Alan Anthony (Tony) Long
began experiencing some health issues and decided to return to Canton where he lived the rest of his life. In the Canton community, Tony was known for his gentle spirit, innovation, and sense of humor. He was a founding member and the first President of the Grand Arts Council, which was responsible for the restoration of the old Grand Theatre. He also wrote, for a time, a weekly article for the Canton Times called “Grand Old Memories.” The entire community looked forward every week to reading the article to enjoy his humor. Sometimes citizens of the community were inserted in the storyline, so there was always an eagerness to get the next newspaper!
Tony was a generous individual who loved his young nieces and nephews. He patiently helped his sister Melanie and brother-inlaw Shan raise and transport their daughter Evan. Tony shared his love for the opera, antiques, and fine foods with all whom he hosted. He loved horticulture and the things of nature. He also liked to bird-watch.
Tony is survived by his mother Barbara Long of Canton; son Philip Long and his wife Kris of Virginia; step-son Paige Long of Oklahoma City; brother Steven Long of Stillwater; sister Melanie Long Gray of Edmond; numerous beloved aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and cousins. In 1994, he was preceded in death by his father Cletus Sylvanus Long.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, March 26, 2019 at the Canton First United Methodist Church with Pastor Daniel Hammans officiating. Interment will follow in Canton Cemetery under the direction of Pierce Funeral Home, Canton. Condolences may be made online at www.piercefuneralhomes.com.
Alan Anthony (Tony) Long died peacefully on Friday, March 22, 2019, after a long battle with diabetes and cancer in Saint Anthony’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, at the age of sixty-eight years.
Tony was born on August 2, 1950, at Watonga, Oklahoma to Cletus and Barbara Long. He graduated from Canton High School in 1968 and went on to graduate from the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a Bachelor of Arts in Letters in 1972. While completing his undergraduate degree, Tony studied at the University of Grenoble in France. After completing his coursework in Grenoble, Tony decided to stay in France and studied at three additional schools in southern France. He also traveled throughout Europe.
While in college, Tony married Gwendolyn McCaskey. Through this marriage, Tony had a step-son Jason Paige and a son Phillip Ashley. Jason Paige resides in Oklahoma City and Phillip in Suffolk, Virginia.
After finishing his undergraduate work, Tony obtained a Masters degree from the University of Iowa (U of I) in English Literature. He specialized in sixteenth and seventeenth century literature, and his expertise was in Shakespeare. He also pursued a PhD in English from U of I. He taught at the college level at U of I and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
While in Knoxville, Tony