Mrs. Edna Earle Barnette Long passed away peacefully April 9, 2020, at The Fountainview Center for Alzheimer’s, after a long decline of 13 years. All five of her devoted children were at her side. The staff at the Fountainview were and remain a gift of support and love.
Edna, born February 20, 1937, was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Robert (Bob) G. Long. Bob and Edna married in 1957, both 20-year-olds, welcomed a child every year for the next five years.
Edna was pursuing a nursing career when her husband was transferred to Atlanta in the late 60’s, where she became a Realtor, then an apartment manager. In her 50’s she took a leap of faith to fulfill a lifelong dream and purchased a restaurant in Dahlonega, GA. Edna had the restaurant for nine years, and then worked for the Forsyth County Public Library until retiring in 2007.
Born in Stearns, KY, raised in Mt. Vernon, AL, she spent her early years of marriage in Mobile, AL, moving to East Point, GA in 1968, then Cumming, GA for 30 years. She loved to dance, visit new places and meet new people. She LOVED hearing “everyone’s story.” She was loved by so many people who were not necessarily accepted by others. She saw the value and gifts in everyone. Her humility, non-judgmental beliefs and self-sacrifice for others, especially her family, was immense.
Edna’s deep kindness, calm, quiet yet fun-loving nature, sincerity, generosity of spirit, beautiful smile, internal and external beauty will be so very much missed each day by so many. She loved Elvis, giraffes, Beanie Babies, Hallmark Christmas ornaments, pelicans, parades, marching bands – especially the Alabama Crimson Tide Million Dollar Band — Hawaii, comics, reading the newspaper and ‘clipping’ news articles for everyone. She had a great love of music and played the flute, piccolo and snare drum at Citronelle High School as well as the piano. She loved to bake and celebrate all holidays with handmade decorations and at Christmas, intricately decorated, from-scratch, ‘cut-out’ cookies.
Edna and Bob’s greatest joy and wish was that the legacy of their immense love of family, kindness, acceptance and forgiveness be cherished, honored and adopted by their children, spouses, 11 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and the many generations that will follow. Acceptance and forgiveness are critical to carry on the legacy they worked so hard to pass on to their family.
Edna loved the camaraderie, love and support her five children continue to have for each other: Chet Long (Laurie), Leslie Merriman (Robin), Brynne Blalock (Duane), Robbie Long (Nikki) and Greg Long (Gail). Edna, one of 11 children, is also survived by one brother, Dick “Uncle Mary” Barnette, her sisters-in-law, Beth Wooten, Judy Ferm, Sue Leithner and many, many nieces and nephews.
The family sends great thanks to Ms. Giana Eden of Jesup, GA who is a potter and custom designed Edna’s funerary urn. Edna had “clipped” an AJC article about Giana in 2000 and put it in her “funeral planning” file, discovered after her decline. Giana had “retired” from urn making but felt compelled to create Edna’s final resting place after hearing her story. Two giraffes top it and a painted gold chain, symbolic of Elvis, adorns it.
To see a “photo remembrance” of Edna’s life, visit Chet Long’s Facebook page. Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.carmichaelhemperleypeachtree.com. The family encourages donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of Georgia in Edna’s memory.
A memorial celebration will be held at Christ Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Peachtree City, GA, date TBD after COVID19 social distancing is lifted. In Edna’s honor, when the Memorial and Interment are scheduled, the family encourages attendees to wear anything with a giraffe motif and/or an Alabama Crimson Tide shirt or something Crimson Tide red (not Auburn, please … wink, wink).
Interment will be with her husband Bob at the Georgia National Cemetery in Canton, Georgia, date TBD, notification via social media.