Mark Douglas Long passed away from this life on May 10, 2017, at Highland Health Care Center, Highland, IL, where he had lived for three months following the diagnosis of an inoperable brain tumor. He was 60 years old. He was born in East St. Louis, IL, on November 4, 1956, to Norbert C. and Patsy M. (nee Patch) Long.
Mark was a graduate of Triad High School, and though he was seriously ill for over 40 years, he was a lifelong scholar. He studied Computer Science at SIUE and Belleville Area College and also enjoyed studying Calculus, Physics, Electricity, Philosophy and Theology. Mark looked forward each summer to the annual family vacation to Finlayson, Minnesota, to visit relatives and go fishing. He enjoyed spending time outdoors with his late father, and he especially delighted in his nieces and nephews, who visited his home on a regular basis.
For over 25 years, Mark was an enthusiastic weekly participant at Chestnut Mental Health Facility, (first at Granite City, more recently, Belleville). He enjoyed socializing with the other patients and appreciated the helpful group therapy that he received there. He worked on a number of computer science projects through Chestnut, and especially enjoyed his time in the art therapy room. During the past several years, sketching became one of his favorite hobbies; he worked daily on his sketches and left his family many beautiful drawings of Minnesota lakes, cabins and row boats.
Mark became a Christian at a young age and during the winter of 2013-2014, he went through the Catholic Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland. He was confirmed during the 2014 Easter Vigil Mass, and he has been a devout member of St. Paul’s for the past three years. He loved to read the Scripture; he enjoyed studying the writings and teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas; and he prayed the rosary multiple times each day.
Mark had a brilliant mind, a loving nature, and a gentle spirit. On Mark’s behalf, his siblings would like to thank the many health professionals who supported and assisted him over the years, especially the staff of Chestnut Mental Health Facility, Highland Health Care Center, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Family Care Pharmacy, Heartland Hospice, and St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. Thanks are also extended to the loving staff and parishioners of St. Paul’s, especially Mark’s RCIA sponsor, Paul Ray Capelle. Mark’s four and a half years at St. Paul’s were the happiest years of his life.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Norbert and Patsy Long.
He is survived by his brother, John Long; sisters, Cynthia Harper and Mary Kate Arend; nieces and nephews,, Abe and Ben Harper, Natalie and Danielle Long, Bernie, Jakob, Sam, Miriam and Grace Arend; great-nephews, Reilly and Connor Harper; and dear friend, Tony Hornsburger.
Memorials may be made to St. Paul Catholic Church
Visitation: Friday, May 12, 2017, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm, and Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 8:00 – 10:30 am.
Mass of Christian Burial: Saturday, May 13, 2017, 11:00 am, St. Paul Catholic Church, Highland, IL
Clergy: Rev. Fr. Pat G. Jakel
Interment: Friedens United Church of Christ Cemetery, Troy, IL
Meridith Funeral Home, Highland, IL.