Lester Bert Long died peacefully at home, with family, at age 86. He was our Grandpa, dad, brother, friend, and loyal companion. He passed the morning of August 9, 2022 from a long and wonderful life. He was born October 17, 1935 in Rigby, Idaho but lived most of his life in Mapleton, Utah.
His father was a laborer, a carpenter, bus driver, and custodian. His mother was a homemaker and later a secretary. He had an older sister who passed away in infancy, Mary. He was the oldest of 2 sisters and 2 brothers, Darrell (Sharon) Long, Maxine (Richard) Black, Ann (Fenton) Tyler, and Gaylen (Nancy) Long. They moved to Ammon, Idaho where his father built their home a little at a time.
He went to Bonneville High School and as he and Karen were decorating for a dance, he asked Karen “Do you want to go to the dance?” She said “Yes.” He replied, “Who do you think will take you?” Despite that eloquent invitation, they got married in 1954. They have 6 wonderful children, and one is still perfect.
Lester had a firm testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, that was evident by the way he lived his life. Most of the time he quietly went about doing good, by helping others, and serving in church callings. He served a mission in Salt Lake City, as a machinist by designing audio systems for the temples. He hated Stake Conference but was called by the Stake to go to every single stake meeting and take care of the audio system.
Lester could fix anything. People often came to him with broken things, asking for help to get it fixed. He was happy to be of service but did not like praise and recognition. Helping others was just something that followers of Christ do.
He taught by example and by consequences. One of Lester’s unspoken mottos could have been, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” He worked hard to make sure that his children would see the right example to follow. He didn’t lecture, but had the philosophy of, if you do something stupid, something stupid will happen, which we all found out. He showed us how to earn our way through hard work.
This gruff man could be very quiet, and he enjoyed telling stories about his adventures. Which included activities he enjoyed such as photography, woodworking, gardening, 4-wheeling, engineering, hunting, scouts and playing with his grandkids. Those adventures usually included friends and family.
He built lots of things. He built his own airplane, speed boat, pontoon boat, music boxes, dressers, bean cage, metal tree house and…….. (Too many things to name them all.) He built a leaf vacuum, which turned out to be too heavy for the lawn. He helped rebuild Clint Young’s sawmill when it burned down. One summer he helped build the Timpanookee trail on Mount Timpanogas. He built his own home. He or his family put in almost every nail. He tortured his children by having the family do all the landscaping in the yard, except for the child in charge of drinks.
One of his hobbies was woodturning. He would cut down any walnut tree in Mapleton for free if he could have the stump of wood for turning bowls. The biggest piece he turned weighed 800 pounds. He built his own lathe so it could handle that large of a piece of wood. Over the years, he has made many, many beautiful bowls, which he has given away. People would tell him that people would buy them for high prices if he would sell them. He did woodturning for his own satisfaction.
This often stern man was a baby whisperer. He loved getting a baby to warm up to him, in which he was often successful. He would be content to sit in a rocking chair while his baby slept.
Lester and Karen loved having the neighborhood kids stop by to “Trick or Treat.” He loved buying vegetables and would lay them out on the table, and when the kids came, they could choose a vegetable: turnips, onions, beets, potatoes… Of course they had full size candy bars too. He loved seeing the kids that were honestly delighted to get the vegetable, and even more delighted when they came back the next year asking for a vegetable.
He was preceded in death by his devoted wife, Karen Lucille Madsen Long, parents Glenn and Hazel Long, and brother Darrell Long. He is survived by his children, Mike (Catherine) Long, Dave (Tammy) Long, Marianne (Dan) Amatangelo, Bruce (Jennalee) Long, Janet (Dean) Blanscett, Laura (Sam) Stewart, 19 grandchildren, and 28.95 great grandchildren.
Lester’s children would like to thank him for the opportunities he and our beautiful mother gave them. For loving us even when we were knot heads. For telling us like it is and loving us completely regardless of the outcome.
There will be a viewing for anyone that would like to pay their respects on Friday August 19, 6-8:00 at the Wheeler Mortuary, 82 W 400 N Mapleton. Funeral services will be Saturday, August 20, 11:00 am in the chapel at 1316 S Main St, Mapleton Utah, with a viewing prior, from 9:30-10:30 am. Burial will be in the Springville Evergreen Cemetery.
Condolences for the family may be expressed on this page.
For those unable to attend in person, you may view the services HERE