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Jon O. Long

September 9, 1948 ~ January 26, 2024 (age 75) 75 Years Old

Jon Long Obituary

Jon Orrie Long, age 75, passed away unexpectedly at Prairie Lakes Hospital on Friday, January 26 in Watertown, SD at the age of 75. Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 1, 2024 at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in Watertown.  Rev. Janet Miller will officiate.  The family is requested to meet at the chapel on Thursday by 1:30 p.m. for a prayer service.

Visitation will be at the Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel in Watertown on Thursday from 1-2 p.m. and prior to services at the chapel.

Jon Orrie Long was born on September 9, 1948, in Webster, SD, to Glenn and Arleen (Painter) Long. After Jon’s birth, the family moved to Oregon where his father was a woodsman. After a few years, the family missed home and returned to Waubay, SD to begin farm life. On the farm, Jon, along with his parents and sisters farmed, put up hay, and milked cows. This is where Jon’s famous phrase for calling the cows came about. He would holler, “Come on Sam and bring your friends with ya!”

Through the years Jon loved working the farm, but his parents wanted him to have an education. At that time, public schools did not provide education to special needs children. Jon’s parents, along with other local parents, founded the Mentally Retarded Education Program. The Cross-family’s home, in Webster, SD, became Jon’s classroom. Mrs. Cross taught Jon to read and write. Jon continued to work on the farm for many years where he learned to drive tractor and his dad’s stick shift Ford pickup. Glenn and Arleen created a home filled with love, understanding, and unconditional support. As a family, they embraced the challenges with grace, fostering an environment that allowed Jon to thrive and flourish. His parents were not just caregivers; they were pillars of strength, demonstrating the true essence of familial love and commitment.

In 1995, Jon moved to Watertown, SD and became part of the Human Service Agency. Through the Human Service Agency, Jon worked various jobs along with working at the agency’s day program. Through this, Jon forged many friendships. From these friendships, Jon attended the Salvation Army on Friday nights, walks at the mall, church on Sundays, going out to eat (especially ice cream), the Farm Show, and shopping. He would also never pass up a cup of coffee and a cookie with a friend. He continued to bring his unique and joyful spirit into the lives of those around him. The staff and residents became an extended family, and the bond formed was a testament to Jon’s ability to touch the hearts of everyone he encountered.

To his nieces and nephews, lovingly known as Uncle Jonny, he was a constant as they spent numerous hours on Grandma and Grandpa’s farm. He left an indelible mark on their childhoods, teaching them the true meaning of acceptance and the beauty found in the differences that make each person special. He infused their days with laughter and they always knew that Uncle Jonny was their protector. His humor created a tapestry of joy that time cannot fade. His presence was a source of comfort, his quirks adding a touch of magic to our shared moments.

Jonny’s uniqueness made him truly special to all. May we all find inspiration to embrace the distinctive qualities that make each of us extraordinary.

Jon’s family would like to extend a special thanks to the Human Service Agency and all of the wonderful staff who helped and worked with Jon throughout the years. You all will forever have our gratitude.

Jon is survived by two sisters, Pam (Long) Engstrom, Webster, SD, Glenda (Long) Jerde, Watertown, SD,; many nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, two great-great nieces and three great-great nephews.

Jon is preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Arleen (Painter) Long;  one sister, Joanne (Long) Town; two brothers in law, David Engstrom,  Larry Jerde and one niece Abby Jo Utne.

Arrangements by Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel Watertown, Hayti, De Smet, Bryant.

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February 1, 2024

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Crawford - Osthus Funeral Service Chapel

Funeral Service
February 1, 2024

2:00 PM
Crawford - Osthus Funeral Chapel (Crawford, Watertown)


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