Robert Alan Long, 75, of Olathe, Kansas, passed away peacefully at Olathe Hospice House Monday, November 6, 2023, surrounded by family and friends. He was diagnosed with kidney cancer in May of 2017 and fought the battle with courage and strength.
Bob was born on February 13, 1948, in Kansas City, Kansas to Charles Robert (Bob) and Marjorie (Eklund) Long. He grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1966. While at Wyandotte he was an outstanding athlete and played football, basketball and baseball. He attended Kansas State University on a football scholarship where he played from 1966-1969. He received his undergraduate degree from Kansas State in 1970 and his master’s degree in 1972.
He began his coaching and teaching career at St. John’s Military School in Salina, Kansas. He started the first football program there which was quite an undertaking for a first-year coach. He spent the next eight years at Blue Valley High School in Stanley, Kansas and coached football, wrestling and girls track. He had successful seasons and had the privilege of coaching many outstanding young men and women, many of whom he remained in contact with throughout his life and always referred to him as “Coach”. He also coached at Coffeyville Junior College in Coffeyville, Kansas, Wyandotte High School and finally at Kansas State University as a receiver’s coach. After his coaching and teaching career he spent the next twenty-three years at Acme Brick Company in Olathe, Kansas as a salesman and branch manager and retired in 2009.
His heart was always tied to coaching and he spent many years coaching his son’s various little league teams and then even some of his grandson’s teams. Once a coach, always a coach! He loved his family and was sure to be seen at any type of event for his kids and grandson. He was always so proud of all of them. He was passionate about his Kansas State Wildcats and went to many, many football games and enjoyed tailgates with family and friends. He loved playing golf, poker and having a Bud at the local bar with his buddies. His friends were very important to him, and he cared deeply for all of them.
He is preceded in death by his parents Bob and Marjorie Long, brothers-in-law Paul Brown, Richard Grosko, Larry Grosko, Jerry Moehlman, sisters-in-law Joanne Moehlman, Donna Grosko and niece Luanne Loggan.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Mary Lou, son, Charles J. (C.J.) Long, daughter, Sara Jo Long, grandson, Giovanni Long, sisters Marilyn (Paul, deceased) Brown, Denise (Tom) Tomasic and many nieces and nephews.
One of Bob’s requests was that there be no official services held in his honor, but only a gathering to celebrate his life. It will be held at Casa Amigos in Olathe, KS on Sunday, November 19, from 1:00-4:00. Whether you’re a K-State fan or not feel free to wear purple! Another gathering will be held at Breit’s Stein & Deli, his favorite Wyandotte County establishment, on a later date.
The family would like to extend special thanks to Olathe Medical Center, in particular the staff on the 3rd floor who extended such wonderful care and to the Hospice House, even though only for a few short hours, which was a beautiful place with a very caring and compassionate staff.
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