Obituary of Bill Longer
W. Willis “Bill” Longer of Monticello, IA died July 29, 2022 at the Monticello Nursing and Rehab Center from complications of dementia. Bill was born December 1, 1933 in Washington, IA and was the son of Walter Longer and Roxie (Gideon) Longer. His family operated a farm near Washington and he attended schools in Washington, graduating in 1951. His father was the first generation of immigrant parents from Bohemia in the Czech Republic and his mother’s family was from Cord, Ireland. After high school, he attended Iowa State University and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Dairy Husbandry in 1956. After graduation, he moved to Logan, UT to attend Utah State University where he began his studies towards his Master’s Degree in Dairy Science.
It was while he was in Logan that he felt the call to pursue the Presbyterian Ministry and returned to Dubuque, IA to study at the University of Dubuque Seminary. In 1959, he was united in marriage to Verla M. Nipper at Calvin Sinclair Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids, IA. He earned his Bachelor of Divinity in 1960 and was ordained at the Logan Presbyterian Church in Utah that same year. He then went on to earn his Masters of Sacred Theology in 1963. From 1960-1989 he served 4 churches: Highland/Cobb, WI, Belle Plaine, MN and Monticello, IA. Following his service of 18 years to the Monticello church, in 1989 he chose to enter the interim ministry and served another 10 years in churches in Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. In 2005, he was honored by the Presbytery of East Iowa for 45 years of ministerial service. During his time in the ministry, he often served as a Moderator for other churches, a mentor to young ministers and served on many committees in various Midwest Presbyteries.
In 1963 they adopted their daughter Corlyn and in 1967 their son Wayne. In 2009 they celebrated 50 years of marriage with a reception at Calvin Sinclair Presbyterian Church.
Bill had a great love of the farm life, animals and the outdoors. In his youth he had several pets including a Pinto pony named “Tony.” He raised canary birds in the late 60s/early 70s and there was always a dog in the house. When Corlyn & Wayne were young, he bought them each a pony and soon bought himself a horse. They spent many Sunday afternoons going to area trail rides together. This love of horses developed into show horses and then a full-fledged breeding operation where they raised Pinto Saddlebred horses. Over the years they bred, trained and raised several Pinto show horse champions and registered dozens of horses in the Pinto and Saddlebred registries. He also served on the Board of Directors for three different Midwest Pinto Horse Association charters including President of the Iowa Pinto Horse Association and Sector Director to the national Pinto Horse Association. They rented stalls in different locations around Monticello for many years and finally he was able to purchase a horse stable located behind The Monticello Nursing and Rehab Center, which would become his final home. It is said the residents loved watching the horses out the back windows of the facility. Bill was admitted to the nursing home in 2019 as a result of increasing difficulties with dementia. While he struggled with short term memories towards the end of this life, he always remembered his horses. There were many deep friendships created through showing horses with the Pinto Horse Association; he truly loved his horse family.
A Memorial Service will be held on October 28, 2023 at 11 am at Faith Presbyterian Church (formerly Calvin Sinclair Presbyterian Church) in Cedar Rapids, IA with Rev. Dennis Morey officiating and a luncheon following. All who would like to share in memories of Bill are invited to attend. As he requested cremation, some of his ashes will be released at the horse stable he formally owned in Monticello, some on the land of the original family farm still owned by his nephew Randy Payne in Washington, IA and the remainder buried with his wife Verla at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Cedar Rapids. Cremation services were lovingly provided by Kramer Funeral Home in Monticello, IA.
He is survived by daughter Corlyn (Joe) Schreck of Kalamazoo, MI, son Wayne Longer of Monticello, IA, 3 grandchildren Nicholas Drake, Abbigail (Aryeh) Nussbaum Cohen, and Benjamin Schreck, 5 nieces: Roseanne (Rod) Furgason, Cindy Barr, Lynn (Ron) Millsap, Jill (Mike) Kach, Patty Marr, 3 nephews: Randy (Darlene) Payne, Doug (Kay) Merino and Kirk (Denise) Nipper, and many great nieces, great nephews and several great-great nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his wife, Verla (Nipper) Longer in March of 2022, his parents, sister Bette (Longer) and brother-in-law Bernard Payne, and several other extended family members on both sides of the family.
Rest well, good and faithful servant.
Information available at www.kramerfuneral.com. Condolences may be left or send cards to Bill’s family in care of Kramer Funeral Home, PO Box 791, Monticello, IA 52310-0791.
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