Roger Long, age 88, of Yankton, South Dakota, died surrounded by his family at his home on Sunday, August 30, 2020.
A public gathering of family and friends will be from 4:00 to 6:00 PM, on Thursday, September 3, 2020 at the Wintz & Ray Funeral Home in Yankton. Inurnment will be at the Garden of Memories Cemetery in Yankton with military honors provided by the Ernest-Bowyer VFW Post No. 791 and US Army National Guard Funeral Honors.
Urnbearer is Rob Christensen and honorary urnbearer is Mike Mitchell.
Roger was born May 28, 1932 in Viborg, South Dakota to Tony and Marion (Sorensen) Long. He grew up in Viborg and graduated from Viborg High School in 1950. In 1951, Roger enlisted in the United States Army where he served in the 92nd Field Artillery Division, The Red Devils, during the Korean War. During his time of service, he received three Bronze Stars, including one with valor, and was the youngest Master Sargent in his battalion. On October 1, 1953, Roger married Janis J. Benson in Viborg. After his honorable discharge on February 7, 1954, they moved to Yankton. In 1967, Roger and Janis started Long’s Propane. Roger officially retired at age 65 but stayed active in the business for 50 years until 2017. Roger loved spending time at the north plant, affectionately known as Green Acres. There he enjoyed working in his garden, planting many trees, and caring for the property. Roger was a member of the VFW Post in Yankton, Disabled American Veterans, Elks Lodge, Masonic Temple, and was past president of the El Riad Shrine of South Dakota. Roger enjoyed golfing and snowmobiling when he was younger. He enjoyed watching the Kansas City Chiefs and traveling with his wife and family. Roger loved his coffee group and visiting with his friends. Above all, he loved his family and treasured his grandchildren.
Roger is survived by three daughters: Kathleen Long of Sioux Falls, SD, Julie (Mark) Nielsen of Yankton, and Jane (Dan) Grant of Yankton; nine grandchildren: Jeremy (Misty) Kirschenman, Matthew Kirschenman, Noah Burns and fiancé, Dr. Emily Kimball, Adam Nielsen, Amanda (Joshua) Christie, Alexis Grant and fiancé, Jon Riibe, Dylan Grant, Gabe Grant, and Celeste Smith; eight great grandchildren: Trinity, Tory, Levi, Lyla, William, Emma, Mark, and Abigail; and one sister, Ardyce Weeg of Litchfield Park, AZ.
Roger was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Janis on December 14, 2015; two grandchildren, Brian Nielsen and Caitlin Kirschenman; brother, Ronald Long; and best friend, Harley Christensen.
The family would prefer memorials to the Yankton Special Olympics or Heartland Humane Society.