September 3, 1905 – April 15, 2008
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Florence Long, forever loved by her family and friends. But it is also with thanksgiving that we celebrate her lengthy and well-lived life. Florence added an element of class wherever she went; and her qualities of determination and tenacity which were tempered by love and humour, and strengthened by her faith in Jesus Christ, were exceptional.
Florence was born in Medicine Hat, Alberta to Jim and Ethel McCombs. After graduating from high school, she attended Sprott-Shaw Business College in Medicine Hat, and enjoyed a stenographic career for a number of years. Then she married Roy Long, an accountant with the Royal Bank of Canada, and they settled in Edmonton where their daughter, Mae, was born the following year. Their son, Gordon, was born during World War 11 while Roy was serving in the R.C.A.F.
Following the War, the family moved to Bellevue, a coal-mining community in the Crowsnest Pass where Roy was manager of the Royal Bank. This presented a challenge for Florence who had always been a city-girl; however, she met it with her usual strength of purpose and grace. She was soon involved in church and community affairs, and especially enjoyed her bridge club and her boys’ Sunday School class. Roy was transferred to Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta in 1952, and after retiring from there in 1965, they celebrated with a four-month cruise “around the world.”
Their retirement years in Vancouver and Edmonton were enjoyed with good health, new friends, the theatre, bus trips to Las Vegas, and winter months spent in Honolulu or Palm Springs. Florence was interested in everything and everyone, and a visit with her was always a treat.
Florence moved to Courtenay in 1989, and lived her last almost eleven years at Stevenson Place in Comox where she loved the staff and the other residents, and considered them as “family.” She rarely missed an activity or entertainment, and Bingo was a favourite pastime right up to the time she died. Her church family at Comox Valley Presbyterian Church, too, was dear to her heart, especially her elder, Lee Ellis and pastor, Rev. Ted Hicks.
Florence was predeceased by her parents, only sister Ella McDougall, her husband of 54 years, son Gordon, and granddaughter Nancy Pagdin. She is survived by her daughter Mae Pagdin (Tom), daughter-in-law Linda Long, granddaughters Joanne Lougheed (John) and Tammy Long (Maury Brophy), grandsons Ross Pagdin (Michele), Allan Pagdin (Valerie), stepson Steven Long, eleven great grandchildren, one great, great grandson, and her special niece Eleanor McDougall.
The family would like to thank the nurses and homecare workers, especially LeeAnn Martin and Elizabeth Hickey of Lamms HomeCare who cared so lovingly for Florence during her last months at home – also the staff at Stevenson Place and St. Joseph’s Hospital, and Dr. Potter-Cogan. They made such a difference.
A Memorial Service in celebration of Florence’s life will be held April 29, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. at the Comox Valley Presbyterian Church, 725 Aspen Road, Comox. It will be followed by a tea and reception at Stevenson Place, 1683 Balmoral Avenue, Comox.