COLUMBIA — R. Dean Long, known as "Paw-paw" to his grandchildren, was a compassionate man who loved his family.
"He was a strong and strong-willed man, and he just loved his life," said Janice Seeley, his sister-in-law. "He was the kindest, most gentle man you had ever known."
Mr. Long of Columbia died Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. He was 62.
He was born on April 6, 1950, in Syracuse, Kan., to Rufus and Ethel Long. He married Vicki at Mount Zion Church in Hallsville on Dec. 31, 1998.
Mr. Long enjoyed his family and his many good friends.
"He had so many friends and a variety of friends, and he was the best husband, daddy, grandpa in the whole wide world," Seeley said. "He was just an amazing man."
Mr. Long worked in restaurant management and construction. He was a building supervisor of Clydesdale Hall at the MU Veterinary Teaching Hospital until his retirement in 2011.
"He loved to build and was always fixing things up. He could fix it all; he was the jack of all trades," Seeley said. "Whenever anyone called, he would be there."
In his spare time, Mr. Long enjoyed camping and traveling in his RV. He liked to cook and was fantastic at cooking barbecue, Seeley said. He also enjoyed working in his yard, especially using his John Deere mower.
Mr. Long liked to come up with sayings for different situations, such as phone calls.
"When the person would say 'have a nice day' or 'goodbye,' he would say 'hello' again before he hung up," Seeley said. "He never told anyone goodbye."
Mr. Long is survived by his wife, Vicki; two daughters, Emily and Elysa; stepson, Josh Newman; three brothers, Ross, Blair, David; a sister, Flo Nelson; seven grandchildren; and other family members.
Visitation will be at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at Bach-Yager Funeral Chapel, 1610 N. Garth Ave. Services will take place at 2 p.m at the chapel. Burial will follow at Mount Zion Cemetery.
Contributions can be made to Hospice Compassus or Missouri Cancer Associates, care of Bach-Yager Funeral Chapel.
Condolences and tributes may be shared with the family at www.bachyager.com.
Supervising editor is Simina Mistreanu.