Lieu­tenant Colonel (re­tired) Joseph Hamp­ton Long

The News & Observer (Sunday) - - Obituaries -

Lieu­tenant Colonel (re­tired) Joseph Hamp­ton Long passed away on Novem­ber 10, 2018, sur­rounded by his fam­ily. He was pre­de­ceased by his first wife Martha Price

Long in 2000. Sur­viv­ing are wife Joan Free­man Long and daugh­ter Pat­tie Long Stephen­son and hus­band Don.The pride of Joe’s life were his grand­chil­dren Joe Stephen­son and wife Sarah, Matthew Stephen­son and wife Katie, Adam Stephen­son and wife Jen­nifer and Anna Martha Stephen­son Raborn and hus­band Ben. One of Joe’s great­est joys was to see all of his grand­chil­dren mar­ried in 2014. He proudly wore his dress uni­form to each wed­ding. Joe loved spend­ing time with his five great-grand­chil­dren, Pey­ton, Jack­son, Sa­muel, Harry Charles, and Josephine Mae.

Joe was born in Ashe County, North Carolina on July 22, 1925, the 11th child of Ge­orge and Flora Long. His early years were spent in Ashe County. Joe grew up and was ed­u­cated at Bar­ium Springs Home for Chil­dren. Upon grad­u­a­tion in 1943, Joe joined the Army Air Corps, and was ac­cepted for pi­lot train­ing. He was di­verted to gun­nery school and served on the B24 air­craft un­til 1946. After the War, Joe en­tered the Univer­sity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, grad­u­at­ing in 1950 with a BS in Com­merce, and was com­mis­sioned as a 2nd Lieu­tenant in the United States Air Force. Joe earned a Mas­ters De­gree in In­dus­trial Man­age­ment from the Univer­sity of Colorado in 1963.

Upon grad­u­a­tion from UNC, Joe en­tered pi­lot train­ing and com­menced his beloved ca­reer. He served 14 years with the Strate­gic Air Com­mand (SAC), in­clud­ing fly­ing B29 sup­port dur­ing the Korean War. Joe was a valu­able and knowl­edge­able in­struc­tor with SAC, with ex­pe­ri­ence fly­ing the B29, B47, B50 and B52. In 1967, Joe vol­un­teered for ser­vice in Viet­nam, serv­ing as a for­ward air con­troller. Upon re­turn­ing, he was as­signed to the Mil­i­tary Air­lift Com­mand (MAC) and flew the C141 in sup­port of the war. From 19681972 he flew hun­dreds of troop sup­port mis­sions to Viet­nam and Air Evac­u­a­tion mis­sions back to the United States. Joe felt so hon­ored to be en­trusted with bring­ing our wounded war­riors home. Joe flew over 10,000 hours with never a close call. His mil­i­tary ca­reer con­cluded with a two year as­sign­ment with the Joint Mil­i­tary As­sis­tance Group (JUSMAG) where he helped mod­ern­ize the Korean Mil­i­tary Forces.

Dur­ing his dis­tin­guished 35 year ca­reer, Joe was awarded the Dis­tin­guished Fly­ing Cross, eight Air Medals, one Joint Ser­vice Com­men­da­tion Medal and two Air Force Com­men­da­tion Medals. Many years after re­tire­ment, Joe and his son-in-law took his youngest grand­son to Wright Pat­ter­son Air Force Base to tour the air­plane col­lec­tion there. It took an en­tire day to go through each of the dif­fer­ent planes that Joe flew dur­ing his ca­reer

After re­tir­ing from the Air Force, he spent many years vol­un­teer­ing his time with The Mil­i­tary Of­fi­cers As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica, work­ing tire­lessly to se­cure and pro­tect the ben­e­fits of mil­i­tary ac­tive duty, re­tired mil­i­tary and Na­tional Guard. For five years Joe served as a tu­tor/men­tor for first and sec­ond grade stu­dents at risk of fail­ure through a pro­gram at his church called Koala.

In 1946, Joe mar­ried his child­hood sweet­heart, Martha Price Long. They en­joyed the ad­ven­tures of his early ca­reer, liv­ing all over the coun­try, in­clud­ing Alaska. In 1958, their only child, Pat­tie, was born. The three of them lived all over the world, in­clud­ing Greece and Korea.

Joe loved tak­ing Pat­tie down to the Flight Line and even let her sit on his lap dur­ing one flight.

Joe showed great love and devo­tion, as he cared for Martha dur­ing her fi­nal ill­ness. They had been mar­ried 54 years when she passed away.

Hav­ing spent some of his for­ma­tive years at Bar­ium Springs Pres­by­te­rian Home for Chil­dren, Joe knew how im­por­tant fam­ily is and val­ued his fam­ily life. Joe was blessed to have two won­der­ful mar­riages in his life­time. After mov­ing to Cary in 2003, he met Joan Free­man Shaw at the com­mu­nity mail­box. They were mar­ried in De­cem­ber of 2004. With this union, two fam­i­lies were joined and strength­ened. Joe loved Joan’s chil­dren Monty Shaw and wife Di­ane, Vann Shaw, Myra Peter­son and hus­band John, and David Shaw and wife Mary, and em­braced hav­ing them be­come a part of his life. Also added to his fam­ily were grand­chil­dren Whit­ney Wagoner and hus­band Evan, Re­becca Smith and hus­band By­ron, Chris Shaw, David Shaw, Michael Shaw and John Peter­son. Through this union two more great-grand­chil­dren were added, Henry and Ben.

Joe was a car­ing and pos­i­tive man, a lov­ing and proud hus­band, fa­ther, grand­fa­ther and great-grand­fa­ther. He was de­voted to his fam­ily, his coun­try and to help­ing oth­ers.

Visi­ta­tion will be on Tues­day, Novem­ber 13, 2018 at Sear­stone Re­tire­ment Com­mu­nity, 17001 Sear­Stone Drive, Cary, North Carolina at 7 PM. A me­mo­rial ser­vice will be held Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 14, 2018 at 11 AM at the Kirk of Kil­daire Pres­by­te­rian Church, 200 High Meadow Drive, Cary, North Carolina, where Joe was a mem­ber.

Memo­ri­als can be made to Bar­ium Springs Home for Chil­dren, Post Of­fice Box 1, Bar­ium Springs, NC 28010 or Tran­si­tions LifeCare, 250 Hospice Cir­cle, Raleigh, NC 27607.

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