Anna Laura Long, a life-long resident of Lawrence County, passed away on Dec. 28, 2022, at the age of 104.
She was the daughter of James H. and Addie Justus of Lauratown, one of 10 siblings.
She was pre-deceased by husband, George Edward England, in 1943, and later by husband, James Gardner Long, in 1991.
Survivors include daughter, Cynthia England Hicks (Ed) of Leawood, Kan.; a granddaughter, Laura Charlton (Peter) and great-granddaughter, Olivia of Carlsbad, Calif. She is also survived by her sister, Helen Justus Wooley, of Westland, Mich., and many nieces and nephews.
Anna Laura was a retired teacher from Walnut Ridge, and was active in many professional organizations, including Delta Kappa Gamma, and served in local, state and international organizations in her profession. She received numerous honors for excellence in teaching over her lengthy career.
She was a life-long Baptist, and member of the First Baptist Church, where she served many years as superintendent of the Junior Department and as a teacher in the Intermediate Department of the Training Union. She was also a member of the choir.
Shortly after World War II, she began her teaching career in local rural schools, teaching in a one-room class, grades 1-4, while at the same time, working toward a B.S. in education at ASU. She was the first of her family to graduate college. She developed a reputation for being particularly adept with the younger students.
In 1950, she was asked by Walnut Ridge superintendent of schools, W.R. Rainwater, to become a kindergarten and first-grade teacher. She taught with distinction for 37 years. Always a strong advocate for recognition that the earliest years of a child’s education, when they need so much individual attention, often pre-determines a student’s later success.
Family was everything to Anna Laura. She doted on her “three girls” and hosted extended family on numerous Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations for 50 plus years. A good cook, her beef-vegetable soup, potato salad, fresh fruit cobblers, and most particularly Christmas divinity, are not to be excelled. During her long retirement, she always kept freshly baked cookies and brownies in stock, much to the delight of the neighborhood children. (She was also a dessert lover).
Doubtless, her church friends, and her neighbors contributed greatly to her longevity. She will be remembered as patient, gracious and loving person. Her family is particularly grateful for her caretaker, Sharon Goodwin, and Chris Thompson of Williams Baptist University, for their attentions these last years.
The family gives thanks to the nurses and staff at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and especially Dr. Paul Vellozo, for their loving care these last three weeks.
Funeral services were Tuesday, Jan. 3, at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Walnut Ridge with Bro. Jake Geunrich officiating. Interment followed in Lawrence Memorial Park.
Pallbearers were Joe Justus, Sam Allen, Charles Snapp, Glenn Murphy, Tom Moore, John Bland, Jerry Allison and Jerry Gibbens.
Visitation was Tuesday from 10-11 a.m.