Last week was the "unveiling," a small, short sort of mini-funeral at the one-year mark after a loss. It's called an unveiling because it is the first time that folks "officially" see the grave marker. It was held actually exactly a year since the funeral itself. So, I thought this would be a good time to re-state some of the basics. This mini-biography was one of the first items read.
James Paul Long Jr., a lifelong resident of the Inland Empire of Southern California, was a professional writer by the age of 16 -- a part-time correspondent with the weekly Rialto Record. He later wrote for a variety of newspapers – mostly but not exclusively coverage of sports – especially the San Bernardino County Sun and the Victor Valley (Victorville) Daily Press.
About a decade ago he went to work for the Victor Valley Union High School District, starting as a classroom volunteer, later getting a part-time job with an adult education program within the VVUHSD and eventually spending nearly seven years as a full-time computer media specialist at Victor Valley (Victorville) High School, where he earned consistently superlative evaluations.
In his spare time, Jim was a talented graphic artist and webpage designer who created all his projects “by hand” using the computer coding language HTML. He was an enthusiastic and gifted nature photographer. Especially, he was an award-winning creative writer, taking home four awards in two years while a part-time student at Victor Valley (Victorville) College, where he earned a web-authoring certificate, maintained a 3.9 grade-point average and was a member of the national two-year-college honor society, Phi Beta Kappa. (He earlier had earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies at California State University San Bernardino.)
Jim was plagued with serious health problems since literally before he was born – his mother was accidentally exposed to German measles while carrying him. Tragically, his health dramatically declined in mid-September 2007, and despite intensive medical treatment and therapy, he “traveled beyond the stars” two years later at the age of 46 ½.
Two scholarships have been established in Jim’s name. Anyone wishing to know more about Jim -- including how to donate to either scholarship, to non-profit causes Jim supported during his lifetime or to a possible upcoming exhibition of his photography -- is invited to write to JimsWife17@yahoo.com
And here is the wording:
James Paul Long Jr.
Arrived to Earth on March 15, 1963
Traveled beyond the stars on Sept. 24, 2009
Beloved husband, son, grandson, brother, brother-in-law, uncle, nephew, grandnephew
Jim was, is and always will be an incorruptible soul