Clifton (Skipper/Skip) Issaih Longley Jr. departed his earthly dwelling to reside in his eternal heavenly home on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016.
Skip is preceded in death by his parents, Clifton and Elizabeth Longley; his in-laws, Charles and Eva Rackley; brothers Graydon Longley and Leroy Longley; sister Beverly Norton; and his treasured pugs, Oscar and Otis.
Born in Burlington, Vermont on Oct. 23, 1947, Skip lived in Middlebury and Bridport, Vermont for the first 18 years of his life. After graduating from Middlebury High, Skip enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and served his country faithfully and honorably during the Vietnam era (1966-69). He spent 13 months of his military service in Da Nang. Skip embodied the Marine Corps motto “Semper Fidelis” throughout his life. He was a faithful son, father, father-in-law, grandfather, brother, employee, marine, soldier, and friend. Skip also served in the U.S. Army for three years and was employed by Barnhill Contracting as a backhoe operator for 29 years.
Skip had an incredible work ethic, and some say he may have been the best backhoe operator on the planet. Skip retired from Barnhill in December 2014 and had the opportunity to travel to his home state of Vermont, to Tennessee and to his beloved North Carolina mountain home several times before he became ill.
Skip had a variety of interests and enjoyed his childhood in the Green Mountains of Vermont and on the shores of Lake Champlain. After his tour in the Marines, he embraced and came to love his adopted state of North Carolina as he settled there, marrying and raising his growing family.
He loved baseball, water skiing, cycling, go-carting and anything athletic or dealing with the outdoors. He also was an avid New York Yankees and Carolina Panthers fan. He was never happier than when he was attending his children’s, and later his grandchildren’s, football, baseball, volleyball and soccer games, band concerts, cheerleading competitions, parades and graduations. He had the pleasure of seeing all of his four children married to wonderful spouses and was so happy to be a part of those celebrations.
Always the jokester, Skip loved life, his family and his church.
He leaves behind his beloved wife of 47 years, Linda Rackley Longley; three sons, Jeff (Angie) Longley, Shannon (Kelly) Longley and Chris (Khristen) Longley; one daughter, April (Keith) Ramsey; six grandchildren, Meredith, Kristen, Blake, Gavin, Evan and Trevor; two step-grandchildren, Teresa and Heather Ramsey; one brother, Emery (Edna) Longley and one sister, Grace Edney, both in Vermont. He also leaves many caring friends and extended family.
A special thanks to the nursing staff in the emergency room, CCU and on the tenth floor of New Hanover Regional Medical Center and especially Dr. Jennifer Nomidas, who provided such excellent and compassionate care during Skip’s recent hospitalization.
His home going service will be held at 1 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1 at Riley’s Creek Baptist Church. Family and friends are encouraged and welcomed to visit the family one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park.
Please leave online condolence for the family at Coble Ward-Smith Funeral Service.
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