James (Jim) Merton Long passed away peacefully from complications due to cancer at the age of 84 years old, at the home he shared with his wife of 63 years, Anna Long. Jim was surrounded by his family when he passed.
Jim was born 3/15/35 in Upland, CA, the only child of Harold and Millie Long. Growing up, he worked in his father's Texaco service station at the corner of Euclid and A in Upland, California. He married his sweetheart, Anna, on July 1, 1956 at St. Joseph's church in Upland.
He and Anna had 4 children, Susan, Michael, David, and Julie, all raised in Upland, CA. Jim ran the family Texaco station until the mid-1970's when he closed it and purchased Jim's Auto Service in Crestline, CA. Jim and Anna operated this business until 1986 when he retired and sold the business. At that time he and Anna, along with his mother Millie, moved to Santa Maria to be closer to his son David and his family.
While in Santa Maria, Jim's love for the Lord spurred his passion to help others, and he became involved with many different organizations serving others in the community. Some of these included volunteering at Marian Medical Center Print shop, Car Care Clinic at First Christian Church, RAMS, Serving the homeless through Crestwood community Church and participating in Serve Santa Maria on several occasions. Jim was a dedicated Blood Donor, having donated over 18 gallons of blood. Jim traveled to Mississippi in 2008 with his son David and daughter-in-law Lisa to serve after Hurricane Katrina with Samaritan's Purse.
Jim also ran an informal handy-man service at Sunny Hills Mobile Home Park where he helped countless neighbors and friends with any projects, large or small. Jim never let his illness get in the way of serving others – he continued to the last day serving others in any way he could.
The family would also like to acknowledge his close friends who had an impact on his life; Will Adam, Errol Murphy, Mike Knight, Dennis Casey, and Bob Paulson, Bob Heinzler, Danny Elliott, and Dean Oates of Sunny Hills Mobile Home Park.
Jim never met a car show he didn't like, or a car he couldn't fix. He got great pleasure in the last 6 months working on tractors with his friend Will and looked forward to Wednesdays every week when they'd have In-and-Out Burgers together after working. One of Jim's last projects was building a Little Free Library for his daughter-in-law, Lisa. It can be found on Woodmere Road – “Leave a book, take a book”.
Jim is survived by his wife of 63 years, Anna; his daughter Susan, son Michael, son David (Lisa), and daughter Julie; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Jim will be loved and missed especially by his family, and also by all who knew him and were touched by his heart for service and care for others.
A Celebration of Jim's life will be held at 11:00 am at Orcutt Presbyterian Church on Saturday September 7th, with a receptionunch to follow at the home of his son and daughter-in-law David and Lisa at 4340 Meadow Drive in Orcutt