September 16, 2021
Janet 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.