OBIT: Rev. William Longman, 86, Activist, Loved to Travel, Voracious Reader

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Rev. William Longman

Rev. William Longman

Rev. William A. Longman, 86, of Watertown died on January 11, 2017, at Mt. Auburn Hospital of congestive heart failure.

He was born in Chicago on June 2, 1930, to Rev. C.W. and Blanche Secor Longman, and grew up in Waukegan, Il., St. Louis, and Springfield, Il. He graduated from Drake University in 1952, where he met his wife of 63 years, Leonta (Lee) Morrison. After graduating from Yale Divinity School, he was ordained in 1955 in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and served churches in Ohio, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

Rev. Longman was a gregarious person who could strike up a conversation with anyone and excelled as both a preacher and in giving pastoral care. He valued global ministries and encouraged congregations to engage their communities and the world. A voracious reader and life-long learner, he attended over 40 Road Scholars programs and countless lectures, concerts, and performances. He loved to travel, leading his family on cross-country camping trips and visiting over 30 countries with his wife.

He was a social and community activist who attended the 1963 March on Washington and fought for school desegregation in Carbondale, Ill., and was active in Kiwanis Clubs for many years. He retired to Springfield, Mo., in 1992, then moved to Watertown in 2010 to be close to family.

He is survived by his wife, Lee; children, Deborah (Daniel) Marien of Melbourne, Fla., David (Allison) of Wichita, Kansas, and Tim (Tracy Keene) of Medford; grandchildren, Phillip, Patrick, Carol (Trey) Beech, Emily and Clifton; and great grandchild, Hudson.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to One Great Hour of Sharing/Week of Compassion, c/o Second Church in Newton.

Friends are invited to a memorial service to be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 28, at Second Church, 60 Highland St., Newton.

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