H. Dayton Long, 81, Nevada, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010, at Mercy Health Center in Fort Scott, Kan. Dayton was born July 4, 1928, in rural Vernon County to Harley Richard and Freda Yount Long. He was reared in northern Barton County and helped on the family farm until 1952.
He met the love of his life, Marlyn Greer, in the fifth grade and knew then he would marry her one day. There were married Aug. 29, 1948, in Noel, Mo., and she survives of the home.
Dayton was drafted into the Marine Corps in 1952 and honorably discharged in 1954. During some of his Marine Corps time, they lived in a converted garage apartment in Oceanside, Calif., and were fortunate enough to have box springs to sleep on. Another couple had the mattress.
Upon his return to Lamar he joined the Missouri Department of Transportation on May 5, 1954. Dayton ran a survey crew all over southwest Missouri, laying out most of the "farm to market" roads traveled today. He loved to talk about those years and all the "college kids" that he trained along the way. He later worked as an inspector observing the contractors to be sure their work met specifications. He retired from Mo DOT in 1987.
After retirement he and his brothers worked on the family farm clearing land and building fences. When that project was done, he needed something else to fill his time so in 1991 he founded Long & Snead Sewer Service with his son-in-law, Kenny Snead.
Dayton loved helping children and young people. It didn't matter if it was his nieces and nephews, family friends or the children they helped through their donations to the various Masonic, Scottish Rite and Shrine charities or local charities, they wanted children to thrive and succeed.
He was a 41-year member of the Masonic Lodge and held all the chairs many times. He was also a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Shrine Mason. He held memberships in the Sheldon Masonic Lodge, Valley of Fort Scott Scottish Rite Temple and the Mirza Shrine Temple in Pittsburg, Kan.
He and Marlyn loved to dance. Before his health declined they drove every Sunday afternoon to attend the dance at the American Legion in Pittsburg.
Dayton is survived by his beloved wife, Marlyn, of 61 years; his daughter and son-in-law Marla Kay and Kenny Snead; his "favorite" grandson Brett, all of Nevada; his sisters Velma Miller, Lamar, Mo., and Mary Hanneman, Belton, Mo.; along with a host of nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his faithful companion the black pug "Sir Charles." He and Charley were a familiar site to those living on South College and Chestnut streets. He was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Marvin, Howard and Linden; one sister, Leta Shief; and good friend Ross Garton.
Masonic and funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 21, at Ferry Funeral Home, Nevada, with Delbert Phipps and Dennis Painter officiating. Interment will follow in Lake Cemetery, Lamar.
Those who wish may contribute to the Mirza Temple's Van Dads Transportation Fund in care of Ferry Funeral Home, 301 S. Washington, Nevada, MO 64772.
View obituary and send condolences on line at www.ferryfuneralhome.com.