Obituary: John Long – Portland Press Herald % | #teacher | #children | #kids


John Long

PORTLAND – John Long, 75, beloved husband of Rita Rubin Long, transcended this plane of existence for another on Saturday morning, July 2, 2022. He slipped away from us quietly; his heart stopped. John’s passions were many, deep and varied. Perhaps at the top of the list was his love of bicycling. Either alone or with his friends in the Portland bicycling community, John rode nearly every day, regardless of weather, with vigor and joy. His intellectual curiosity knew few if any limits. He read voraciously and thought deeply on the issues he cared about such as the environment and national security in the broadest sense. John always loved a good back and forth in the marketplace of ideas as reflected in his personal library and discussions with friends and family. John appreciated beauty in all its forms but especially in nature and music. Music from Beethoven to the Stones fed his soul. He loved listening to his wife, Rita, sing with Women in Harmony as well as attending classical music concerts. His passion for the environment grew from his love of nature in all its rugged and delicate beauty. John and Rita’s backyard and garden held the miracle of nature in miniature for John and brought him countless hours of sweat and joy. He was “Uncle John” to his own nieces, nephews, grandniece and grandnephews as well as many children of friends and neighbors, and was always interested in their adventures, endeavors and dreams. John wasn’t born in Maine but he got here as soon as he could. After early years in the Midwest, high school in Connecticut, college in Boston, Mass., Peace Corps service in India and graduate school in Michigan, John found his sweetheart and home in Portland and never left. John graduated from Fairfield Prep Academy in 1964, earned a B.A. from Boston College in 1968, and a master’s in English from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 1973. Between college and graduate school he served in India for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. John’s varied work life included stints as a teacher, Bookmobile driver, government documents librarian, researcher and financial analyst. In 1974, John moved to Portland and taught courses at Portland Adult Education before beginning work at Portland Public Library where he often drove the Bookmobile. In 1980, while staffing the Bookmobile at Westbrook College Children’s Center, John met his future wife, Rita Rubin, a preschool teacher, who regularly brought her class there. John later worked as the government documents librarian at the Portland Public Library. Following that, John worked for Unum as their corporate librarian and research analyst. Ever the lifelong learner, John delved into the world of finance and ended his professional career at Everspring Wealth: Ameriprise. In addition to his wife Rita, John is survived by his sisters Marie Gray (Joe Gray), Laura Sarcone and Kathleen Long (Kathy Cannon) and brothers Tom Long and Jim Long (Carol Long), sister-in-law, Carol Shwidock; his nieces and nephews Jennifer Turner, David Long, Nathan Gray, Samara Gilsey, Zoe Shwidock and Helena Sarcone; five grandnephews and one grandniece. A celebration of John’s life will be held on Saturday, July 9 at 4 p.m. at their home. Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at http://www.jonesrichandbarnes.com for the Long family.In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to either Maine Medical Center or Portland Public Library.


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