Stephen C. Long, 70, of White Heath, passed away suddenly at 11:12 a.m., November 9, 2020 at his residence.
Steve was born September 16, 1950 at Kirby Hospital in Monticello, IL the son of Arthur L. and Josephine (Ladd) Long. He married Lisa Gans on January 17, 1986 in Monticello.
He is survived by his wife Lisa Long; sons Casey Long, and John-Thomas (Courtney) Brown; grandchildren, Lennox, Anders and Kenza Brown; and a brother Bob Long. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Ronnie Long.
Steve was a golfing prodigy by age 11. His family lived at and ran the Monticello Golf Club for several years so the course was literally his back yard.
Steve graduated from Monticello High School in 1968. He was a four year Captain of the Golf team and broke State records while attending MHS. He had numerous golf scholarship offers to various colleges across the Country but chose to stay close to home to be close to his parents. He was studying at SIU Carbondale when in the Fall of 1968 his brother was tragically killed in an automobile accident while home on leave from the Service. It was devastating for him and his family so he quit school and went home to help his parents work through it.
While back at home he decided to pursue his golf career and worked as the Assistant Pro at Lake of the Woods Golf Course in Mahomet, Il. He decided to really make a go of a Professional Golf career and moved out West and worked at several prestigious courses as a Club pro at Valley Country Club and Skyline Country Club in Tuscon, Arizona. He then moved to Palm Desert, CA and was the Pro at the Vintage Club. He then was offered a Pro job in Colorado at the prestigious Cherry Hills Country Club, home to US Open events. He felt at this point he had achieved many of his Golf dreams but was lacking the many other things in his life he was raised to value such as pursuing his College degree and having a family so he moved home and enrolled in the University of Illinois.
Steve graduated from the U of I in 1987 with a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Human Health and Services. While in college he was able as a class project to co-organize and execute a benefit Golf Tournament for Cystic Fibrosis with Dick Butkus, a football hero of his. He went on to work as an Account Executive for WDWS radio in Champaign. He was later offered a job in Management from one of his clients Terminix. He served as General Manager for the Champaign branch for some years and then decided to start his own business in the Pest Control Industry and formed Integrated Pest Management, Inc. which he co-owns with his wife Lisa and is still operating today. He was working towards retirement with the intention of passing the business down to his son, Casey who has been working full time for the Company since 2014.
His passion for golf never died and after placing family and work first for many years he decided at age 50 he wanted to return to gold and play competitively again. He played with the Illinois Midwest Amateur tour and won 8 out of 11 tournaments and was named Player of the Year by the Organization.
Steve was a man of many interests and hobbies. He enjoyed working in the yard and spending time with his kids, grandkids and friends especially outside around a fire grilling meat and telling stories. At an early age he enjoyed hunting and fishing and loved to tell tales of his experiences. His other great passion was music. He played guitar, in many bands over the years starting in High School. He continued to manage, as well as play in bands throughout his adult lifetime, sharing great times with fellow friends/bandmates from his childhood and new friends along the way until 2020 when live music was sidelined by the Pandemic. He and Lisa loved going out and listening to live music as well and traveling to music festivals.
Steve was a fighter with a tremendous will to survive and achieve. He fought back after 2 serious strokes in 2017 to live a full and happy life. He was an amazing, tenacious, intelligent, kind, multi-talented man and will be missed by so many.
In light of the Pandemic private graveside family services will be held.
Although he never served in the military he came from a Gold Star family with his father and brother both decorated war heros from WWII and the Vietnam war. He was a member of the Sons of the American Legion. In light of his tremendous respect for the men and women who serve and sacrifice for our Country memorials can be made to The Wounded Warrier Project.