Donald LeRoy Long, 42, formerly of Oak Creek, passed away suddenly during a fishing trip July 15, 2011, near Corpus Christi, Texas.
He was born July 31, 1968, in Colorado Springs, the son of David “Dusty” LeRoy and Linda Kay “Glaze” Long. He is a descendent of Routt County pioneer families on both sides. His great-grandparent Joseph Long homesteaded in Twenty Mile Park just outside of Oak Creek. His great-great -grandparents Logan Marshall and William Evans both were homesteaders above Yampa near the Flat Tops. All were ranchers.
He attended South Routt schools from kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating in 1986. He went on to attend and graduated from Wyoming Technical Institute in Laramie, Wyo.
He was raised on his family ranch, the Lazy-J-Quarter Circle Ranch. He was a member of 4-H and FFA, and earned his Life Scout Award. He fished the creek bank of Trout Creek and hunted every ridge for elk and deer, becoming an avid hunter with a rifle or bow. He could catch a fish in any stream or lake, learning his skills from his family, especially his hunting skills from his great-grandpa Doc Marshall and his fishing skills from his great-great-uncle Floyd Marshall.
He began his fishing and hunting experience following them, as they would drag him over the logs to get to a stream or to the top of the mountain to view a herd of elk. Hunting, fishing and camping have always been a shared family passion. Donald always enjoyed sharing a fishing trip or a hunting trip with anyone — you just had to be in good shape to follow him to the mountain top as with his long strides you would nearly have to run to keep up.
After graduation he became a skilled carpenter, building many beautiful homes throughout the Yampa Valley, leaving a beautiful legacy of his handiwork whether with a chainsaw on a pile of logs that became a beautiful home or seeing his stamped concrete driveways, sidewalks or decks. His talents were endless.
What most will remember about Don was his size, able to lift what two men could lift, his huge laugh and big smile and his singing from every rooftop as he worked.
His family always was the center of his life. He married Betsy Baumgartner in Cortez on June 18, 1988. To this union two children were born; a son, Dustin LeRoy, and a daughter, Kelly Rae. They were raised by their mother in Cortez.
In January 1997 he met Teresa Leen, and they were married Aug. 11, 2001, in the meadows on the ranch on Trout Creek. To this union their daughter, Anna Christine Long, was born, and she instantly became his camping, fishing and hunting partner, going everywhere with him on four-wheelers, snow machines and hiking trips, sharing many great times.
His work took him to Texas in January 2009, where he built homes.
Donald is survived by his three children, Dustin LeRoy, Kelly Rae and Anna Christine; two grandchildren, Christian and Ireland; his parents Dusty and Linda Long; a brother David (Kami) Long and his children Courtney and Joseph Long, all of Oak Creek; niece Glenda (Denis) Luark, of Burns; great-niece Makinly Long, of Oak Creek; grandmother Marguerite Anderson; uncles Nelson “Rocky” (Linda) Long and Michael (Connie) Long; aunts Ann Rantio, Sandy Wisecup, Arlene, Maxine (Pat) Green, and Sharon Glaze; and numerous cousins; Teresa Long; and countless friends.
He was preceded in death by his grandparents, John and Edith “Toot” Long; grandfather, Glenn Glaze; step-grandfather Paul Anderson; and uncles Douglas and Leonard Glaze.
A memorial service was held July 22, 2011, at South Routt Elementary School in Yampa. Interment was in Yampa Cemetery.