Hilda L. Long, 97, of Colorado Springs passed away at a long-term care facility on June 13, 2023.  She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 66 years, Timothy R. Long, and her son, John T. Long.  She is survived by son, Michael P. Long, and daughter-in-law, Julie; son Joseph R. Long, and granddaughter Monica R. Long; brothers-in-law: Fredrick J. Long (Jane), Robert T. Long; and sister-in-law, Louise M. (Kenneth) Peairs; as well as a very large number of nephews, nieces, grandnieces and grandnephews.  She worked for Kaufman’s in their downtown and Citadel stores.

Hilda was born in Ozello, FL on August 5, 1925, to the late Thomas L. Head and Mary Ann (Edge) Head.  She was the youngest of 5 children and was preceded in death by all her siblings: brother, Robert L Head, and sisters, Jessie M. Versaggi, Mildred I. DeBusk and Jewell J. Wasem.  She was also preceded in death by sisters-in-law Hannah N. Thomas, Mary Margret Stewart, Patricia J. Bornyas; and brothers-in-law: Maj. John A; Dr. Francis P,. Eugene P., William J. and Richard M. Long.

She spent her early years growing up happily in Ozello where their house in the marsh on the St. Martins River was accessible only by boat and where she, her siblings and other neighbors had to travel by boat as well to get to the one room school on School House Island.  As a child, Hilda was noted for being able to tame almost anything; She had a pet possum and even a crane that to her mother’s dismay figured out how to open the screen door when it wanted in.  Fortunately, she moved on to dogs and cats as an adult with maybe an occasional fox.  Her father died when she was only 14 and she and her mother moved for a period to live with her sister, Jewell, near Wildwood, FL on the McKinney cattle ranch which today forms part of the Half Moon Wildlife Management Area.  Hilda and her mother then moved to Crystal River, FL where she graduated from Crystal River High and married MSgt. Tim Long in 1943.  She and her family resided in Panama City, FL and Montgomery, AL before moving to Colorado Springs in 1969. 

Her primary passion was family and she not only kept up with her own, but also with her sisters, her sisters-in-law, as well as many of her nieces and nephews throughout her life.  Hilda had a strong faith in God.  She loved to read; her morning routine started with the paper, and she even wrote poetry and a few short stories.  She loved gardening – particularly roses. She loved fried gulf shrimp using her sister Jessie’s recipe, a good ribeye and was especially fond of desserts.  Hilda enjoyed the outdoors and ensured the family made numerous trips near Colorado Springs as well as to Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone National Parks.  She enjoyed fishing for Specs out of Homosassa and Crystal River, FL until late in life with her sisters and brother as well as the annual trips to Pennsylvania to visit the extended Long family.  She eventually found time in her 70s and 80s to travel overseas to the UK to visit Scotland then England and Wales. 

Hilda had many close friends and neighbors in the Springs and was especially appreciative of their efforts that enabled her to stay in her home until she could no longer.  She was also very thankful for the care she received from the staff at Sunny Vista as well as at her prior residence, Legend of Colorado Springs.  She always thought she would make 100, but towards the end she would often remark “it is what it is” when she realized the body just wasn’t going to be able to keep up with where the mind wanted it to go.

A funeral service will be held at Shrine of Remembrance “America the Beautiful” Chapel, 1730 E. Fountain Blvd. Colorado Springs, CO. on Thursday, June 29 at 10AM. A reception with light refreshments will follow the service at Olympian Plaza Reception and Event Center 975 S. Union Blvd.

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