Joseph Eugene Long, better known as Joe Long, was born May 29, 1942, at St. Joseph Hospital in Asheville to Joseph George Long and Evelyn Ruby Louise (Helton) Long.
Joe spent part of his life on the Cherokee Indian Reservation in North Carolina and part in Southard, Maryland. He attended Soco Elementary School and Cherokee High School, completed police training in North Carolina and was a member of the Cherokee Police Department. In addition, he was commissioned by the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C.
After moving to Tahlequah, Okla., he carried a special deposition by the Cherokee County (Okla.) Sheriff’s Department and the Tahlequah Police Department. Joe had also furthered his education by attending Maryland State University, Portland University in Oregon, the University of California at Berkeley, and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Joe’s career covered a wide range of occupations, starting with commercial fishing in Maryland, the United States Marine Corp, serving in Okinawa, Japan, Police Officer, apartment and restaurant management, Tribal Housing Management, to his final career with the US Public Health Services as Health Systems Manager for 22 years.
He said his most difficult but enjoyable and rewarding position was serving as Administrative Officer at the W. W. Hastings Indian Hospital at Tahlequah. He worked at the Old Hastings Hospital and was the first Administrative Officer at the new Hospital in Tahlequah.
Joe was preceded in death by his mother; father; and sister, Patricia Ann. He is survived by his wife, Loretta of the home; one daughter, Joelene Steelmon; one step-daughter, Raelyn McDonald; three granddaughters, Lauren and Meryl McDonald and Tiffany Steelmon; one brother, Johnny K. George, of Cherokee; several nieces and nephews; and many dear friends.