Herman Thomas “Tom” Long, Jr. was a beloved father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother and uncle, who sadly passed away Friday morning, July 24, 2020. Tom was a good, kind, and honorable man with a curious intellect who found pleasure in the little things, and who put others, including his country and family, before himself. He was always there when needed, and was an inspiration to those who knew him.
Herman Long was born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, where he met and eventually married Mary Simone, the love of his life. Tom graduated from St. Michael's College in Vermont in 1953 and with Mary at his side began a long and distinguished military career as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. While serving in Bitburg, Germany, Mary gave birth to two sons, Tom and Chris in 1962 and 1964 respectively. After Germany, he was assigned stateside to Nellis AFB in Nevada where Mary gave birth to their third son, Kevin in 1966.
As a family, the Longs moved often after each of Tom’s Air Force promotions. They spent time in California, Alabama, Nevada, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts before Lt. Colonel Tom Long retired with his family to South Burlington, Vermont in 1981. In his military career, Tom earned two Master Degrees, numerous medals, awards and decorations, and high praise for his work on procurement policy.
After his military retirement, Tom worked for a number of years at Simmonds Precision, before forming his own consulting business, Parkway Consultants, and serving as a senior government procurement specialist for the state of Vermont.
Tom always made time for his family, volunteering as a coach for baseball, basketball, and swimming. He was also a Scout leader and volunteer on the South Burlington Parks Planning Commission to expand the park system and bicycle trails throughout the community. With his wife Mary taking the lead, every holiday was a celebration of life and an opportunity to be together as a family. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Independence Day were annual favorites for the entire family.
With their sons settled into their own lives, Tom and Mary became snow-bird Vermonters, traveling to Boca Raton, Florida for the winters and back to Vermont for the summers. They were very close to all their grandchildren traveling to be with them to celebrate holidays and every major milestone - birthdays, christenings, confirmations, and grandparents days. Eventually they settled full time in Boca Raton, Florida but stayed active in the lives of their loved ones until the very end.
Tom now joins his beloved Mary, who he missed dearly, in Heaven. He is survived by his three sons, Tom, Chris, and Kevin, their wives Sue, Tania and Renu and his grandchildren Sarah, Hailey, Alex, Jessica, Sahana, Joseph, Tommy, Ryan and Amber, and his great-grandchildren Elliot, Madison and Myles. His sister Patricia and favorite niece Mary and his cat Kallie also survive him. He was preceded in passing by his mother Marion and father Herman Sr, his sister Carol and his grandson Jimmy.
Dad, you will be greatly missed, and affectionately remembered for being the pillar of our family and the gateway to the world. Thank you for being our role model and for the love and dedication you gave to our family.
The family will receive friends Friday, August 7, 2020, 9:30-10:30 am at the funeral home. A funeral mass will be celebrated Friday, August 7, 2020, 11:15 am at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. Burial with full military honors will follow at the South Florida National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a charitable donation to The Salvation Army, which was an organization that touched the lives of both Tom and his wife Mary and one that they supported personally.
Professional arrangements by:
Gary Panoch Funeral Home
6140 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33487
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Herman Thomas Long Jr., please visit our floral store.