Arthur G. Long, a World War II veteran and a retired inspector with the New York Police Department, has died, his family said.
The longtime Commack resident succumbed to natural causes in March, according to his family. He was 94.
Long’s family described him as a loving man who cared deeply for his family and never wavered from his view of right and wrong.
“It was kind of a pleasant firmness,” said his grandson, Daniel Long, of upstate Piermont. “He kept things in line. He was [not] elastic but at the same time he was fair and warm and had a rich sense of humor. Not like an incredible jokester, but laughed a lot.”
Arthur Long was born in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 1922, one of 12 children. He encountered tragedy at age 8 when his father died of throat cancer.
His mother, Lillian, raised him in a tenement in Stuyvesant Town, often getting help from the church and the Salvation Army.
Years later, Long, now 19, was on his lunch break from his job at Cushman’s Bakery when he found out about the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941.
Long was soon deployed to the South Pacific and became a member of the 380th Bomber Group, known as the “Flying Circus.” He worked as a radar mechanic on B-24 Bombers, according to his family.
After the war, Long returned home in September 1946 and joined the New York Police Department as a patrol officer in the traffic division, his family said.
Four years later, Long married the love of his life, Hazel Kelly, and they settled in Commack in 1964, his family said.
The couple had four children, Arthur K. Long, 64, of Commack, Marilyn Long, 62, of Riverhead, Patricia L Finnegan, 59, of Springfield, New Jersey, and Brian Long, 54, of Boca Raton, Florida.
Long was promoted to sergeant in July 1955, the first of many steps while ascending the ranks of the NYPD. Long was promoted to lieutenant in 1960 and then to captain four years later. He reached the rank of deputy inspector in September 1972.
In his career, Long served in several precincts in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan, as well as commands in both Manhattan South and the Bronx.
“Dad had a good run but still sad at the end,” said Long’s son, Arthur, who remembers his father working late nights and holidays as a cop. He patrolled events like the Thanksgiving Parade and the Beatles arriving at the Plaza Hotel in 1964.
“He was just the most honest guy that I’ll ever know,” said Arthur, a truck salesman. “His service stands to show what kind of guy he was.”
Long finished out his life in Commack, visiting his family, talking politics and watching political shows. Aside from time with family, Long spent his days on the golf course at Sunken Meadow State Park.
Long died peacefully March 25 surrounded by his family.
He is also survived by eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A funeral Mass was held April 21 at Christ The King Roman Catholic Church on Indian Head Road in Commack. He was buried at Calverton National Cemetery.