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Hello, everyone!

The 40th Annual March for Life will be coming up in Washington, D.C., on Friday, March 25. St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Leonardtown and Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in Lexington Park will both have buses traveling to and from the march. For more information, call either church office at 301-475-8064 or 301-863-8144.

Happy belated birthday to a good friend of ours, Mr. John Keenan of Leonardtown, who turned 87 years young on Jan. 17. Mr. Keenan, we hope you had a wonderful day and a great year ahead. I apologize for this greeting being a bit late.

The county lost a wonderful gentleman recently, Mr. Edward Harding “Ed” Long, who died at his home in Leonardtown at the age of 92.

My brother, Charles, and I had the pleasure of knowing this wonderful man, who was a good friend over the years. Charles knew just about all of Mr. Long’s children, and Charles went to school with Eddie Jr., and I know his son, David, as well. They are such a fine family.

Charles and I last talked with Mr. Long at the St. Mary’s Hospital Auxiliary meeting in June 2012, and he was doing well, was very upbeat and was still driving his car. He was an inspiration to both of us. And one day, a month or two later, we saw him getting into his car at the post office in Leonardtown. And he saw us as he was leaving the parking lot and waved and gave us a big smile. His smile could light up a room (or, in this case, a parking lot.)

He was born in California on Nov. 13, 1920, the oldest of nine children born to the late Willard Bisco Long and Bertie Barefoot Long. He was 1937 graduate of Great Mills High School. He married his wife, Agnes, on Feb. 19, 1944, in Baltimore. He was drafted into the U.S. Army and left for France in December that year. After his service, he returned to St. Mary’s County to stay in May 1946.

He operated Leonardtown Laundry, a business he took over from his father, from 1946 to 1973. He built the A&E Motel in Lexington Park. He built and owned Esperanza Bowling Lanes in partnership with Jack Fletcher. He developed Kingston Creek Village and Cal Acres in California.

His father was sheriff of St. Mary’s County from 1946 to 1954, and he served as a part-time deputy sheriff under his father and also served as Leonardtown’s chief of police. He served on the building committee for the governmental center in Leonardtown, which was dedicated in 1978. He supported the decision in the early 1980s to replace the hospital in Leonardtown with a modern and well-equipped one. He served on the hospital’s board of directors from 1978 to 1983. He served as a Leonardtown commissioner from 1983 to 1991, serving as president of that board from 1985 to 1987.

He was a lifelong member of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, now First Saints Community Church, in Leonardtown, where for many years he sang tenor in the choir.

When his wife developed a neuromuscular illness in 1999, Mr. Long became her primary caregiver, a job he carried out for 11 years.

Our deepest sympathy is extended to his surviving family and to his many friends.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Leonardtown Volunteer Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 299, Leonardtown, MD 20650; or Hospice of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

May God bless Mr. Long for all he did for St. Mary’s County and his community.

The Camp Maria Retreat Center located at 41290 Camp Maria Road in Leonardtown will hold a yard sale on Feb. 23, instead of Feb. 16. They are accepting new and barely used donations until Feb. 1. Call Theresa at 301-475-9330 for more information.

My brother, Charles, joins me in wishing happy birthday on Jan. 29 to a very nice lady, Isabel Waters of Tall Timbers. Miss Isabel has been a lifelong family friend who helped our mother when we were very young. We hope your birthday is special, just like you, and pray that your upcoming year will be blessed with good health and happiness.

David Long of Pine Island, Minn., visited his mother, Frances Long of Loveville, for several days during the past holiday season.

St. Francis Xavier Church Knights of Columbus will present its annual free throw contest on Jan. 26 at 1:30 p.m. at Father Andrew White School in Leonardtown in the school’s gymnasium. This event is open to all children ages 10 to 14. For more information, call James Berned at 240-925-4447.

We would like to wish a very a happy birthday to a nice young man, Mr. Tom Burke of Hollywood, who will celebrate at the end of this month.

There will be a sweetheart dinner at Mr. Zion United Methodist Church in Laurel Grove on Saturday, Feb. 9. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. The menu will consist of prime rib, crab cake, baked potato, vegetables and dessert. The cost is $35 per person, ages 16 and older (includes the meal and entertainment). Reservations are mandatory by Feb. 4. Call Frank Hill at 301-884-3811.

Get-well wishes are extended to John and Helen Keenan of Leonardtown, who have been on the sick list lately.

Send signed news to Audrey Ridgell, P.O. Box 457, Leonardtown, MD 20650.