William Morris Long, 88, of Virginia Beach, passed away peacefully on December 26, 2023.
Known as Morris, PopPop or Granddaddy Morris; he was a husband, a father to four, a pharmaceutical sales rep, and philanthropist to many charitable organizations. Morris is remembered for his infectious laugh and smile; always being ready with a joke; his love of travel and adventure; and an unswerving support of Duke basketball.
Morris was born April 4, 1935, in Durham, North Carolina to Gordon E. Long and Annie M. Long. He graduated from Durham High School in 1954 and Duke University in 1959 with a Bachelor of Science in Geology.
After college, Morris took a job with B.C. Remedy Co and moved to Virginia Beach in 1962. He started in a successful career in pharmaceutical sales with Geigy Pharmaceuticals, Strasenberg and Boehringer Ingelheim, Ltd, where he retired in 2000.
After moving to Virginia Beach, Morris married Sandra Hall. A year later, they divorced, but Morris received custody of her infant son, Mark. In 1971, Morris married Eileen Riday and their son, Adam was born 1974. Several years later, they divorced. The “third time was the charm” and in 1980, Morris met Harriet Burford and her two children, Jeff and Amanda. They were married in 1982 and always joked that the children of the family were, “his, hers, and someone else’s”.
In 2005, Mayor Myra Oberndorf recognized Morris for his outstanding volunteerism in the city of Virginia Beach and in 2012, because of Noblemen Steve Franklin, Fox 43 made him a Home Town Hero for his work in volunteer organizations. Morris never failed to be involved, especially when it came to helping kids.
A member and holder of most offices, from club president to Lt. Governor, Morris was a devoted Kiwanian since 1962. Not to mention, he was the winner of the Top Gun Award in the poker run for The Ride for the Children in 2001, on a wave runner in a thunderstorm. Morris was a Robin Hood from the beginning in 2000, and continued as a Noblemen. The Trolley Ride, the Shadowlawn Shuffle, fishing trips and golf tournaments: Morris was always involved, but Dictionaries for Kids and the Red Hot Valentine Ball were his heart’s favorite. Morris and Harriet joined the Virginia Beach United Methodist Church in 1997 and here too, Morris jumped in heading up the Leisure Ministry; coaching and playing softball and volleyball. Additionally, over the years, the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad was a recipient of Morris’ participation on the Oyster Roast planning committee. Even when health problems prevented his more active participation with groups, Morris was still selling event tickets, participating in meetings and greeting those at Sunday service with a smile.
Missing Morris are his wife, Harriet; four children, Mark Starck of California; Adam Long and wife Liz of Virginia Beach; Jeff Burford of Utah; and Amanda Ward and husband Matt of Virginia Beach; one sister, Deborah Baber of North Carolina; and three grandchildren, Samuel Starck; William Long and Peyton Long. Morris was predeceased by two brothers: Earl and Richard Long.
Memorial service will be held Friday, January 5, 2024 at 11am at Virginia Beach United Methodist Church, 19 th and Atlantic. Following the service, a reception will be held at Princess Anne Country Club. Arrangements are by Altmeyer’s. Supporting volunteerism to the end, in lieu of flowers, Morris would like donations to be made to the Virginia Beach Volunteer Rescue Squad.