Walter Charles Long, 87, passed away at Peregrine Senior Living, formerly Atria, in Salisbury, Md., on March 4, 2022.

Walter was born Sept. 20, 1934, in the small town of Sanford. He was the son of the late Philip C. Long and the late Ina Onley Long. He graduated from Atlantic High School while working as a painter and drywaller to support his younger siblings.

As an adult, Walter made his home in Pocomoke City, Md. He was an avid gardener, whose rose garden was both a sight and smell to behold. He could make anything grow.

Walter worked as a collator operator for Moore Business Forms in Snow Hill, Md., for over 30 years. He took great pride in his work and even after many years of retirement, talked fondly of the business and his coworkers.

Walter never met a stranger. He loved to talk and he made people feel special. He was described as the life of the party and quite the disco dancer. Walter was many things: a father, a phenomenal uncle, a brother, a friend, an astronomer and astrologist, carpenter, poet, letter writer, and a passionate artist. His use of bold colors and impasto techniques while painting realism captured not only the image but also the mood or emotion he felt at that moment.

He was from an era that valued letter writing and he wrote at great length multiple pages in his unique script that was a challenge for many to read. He wrote to relatives, friends, neighbors, childhood pals, and to many who otherwise might not have anyone to show them some attention. Recipients of these letters just might have found a special poem he wrote for them with a border of drawings on birthdays or any other special occasions.

Walter loved projects no matter what they were. He was always there to lend a hand, to supervise, and to be certain that any undertaking was completed. He was like a whirlwind when working, but he loved to stop to have “a bit of foodie,” as he said. He built many cabinets over the years. “Measure twice, cut once” was his motto, and as such, he made any piece fit.

Walter was preceded in death by his mother and father; his brothers, William Long and Robert Long; his sister, Gladys Long Birch; and his ex-wife and friend, Anna Johnson Long.

He is survived by two daughters, Karen Long and Jennifer Ritchey (George); niece, Diana Kio (Shane); a brother, Carson Long; nephew, Eric Long; two grandchildren, Erin McCready (Ryan) and Patrick (Kaci) Ritchey (Kaci); four great-grandchildren, McKinley, Bryce, Mason, and Raegan; great-niece and great-nephew, Carolyn and Christopher; cousins, Jerry Onley (Darlene), Grover Johnson (Peggy), and Mary Evelyn (Ronnie) Durham (Ronnie), all of Pocomoke City; as well as his lifelong best friend, Arnold Ray Spence, of Westover, Md.

At Walter’s request, there will be no memorial or funeral service. Donations in memory of Walter may be made to Sanford United Methodist Church, 23279 Saxis Road, Sanford, VA 23426.
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