Rufus Alexander Long was born on June 30, 1923 on the outskirts of West Jefferson (Ashe County), NC to Flora Goodman and George Long. After a full and rich life, he passed away peacefully surrounded by his children and a grandson in Black Mountain, NC on October 14, 2022.
He always proudly remembered his mountain upbringing as one of twelve children. Having spent several formative years at Barium Springs Presbyterian Home for Children (after losing his mother at the age of 5), he attended Davidson College.
He also served in the Army Air Corps for three years during WWII during his college years as well. During bootcamp, it was discovered that he couldn’t march in time, so he was sent to study communications and meteorology at Vanderbilt and Yale rather than infantry.
He met his “sweet wife” (as he continued to refer to her for the rest of his life), Margaret “Peggy” Bradford while walking up Kentucky Road in Montreat after college. After they married, he received an MBA from Wharton School of Business (UPenn) and maintained a career in banking in Charlotte, NC. He then joined the US Agency for International Development and served as a Foreign Service Office for 25 years taking his family of six children all over the world. He served in Ethiopia, Seoul, Korea, Saigon, Vietnam, Islamabad, Pakistan and Sanaa, North Yemen.
Through out his career and wherever he was in the world, he always maintained a garden and a pool membership. Upon arrival anywhere, he was quick to know where the closest church and closest pool were located and frequented both often. Several years after losing Peggy in 2009, he relocated from Falls Church, VA to Highland Farms (Black Mountain, NC). Rufus and Peggy spent summers and as much time as they could in Montreat. They always loved Montreat and enjoyed welcoming children, grandchildren and numerous friends to their home on South Carolina Terrace. He leaves a legacy of strong faith, hard work, support of education, curiosity about people, and much more.
He is survived by his six children, Zeb Bradford (LauraCole), George (Margie McFarlan), Lucy (Jack Santino), Eric (Bette Sheldon), Angela (Thomas Whippenbeck), Ruthann Eileen (Alfredo Farias) and eighteen grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. He also leaves numerous recipients of his generosity.
He will be honored and celebrated on Sunday, October 16, 2022 at 2pm at Christ Community Church.