James "Jake" Long

March 19, 1923 ~ April 9, 2018

Jake Long died April 9, 2018, the way we all want to go – peacefully, at home in his sleep after a good, long life.  His warmth, wit and fierce intelligence will be missed by all who knew him.

The 8th of 11 children, Jake was born at home, so far in the country that his birth certificate lists only Laurens County, Georgia.  When he was 7, the family escaped from poverty during the Great Depression, moving to the city of Macon, where Jake grew to manhood. 

During World War II, he met the lovely Martha Ann Jackson in Shreveport while at basic training.  After the war, Jake attended Centenary College there on the GI Bill, becoming the first in his family to graduate from college.  Jake had wanted to be a doctor or professor, but his severe hearing loss led him to become a chemist for Cities Service focusing on plastics research. 

In the early 60s, Jake moved his growing family to Maplewood.  He spent the rest of his life here, except several years when Cities Service transferred him to New Jersey.  A lifelong baseball fan, he ran the Babe Ruth Baseball league while living there. 

Jake took a licking and kept on ticking, surviving cancer and innumerable surgeries with grace and acceptance.  He was self-reliant, fixing anything and everything himself, and passing that value on to his children.  He was also affable; when he went to the store he might be gone hours if he ran across someone and struck up a conversation.

The last of his generation, Jake was preceded in death by all his siblings and in 2012 by “such a wonderful wife,” as he referred to Martha Ann, his bride of 67 years.  He is succeeded by his children Beth, Chris, Mark, Jonathan and Rebecca, and by his 8 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren and 2 great-greats, too.

Jake’s ashes will be spread in sacred places with those of his wife, mother, and beloved brothers and sister. 

Anyone who is moved to celebrate Jake’s life is encouraged to donate to the American Cancer Society.

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Memories Timeline


  1. To Jake's family: I am writing this mainly for my dad, Dan Guidry of Sulphur, because he has no internet. He was so sad to hear this news. My Dad worked with Jake in the plastics plant for years and thought the world of him! He said Jake was his mentor and friend, and he helped make my dad the man he is today. Both of your parents were great friends to mine and I fondly recall many visits with them over the years….Jake always called my mom "Dottie"…I loved that! I know you will miss him terribly, but I pray you find comfort in the knowledge that he and your sweet mom are together again. We are so so sorry for your loss!

  2. My sincere condolences to the family of Jake, I was fortunate enough to have known him for the past 30 years. I first met Jake and Martha in October of 1986 while working at Bolton Ford. He was my very first sale I made after coming out of training, and we became very good friends. A very sharp witty man that was probably good at anything he ever tried to do.

  3. It is certainly, with a bit of sorrow, that we learned of Mr. Jakes passing. Condolences and Blessings, to the Family. Mr. Jake was one of the Original ROMEO's (Retired Old Men Eating Out). He filled our Hearts and Souls, with many a humorous quip. Romeos of McDonalds Hwy 108.

  4. My sincere condolences to the family at this difficult time. May you all seek God for comfort, peace, strength and support (2 Cor 1:3).

  5. Sorry for the loss of your loved one. At times like this it can be hard to lose people we care about, but just know that God sees death as the enemy 1 Corinthian 15:26 and he has resurrected people in the past and the Bible gives 8 instances to give us comfort here is one John 11:39-44. God is the creator of life Psalms 3 6:9 so he is capable of restoring life to our loved ones so take comfort that you will see your loved one again. The ultimate explanation from God is why we die the Bible answers this at Genesis 3:17-19 and Romans 5:12

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