(The following obituary was beautifully written by John Long’s sister, Donna Long. I want to share it here for anyone who didn’t see it.)
As a kid growing up in Chicago, John, or Long John as he was known, was famous for giving neighborhood “horseyback” rides, wagon rides, winning all the races we invented, and being a pallbearer for all our many bird and bug funerals held in the “prairie” next to our home. John had a daily morning paper route and so he was up in the wee hours before any of his siblings. We were all crazy mad at him one Easter Sunday morning when, after arriving home from his paper deliveries, he decided it would be a good idea to search the house for all of our hidden Easter baskets and display them for us upon our awakening. Where’s the fun in that?? John’s happy childhood came to an abrupt halt when our father died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 45. John became the man of the house at the young age of 11 and bore a heavy burden from that time on.
After receiving his degree in Journalism and Communications from Southern Illinois University, John worked as a bartender at many wonderful restaurants and bars, most notably, The Pump Room in Chicago, Illinois. There he met some of his long-term friends with whom he shared many great tales and celebrity sightings. From there he worked for various publications up until he founded Camp Kansas City Magazine with his partner at the time, Jim Gabel. Later, John became the sole owner of Camp and continued to publish a successful, informative and entertaining periodical for the Kansas City LGBTQ+ community with the most clever and creative covers, thanks to the collaboration of his colleagues at Camp.
While John resided in many cities, including Chicago, Carbondale, San Francisco, and Alexandria, his final destination of Kansas City, Missouri became his true home. John, along with many others, was instrumental in founding Pride Ride in Kansas City. He was compassionate and always quick to volunteer in whatever fundraising efforts could be made to assist those living with HIV/AIDS. He was a loyal friend to so many people. He loved to recommend animals in need of adoption, cars that you absolutely must purchase, and homes he thought would be perfect for you. He was also quick to recommend a good deal of any kind. John’s good deeds were not overlooked and he was honored to receive the LIKEME Lighthouse “Shine A Light” award in 2014 at a benefit in which Wanda Sykes performed. Needless to say, he touched the souls of many. We love you and miss you, John. Rest in Peace dear brother.
LIKEME® is proud to announce it is establishing a Journalism Scholarship in the name of John Long. LIKEME® will match all donations made this year at www.likeme.org in John Long’s name to fund the JOHN LONG SCHOLARSHIP. Please donate any amount by navigating to the DONATE page and LIKEME® will match that amount, which will be awarded to a deserving student at UMKC in the name of John Long.