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William Alexander Long Jr.

William Alexander Long Jr. was born in Gallman on April 20, 1930, to William Alexander Long Sr. and Mary Lynn Jones Long. He passed away peacefully on Nov. 1, 2022. A graveside service was held Nov. 3 at Gallman Cemetery. A memorial service was held Nov. 4 at First Presbyterian Church, Jackson. Stringer Family Funeral Home in Hazlehurst handled the arrangements.
Pallbearers were Dr. John Buchanan, Dr. John Cox, Robert Long, Dr. Craig Flowers, David Turner, and Devin Wallace. Honorary pallbearers were Dr. John Biggs and Dr. George May.
After graduating from Hazlehurst High School in 1947, Dr. Long attended Millsaps College and graduated from the University of Mississippi, and then from Tulane University School of Medicine in 1955. He practiced family medicine for two years in Gulfport and four years in Denver, Colo., before focusing on adolescent medicine. He completed his fellowship in adolescent medicine at Colorado General Hospital in 1967 and practiced general pediatrics and adolescent medicine in Denver from 1967 to 1969. In 1969, Dr. Long moved to Jackson and became the first adolescent medicine specialist in the United States to go into private practice. During his 26 years of counseling and adolescent medicine, his compassion, humor, encouragement, insight, wisdom, and genuine trust with his patients gave them great benefits in their care and well-being. The heart of his counseling, though, was his love for his Savior, which he also shared with passion and gentleness.
As important as adolescent medicine was to Bill, the most valued areas of his life centered solidly on his faith in Jesus Christ, his loving marriage, and his rich friendships with young and old alike.
Bill married his lifelong sweetheart, Elinor June Ervin, on Oct. 7, 1972, and his love for her was one of the greatest testimonies in his life. Their marriage was a rich and tender friendship, and each of them made the other better and more complete. Their relationship was a beautiful example of Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, as one person sharpens another.” They were rarely seen together without laughter. His love and care for June was a wonderful example of Christ’s love for us and an inspiring witness to so many.
Bill and June loved a good meal with friends, often in their own home. There was always excellent food and side-splitting laughter. They would entertain their guests for hours with their bright memories of endless travels and experiences, many involving hilarious mishaps and even danger. There were enough stories from their lives together to fill a book, and everyone was thoroughly entertained as they relived their experiences, like the nail-biting-cliff-hanging jeep rides in the Great Rocky Mountains, Bill’s stubborn determination to check into a New Orleans hotel even though it was on fire, and June‘s terrifying confrontations with peacocks, ostriches, and chickens. There was never a dull moment when Bill and June were around.
Bill was consistently “full of the Spirit“ and displayed the fruits described in Galatians 5:22, “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” Although Bill and June had no children, he was considered a father-like mentor to many younger men whom he loved, advised, counseled, encouraged, held accountable, sometimes challenged, and to whom he always listened. Bill’s fingerprints are all over these friends, and the ripples of his life will go on and on.
Dr. Long proudly served his country at the United States Air Force School of Aviation Medicine in San Antonio, Texas, in 1956 and as a flight surgeon at LADD-AFB, Fairbanks, Alaska, from 1957 to 1958.
The professional societies and organizations to which Dr. Long was affiliated were: Diplomat, National Board of Examiners; diplomat, American Board of Pediatrics; fellow, American Academy of Pediatrics; fellow, Society for Adolescent Medicine; Central Medical Society; Mississippi State Medical Association; and American Medical Association. Dr. Long was a pre-medical honorary of Phi Eta Sigma and Alpha Epsilon Delta. He was a medical honorary of Alpha Omega Alpha and social honorary of Phi Delta Theta and Phi Chi.
Dr. Long served on the board of directors for the Jackson Rotary Club, United Givers Fund, and Willow Wood Development Center. Dr. Long was also the founder of the Youth Crisis Centers, Inc., which served as a shelter for displaced adolescents in the early 1970s.
Dr. Long received many special awards. Among them were The Robins Award for Outstanding Community Service by a Physician (Mississippi State Medical Association) in 1973, The Mead Johnson Teaching Award for Major Contributions in the Teaching of Adolescent Healthcare (Society for Adolescent Medicine) in 1982, and The Adele Dellenbaugh Hoffman Award (American Academy of Field Pediatrics) in 1993.
Dr. Long published numerous medical articles, and he initiated a series of medical journals, Adolescent Medical Clinics, from 1996 to 2019. He had speaking and teaching engagements in 20 states and three countries, and was honored to be a visiting professor at East Carolina University School of Medicine at Bethesda Naval Medical Center and at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He was also a visiting faculty member for various schools of medicine, conferences, and medical associations.
After retirement in 1995, Dr. Long published a book on adolescent behavior titled “Your Predictable Adolescent.” Reflecting on his career, his fondest professional memories were those regarding individual relationships with his patients and their parents.
Dr. Long was a devoted member of First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, where he served as a deacon and ruling elder, taught the young married Sunday school class for 25 years, and was a longtime member of the choir.
Dr. Long was predeceased by his parents; his wife, June E. Long; and his brother, Dr. Jerry Long.
He is survived by his nephew, William Thomas Long; his great-niece, Hana Elizabeth Long; cousin, Dr. James Long; and sister-in-law, Joyce Long.
The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Long’s loving and faithful caregivers.
Memorials may be made to French Camp Academy, 1 Fine Pl., French Camp, MS 39745; to Samaritans Purse, P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607; or to the charity of your choice.
Bill was a bright and shining star in this world, and he will be greatly missed…until we meet again.