Obituary: John Long – Portland Press Herald %


John Long

PORTLAND – John Long, 75, beloved husband of Rita Rubin Long, transcended this plane of existence for another on Saturday morning, July 2, 2022. He quietly walked away from us; his heart stopped.

John’s passions were many, deep and varied. Perhaps at the top of the list was his love of cycling. Alone or with his friends in the Portland cycling community, John rode almost every day, whatever the weather, with vigor and joy.

His intellectual curiosity knew little or no bounds. He read voraciously and thought deeply about issues close to his heart, such as the environment and national security in the broadest sense. John has always enjoyed the exchange of ideas in the marketplace, as evidenced by his personal library and discussions with friends and family.

John appreciated beauty in all its forms but especially in nature and music. Music from Beethoven to the Stones fed his soul. He enjoyed listening to his wife, Rita, singing with Women in Harmony as well as attending classical music concerts.

His passion for the environment stems from his love of nature in all its harsh and delicate beauty. John and Rita’s backyard and garden held nature’s miracle in miniature for John and brought him countless hours of sweat and joy.

He was “Uncle John” to his own nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews as well as many children of friends and neighbors, and was always interested in their adventures, endeavors and dreams.

John wasn’t born in Maine, but he got here as soon as he could. After early years in the Midwest, high school in Connecticut, college in Boston, Mass., Peace Corps service in India, and graduate school in Michigan, John found his girlfriend and home in Portland and n never left.

John graduated from Fairfield Prep Academy in 1964, received a BA from Boston College in 1968, and an MA in English from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor in 1973. Between college and graduate school, he served as India for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer. .

John’s varied professional life included stints as a teacher, bookmobile driver, government records librarian, researcher and financial analyst. In 1974 John moved to Portland and taught classes at Portland Adult Education before starting work at the Portland Public Library where he often drove the bookmobile. In 1980, while working on the bookmobile at Westbrook College Children’s Center, John met his future wife, Rita Rubin, a preschool teacher, who regularly took her class there.

John then worked as a government records librarian at the Portland Public Library. Subsequently, John worked for Unum as a corporate librarian and research analyst. Always a lifelong learner, John immersed himself in the world of finance and finished his professional career at Everspring Wealth: Ameriprise.

In addition to his wife Rita, John is survived by his sisters Marie Gray, Laura Sarcone and Kathleen Long and brothers Tom Long and Jim Long; his nieces and nephews Jennifer Turner, David Long, Nathan Gray and Helena Sarcone; five grand-nephews and one grand-niece.

A celebration of John’s life will be held Saturday, July 9 at 4 p.m. at their home.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy can be shared at for the Long family.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Maine Medical Center or Portland Public Library.

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