Donald Rue Long, 82, a resident of Cleveland, passed away at home surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, after a battle with lung cancer.
He was born in Madisonville on Nov. 20, 1936. He was of the Baptist faith. He was a truck driver for Magic Chef, and known by many as "Saddle Blanket." He retired from Roadway Express after 28 years.
He had many interests, such as raising cattle and Appaloosa horses. He attended horseshoeing school in Grapevine, Texas. He also enjoyed giving every grandchild and great-grandchild a special nickname that was as unique as they were to him. On each of their birthdays, he would call them and sing a very special birthday song he called "Alfalfa Hay."
He was preceded in death by his parents, Rue and Minnie Long; four brothers, Joe Long, Benny Long, Bob Long and Ronnie Long; one sister, Lorene “Belle” Samples; father and mother-in-law, the Rev. A.M. Phillips and Lois Phillips; as well as a very special granddaughter, Carmen Long.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Gayle Long; three sons: Delane (LeighAnn) Long of Dacula, Ga., Delwyn (Charlotte) Long of Cleveland, and Dacen (Stacy) Long of Sweetwater; daughter, Danitra Long of Cleveland; seven grandchildren: Brittni (Javier) Rodriguez, Jessica (Kevin) Young, Heather (David) Pendergrass, Nathan and Abigail Long, Hannah (Jake) Durgin, and Hayley Long; five great-grandchildren: Aubree Durgin, Alis and Alexia Rodriguez and, Kaia and Kenai Pendergrass; two brothers: Larry Long and Jerry (Eileen) Long; one sister, Deane (Ronald) Lee; two sisters-in-law: Nancy Long and Diane Long; several nieces and nephews; and special brother and sister-in-law, the Rev. Cecil (Joyce) Guiles.
The family will receive friends on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at North Cleveland Church of God, Dixon Chapel, with Dr. Mark Williams and the Rev. Cy Harris officiating.
Interment will be at Hillcrest Cemetery following the Celebration of Life service, with Nathan Long, Kevin Young, Dennis Cavett, Jake Durgin, Bryan Guiles and Dillon Kile as pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to: Rise and Build, c/o North Cleveland Church of God, 335 11th St. N.E., Cleveland, TN 37311.
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