Leo H. Long Jr. was born November 10, 1938 to Leo H. Long Sr. and Dorothy Bachelor-Long. Leo died January 3, 2021 at age 82. Leo was a husband, father, educator, mentor, businessman and friend who will be missed by all who knew him.
Leo grew up in the Pacific Northwest. After college, Leo met his future wife Clare in California. They married and later moved to Washington State. Leo lived in Gig Harbor with Clare and they were married for 56 years. They had two boys, Tim and Dan, and four grandchildren, Audrey, Annalise, Braden, and Brett.
Leo was a graduate metallurgist and wrote a number of technical papers that were published. He belonged to many technical societies and was active in the Steel Founders Society of America, American Society for Testing of Materials, Iron and Steel Society, American Foundrymen’s Society, American Society for Metals, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Electric Metal Makers Guild of North America. He served on many ferrous metals committees. He was the Steel Founders Society of America exchange lecturer to England in 1980.
Leo was an undergraduate teaching assistant for astronomy during his college years at Washington State University. The Chairman of the Mathematics Department wrote Leo a thank you letter in 1961 which included the praise “I have often wondered to myself how a young man could be so mature, circumspect, trustworthy and reliable”. Leo enriched his future family with these same traits for the rest of his life.
Leo later taught an evening metallurgy course at Chaffey College in Alta Loma, California while working for Kaiser Steel in Fontana, California. He qualified for and obtained a lifetime teaching credential in metallurgy at the college level from the State of California.
Leo retired from his working career in 2005 at age 67 after owning and operating Atlas Foundry and Ideal Machine Co. in Tacoma. He had enjoyed a fruitful career working with many fine people. Retirement did not slow him down, and Leo continued to lead a full and active life. He was a golfer, private pilot, hunter, boater, and a licensed United States Coast Guard Captain. Leo and Clare loved boating, and in recent years traveled to Canada each summer in their boat. Leo was a lifetime member of the Tacoma Yacht Club.
Leo and Clare enjoyed dogs most of their married life: Black Labradors, English Sheepdogs, and Golden Retrievers. Leo took his dog with him everywhere, including to the office.
Leo poured his love into others through his actions. He used his exceptional gifts of disciplined personal habits, organizational skills and attention to detail to mentor and improve the lives of others. Leo was an excellent role model for his boys, and gently shared his uncompromising value system.
Leo was a humble man who included the same words “thank you Lord for another day on your planet Earth” during Grace before every meal. A week before his passing, he looked out the window from his dining room table and told Clare “I’m very blessed”.
Leo loved his family immensely. One of the many reminders of this came the next day after his passing. His son found a love letter Leo had written to Clare twenty years earlier that Leo had hidden in his desk. In it, Leo assured Clare that in case of his death, “I love you very much and I have thoroughly enjoyed my life with you and our two boys”.
Leo is survived by his wife Clare, sons Tim (Julie) and Dan, brother Tom (Margy), and Leo’s sisters Margy and Carol Robertson-Long, four grandchildren, and thirteen nieces and nephews. He will be deeply missed by his family.
Leo will be laid to rest with a small private burial ceremony for family and close friends at Haven of Rest in Gig Harbor on Saturday January 16, 2021. Due to Covid-19 restrictions a memorial service will follow later at an unknown date/time. Please check back to this notice at the Haven of Rest website, as a date will be chosen when restrictions are lifted. Leo expressed in advance that memorial donations could be made to the American Cancer Society, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, or the Pierce County Humane Society.
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