Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Former Mayor Lenwood Long Remembered

Lenwood Long (center) accepts an award on behalf of his work with the Dora Nelson African American Art and History Museum in 2009. Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley (left) and Perris Mayor Daryl Busch (right) flank Mr. LongLenwood Long (center) accepts an award on behalf of his work with the Dora Nelson African American Art and History Museum in 2009. Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley (left) and Perris Mayor Daryl Busch (right) flank Mr. Long.

Former Perris Mayor Lenwood Walter Long was remembered as a forceful and dynamic man who cared deeply for the City he adopted as his own and whose passion for making the community a better place will be sorely missed.

Family, friends, City leaders and elected officials paid final respects to Mr. Long this week at Bethel AME Church.
Mr. Long, 80, a retired Marine Corps drill instructor who spent 38 years in federal service, was killed in a traffic accident June 26.

Following the service, Mr. Long’s remains were taken to Riverside National Cemetery, where he was buried with full military honors.

Perris Mayor Daryl Busch, City Council members Mark Yarbrough and Al Landers, Chamber of Commerce CEO Shelly Yarbrough and Riverside County Supervisor Marion Ashley were among the dignitaries who packed the church for Mr. Long’s service. Perris Deputy City Manager Darren Madkin led a contingent of City staff workers at the funeral.

Busch and Landers read a proclamation praising Mr. Long for his “lifetime of service” and “commitment to his fellow citizens and Perris residents.”  They expressed the City’s “profound thanks and gratitude” for Mr. Long’s work with military veterans and senior citizens. Mr. Long served on the Perris City Council from 1993-1997 and was appointed Mayor from 1995-1996. After leaving elected office, Mr. Long served on the California Senior Legislature and with the Riverside County Office on Aging Advisory Committee.

“God bless Lenwood Long and his family,” Landers said. “I know there is another star in the heavens today.”

Ashley noted that Mr. Long never “let the Board of Supervisors forget about the needs of senior citizens.”
Mr. Long paid special interest in transportation issues regarding seniors, lobbying to make sure they obtained affordable, safe and efficient passage to and from medical and other appointments.

Mr. Long was born in Greensboro, North Carolina and spent nine years in the Marines, including a stint during the Korean War. He left the Marines as a staff sergeant. He worked in the commissary of the Naval Regional Hospital in Long Beach before leaving federal service in 1989. Mr. Long and his wife of 50 years, Gola, moved to Perris following his retirement. Mr. Long joined the congregation of Bethel AME in 1993 and sang in the choir.

Fellow Marine Cornelius Johnson, who gave one of several eulogies, said Mr. Long was a “very opinionated man who would tell you what he thought was right and wrong.”

“This Marine salutes you,” Johnson said.

In addition to Mr. Long’s wife, he is survived by his son, Cornelius Long Sr.; son-in-law  Donald Kelly Sr.; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.