Merle Sandra Long of Briery Branch peacefully passed at home surrounded by family on October 13, 2023.
She is preceded in death by her mother Ellen Showalter, her father Merle Church, and sisters Audrey, and Ann and her husband Bill.
She is survived by her husband of 61 years, Gary Long; sister, Myra Stelte and husband Cliff; sons, Shane Long and wife Annette, Aaron Long and wife Gloria, and Damon Long and wife Labreeska. Her grandchildren, Meghan, Andrew and wife Katherine, Zach, Jordan, Olivia, and Kendra; two great grandchildren, Addilyn and Thea; as well as the many nieces and nephews, friends, family, and community that loved her.
She was born in Redmond, Oregon, on May 4, 1942 and spent her childhood years growing up on the west coast. She met her husband Gary when she came to live with her sister Ann in Virginia. She went home to California for a year and then returned to Virginia to marry her sweetheart. She worked at Metro Pants until they closed and she opened a plumbing business with her husband. Merle loved her family fiercely and centered her life around them. She has always been devout in her faith and is a member of the Briery Branch Church of the Brethren.
A private graveside service will be held for family on October 21st. In lieu of flowers please make donations to St. Jude's and Clover Hill Rescue squad.