Thomas James Long
July 20, 1943- December 31, 2020
Thomas James Long, 77, a resident of Benedict MD, passed away on December 31, 2020 unexpectly at his home. Tom was born on July 20, 1943 to the late Albert H. Long and Mary (Rynone) Long in Geneva NY, where he was raised and lived until his move to Maryland in 1996. In his early years he was employed as a mechanic with Fratto Brothers Construction and the City of Geneva, New York.
After his move to Maryland he met Marsha, his wife of 20 years. Like Tom, Marsha shared his love of flying. They enjoyed flying to their vacation destinations, fly-in breakfasts, and day trips in the Delmarva area.
Tom’s love of flying began at an early age. He built model airplanes and always wanted to be a pilot. He worked his way through flight school at a local airport in Geneva NY and soloed in a Taylorcraft BC-12D in 1963. In his early 20s he crop dusted for a while and then flew for United Airlines which was not suited for him. He went to work for a corporation that leased planes and pilots and it was at that time he became certified in many different aircraft, flying to destinations all over the world and accumulated over 20,000 hours in a multitude of aircrafts, including the Beech 18, DC-3, DC-4, B-727, Citation, King Air, Gulfstream and Falcon. Tom was also a licensed flight instructor and certified aircraft mechanic.
During his 35 year career in aviation, he was employed as Chief Pilot by UFCW Local 1 in Utica NY and then transferred to the UFCW headquarters in Washington DC where he retired after 20 years with the organization. After his retirement he continued to restore airplanes and fly his own planes.
Tom owned and restored many planes during his lifetime but his 1942 BT-13 World War II trainer, a two-seat bomber trainer, that he restored and housed on his property in Benedict was his proudest restoration.
Tom’s giving and loving soul, and the jokester he was will be greatly missed by his family, and those who knew and loved him.
Tom is survived by his wife, Marsha Long; brother Albert William (Bevan) of Geneva NY and sister Nellene Reed. He is also survived by nephews Danny Long (Kelly) and Bill Long (Nancy) of Geneva NY. He is survived by in-laws Skip Dixon (Bert); Olivia Deyette (Mark); Sharon Rooney; Lisa Denton and Linda Salazar (David) of Maryland. He is also survived by many great nieces and nephews in New York and Maryland.
Due to COVID 19 restrictions a celebration of Tom’s life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to the AOPA Foundation in Tom’s memory may be mailed to the address below. Please make the checks payable to “AOPA Foundation” and write “Scholarship Fund ” with the individuals name on the memo line, and then mail it to:
Attention: Carli Stone
421 Aviation Way
Frederick, MD 21701
If you prefer to contribute online, you can use this webpage: www.aopa.org/donation/oneclickmemorial Enter the individuals name in the “Dedicate this donation in memory of” field and the code R2114GYCFSS in the “Keycode” field (this will ensure the donation is directed to our scholarship program).