Harold E. Long, Jr., age 88, of Wilmington and North Wildwood, N.J., passed away peacefully at Christiana Hospital on March 10, 2023.He was the son of the late Mildred (Lawrence) and Harold E. Long, Sr.
Harold spent his childhood in the Forty Acres, fishing and swimming in the Brandywine and playing baseball on the B&O lawn. He also enjoyed going to the YMCA where he walked from his home to the Washington Street building.
Harold was a 1952 graduate of P. S. DuPont High School where he was on the football and track teams. As a member of the track team, he held records for hurdles and broad jump. At graduation he won the Industrial Arts Award. It was in high school that his childhood nickname “Dynamite” became a lifelong label.
After graduation Harold began an apprenticeship in carpentry which was interrupted by a two year stint in the United States Army. During his first furlough he married his high school sweetheart, Irene Haldas.When Harold was stationed in Germany, Irene joined him and together they enjoyed their first year of marriage in Karlsruhe, Germany.
Upon his discharge Harold worked for McCallister Brothers building houses in Woodcrest and Parkwood.From 1979 until retirement in 2004, Harold worked for R. C. Peoples Construction Company. As Superintendent for New Construction, he directed building homes in 14 developments such as Caravel Farms, Caravel Woods, and the Estates of Red Lion. Known for his attention to detail and insistence on best construction practices, he was both feared and admired by coworkers and home buyers. It is estimated that Harold was responsible for the construction of 2000 houses among which was a house in Hockessin Valley Falls which won the Southern Living Magazine Award.
An avid outdoorsman, he was a hunter and fisherman. One of his greatest joys was taking his boat, appropriately named“Dynamite,” out on the Delaware Bay. Fishing pals and grandsons will remember the mounds of fish which Harold skillfully fileted on the very old fish table in the yard of the North Wildwood house.
In his last years Harold enjoyed the outdoors by sitting on the front porch of the Wildwood house watching the passing beach goers, who would often stop to chat. In Wilmington he sat on the front porch with his good friend Sonny drinking coffee and watching the sun set.
Harold is survived by his wife of 66 years Irene, his daughter Jennifer Minchini (Alan), and his son Michael Long (Annmarie Matro). In addition he proudly leaves to honor their grandfather’s legacy four grandsons: Nicholas Minchini, Trevor Long, Connor Long, and Parker Long. Harold was predeceased by his sister and brother-in-law Betty Jane and Edward Grzybowski and his brother-in-law George Haldas.
Visitation for friends and family will take place at McCrery and Harra Funeral Home, 3710 Kirkwood Highway, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm on Wednesday, March 15. Services will begin at 11:00 am on Thursday, March 16 at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to The Wetland Institute,1075 Stone Harbor Blvd, Stone Harbor NJ 08247.