FAMILY and friends will say a final goodbye on Thursday to Bob Long, who died peacefully on June 8, aged 93.
Bob was a tireless local musician and was the patriarch of the family affectionately dubbed the ‘Musical Longs’ by the Worthing Gazette and Herald. He would always get involved in ensuring musical life in Worthing and Lancing thrived.
Over several decades, he was involved with many choirs, orchestras and musical entertainment groups.
Together with wife Eileen, he encouraged a host of young musicians in the area, not least the couple’s own children, who all took up singing at early ages.
Their eldest sons, Chris and Steve, dominated the Worthing oratorio soloist scene and musical festival for some years in their teens and early 20s. Later, Keith and Yvonne joined the family rank of choral singers and soloists, with the ‘Musical Longs’ name given in recognition of their many performances as a family around the local area.
After Eileen’s death, in 2000, Bob started an initiative to hold string quartet workshop days in Broadwater, once a quarter, where musicians could meet up and money was raised for good causes – these events still run.
Having trained as a teacher at the end of the Second World War, Bob taught science and maths at Westloats Secondary Modern, in Bognor Regis, before moving to West Tarring School. Carpentry was his first love and he could not resist the opportunity to teach woodwork at Boundstone School, Lancing, when the opportunity arose, and stayed there for more than 20 years, until his retirement, in 1980. Bob’s funeral will celebrate his love of music and will be held at St Michael and All Angels’ Church, in South Street, Lancing, at 12.15pm on Thursday, June 20.
It will be followed by a committal at Worthing Crematorium, at 1.40pm. Friends are welcome to attend both.
Family flowers only, but donations in Bob’s memory can be made to Cancer Research via Pilbeam Funeral Services, Southwick, on 01273 593494, or online, at www.justgiving.com/Bob-Long93