Willie Long

Ireland

We are saddened to announce the passing of Willie Long. Willie was born on 28th April, 1935, the youngest of Robbie and Annie Long’s thirteen children. He went to Corker National School, and later attended Wesley College in Dublin. He then worked as a radio and television engineer in Belfast and Tamworth in England, before returning home to setup Long Brothers in Dunkineely. In 1954, he met the new teacher, Olive Johnston from Virginia in Cavan who had been posted to Corker National School.

In 1958 Willie and Olive got married, a marriage that would last more than 61 years. His hobbies included scrambling on motor bikes and fishing. He received his radio experimenter’s license with the callsign EI6AI in 1960, subsequently joined the IRTS and the RSGB, and became friends with many ham radio enthusiasts all over the world.

Due to ill health, Willie semi-retired in 1981, but was still able to travel to many ham radio events around the world, including Dayton Ohio and Friedrichshafen Germany on many occasions. He was a very familiar face at shows in Ireland, Alexandra Palace in London, and Granby Halls in Leicester. Before the days of computers, the Internet, and Sky, Willie’s experiments involved transmission of radio and television.

Willie is survived by his wife Olive, and two sons, Raymond EI9DM and Leslie EI4DU, and three sisters, Frances, Georgina and Charlotte. He enjoyed life to the fullest, in spite of multiple serious illnesses, having spent time in ten different hospitals over a period of 50 years.

Over the last six months, his health deteriorated and left him housebound in the care of Olive and a wonderful team of doctors, nurses and carers.

Willie passed away peacefully on November 26th, 2019.