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Janet J. Long

September 16, 2021

Janet J. LongJanet J. Long, 88, of Watertown, passed away Thursday, September 16, 2021, at Samaritan Keep Home, where she had been a resident for several years.

Janet was born in Grosse Pointe, MI on January 28, 1933, to William and Margaret Rowland Johnson. She graduated from Detroit's Denby High School, and in 1955 she went on to earn her B. A. in English Literature from SUNY Buffalo, where she was president of the Theta Chi Sorority. A strong advocate for education, Janet continued her studies at various institutions throughout much of the rest of her life.

As a member of the Buffalo Diocesan Curriculum Committee and Director of St. Albert the Great School of Religion from 1961-1973, Janet wrote a manual on the foundation and development of the Community School which was widely distributed in New York and New Jersey and provided a basis for school structure in the African Christian Missions operated by the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur of Belgium.

As an enthusiastic and innovative educator, Janet held several teaching positions, including Regents English and curriculum development at Thousand Islands High School. But it was during her two years working at the Community Action Planning Council (CAPC) as Director of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program that Janet began to recognize a need for support in the aging population, and she shifted her career to become a tireless advocate for the elderly. In 1984 she began her service to the Jefferson County Office for the Aging, retiring in 2002 as an Aging Services Specialist and Supervisor of Aging Services. During her years at the Office for the Aging, she also volunteered as a long-term care Ombudsman.

Janet's passion was serving her community, particularly the elderly and the blind. She was a member of several Boards of Directors, including Literacy Volunteers, Community Alternative Systems Agency, American Cancer Society, and the Alzheimer's Association Council of Jefferson County. After her retirement, she was a member of the County Office for the Aging Advisory Council, Statewide Senior Action, and the Jefferson County Community Assisted Living Board. She also served as secretary and president of the County Association for the Blind Board of Directors, Vice President of AARP Local Chapter 346, and was Legislative District Advocacy Coordinator for Assembly District 118 for AARP NY. She also cared deeply about her work as a mediator for The Resolution Center of Jefferson and Lewis Counties.

Janet was the recipient of several awards for community service, among them the SUNY Chancellor's Medal for Outstanding Scholarship and Service and the American Association of Catholic Women Community Service Award. She received the Alzheimer's Association Volunteer of the Year Award in 1984.

In her youth, Janet studied ballet, piano and cello, and had a profound, life-long appreciation for the arts. Throughout her life she had a deep love of animals, reading, auctions, and gardening. Janet and her husband were both amateur ham radio operators and assisted in many emergency projects in the North Country. She could also pluck a chicken, cane a chair, and was an absolute champ at word games.

She is survived by her three children, Stephen A. Long III and wife Laura, Chaumont; William Long and wife Lisa, of Michigan; and Sarah Long and husband Jones Hendershot, O Pino, Spain; and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Janet was predeceased by her brother, William Johnson and her husband of 59 years, Stephen Long, Jr.

There will be no services at this time. In lieu of donations or flowers, and to honor Janet's loving and giving nature, her family suggests performing a random act of kindness in her memory. Arrangements are entrusted with Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown. Remembrances and condolences may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com.


#15 Anthony J Bova 2021-09-27 13:18
As the Office for the Aging Director for over 12 years, I had the pleasure of working with a sincere and dedicated public servant Janet Long..... There were numerous individuals she assisted throughout these years and her advocacy for senior citizens made a huge difference in their lives.....

I want to send my sincere condolences to her loving family at this time of sorrow..... May God reward her for all her good deeds on earth
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#14 Betty Reff 2021-09-26 09:32
I worked with Janet at Jefferson County Office for the Aging from 1993 until her retirement. She certainly enjoyed being an advocate for the seniors in our community. I enjoyed working with her as well as the rest of the staff. Rest In Peace Janet.
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#13 Meg Richter Alberry 2021-09-22 19:08
I had the pleasure of serving as Janet’s Assistant Director of the CAPC’s Retired Senior Volunteer. I was very young but enthusiastic and Janet always encouraged me to be an Leader & Advocate for myself and the Seniors we served. She taught me many lessons in life I had forgotten were instilled in me because of her. She would usher us out at lunch to a place she called Sally’s. I soon learned she was a “professional” at Thrift Shopping at the Salvation Army!
I remember her hands well. They were rough from hard work and her love of gardening and I admired her constant creativity and smiles! I am thankful to have worked with her before she left me her Director position. I will treasure a photo I have of us when we created a calendar using senior citizen art to raise funds annually for RSVP. Thank you, Janet, for influencing my life in so many ways. You were a wonderful human being, rich in love and service to others who needed you. I will always remember you.
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#12 American Cancer Fund 2021-09-21 16:20
The staff of the American Cancer Fund at AmericanCancerF und.org is sorry to hear of Janet’s passing. We have received a memorial donation in her name and our sincere condolences go out to her family.
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#11 Martha OConnor 2021-09-21 14:25
Sending condolences to your family near and far. So sorry for the loss of such a bright and dedicated woman.
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#10 Nanette K Pullus 2021-09-21 12:20
My deepest condolences to the family. I had the pleasure of working with Janet for many years at the Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired of Jefferson Co. Her giving and dedication to the community was a labor of love, she truly cared for those she served and made a difference in the lives of many. Rest in peace.
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#9 MARGARET FRIER 2021-09-21 08:58
I worked with Janet Long at the Jefferson County Office for the Aging from 1985 to 1990. She was a very kind person who loved to help others. She was also a major source of information on how to creatively help the elderly with her knowledge.
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#8 LA LaVanchard 2021-09-20 22:32
During my 29 years at Centennial Apartments I had the great pleasure of knowing and chatting with Janet. She was such a strong advocate for the elderly. Always a lovely, giving lady. My condolences to her family.
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#7 Stephen A Long, III 2021-09-20 18:25
As a son, I was blessed by Janet in many ways. Perhaps the greatest was the fact she instilled a love for learning that continues to this day. Another was helping me develop a servant's heart. While many expend significant amounts of God-given gifts amassing personal treasure, Janet thrived on giving of herself for the benefit of others. The numbers of people she helped through being an educator, through community volunteerism, and through aging services at CAPC or Jefferson County Office for the Aging are absolutely countless. It was a labor of love. She didn't desire recognition or feathers in her cap, but that every person she touched to come out better in life than they were when she met them. Most were perfect strangers. There was nothing of intrinsic value for my mother in any of this. Her reward was knowing people she helped were increased in some way themselves. I hope her legacy is honored by others embracing their own servant's heart and magnifying the good in our community.
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#6 Allison A Roberts 2021-09-20 18:20
Rest in Peace.
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