Dale Clayton Long, 61, of Mountain Home, passed away peacefully at home on Sept. 30, 2012.
Dale was born in LaGrande, Ore., to Clair (Gene) and Freda Long. The family moved to Mountain Home when he was four years old.
Upon graduation from Mountain Home High School in 1969, Dale joined the U.S. Marine Corps. After completion of two separate tours of duty Dale returned to Mountain Home. He worked in Civil Engineering at the Mountain Home Air Force Base until his retirement in January of 2006.
In April of 1983, Dale married Mary Hoyt. With Dale's son, Christopher, and Mary's daughter, Melanie, they became a family.
From an early age music was a big part of Dale's life. From childhood on he enjoyed singing and playing many different musical instruments. A few years ago he taught himself to play the violin. He was then able to play the melodies that were always running through his head on his violin. This was a great source of accomplishment and enjoyment for him.
In addition to being musical, Dale had a natural talent for fixing things. He possessed endless curiosity about the mechanics of how things worked and loved problem solving.
Dale had a great love of nature, which he shared by passing on his knowledge of the outdoors to family and friends. That love of nature intertwined with his various hobbies which included photography, painting, fishing, fly tying, wood carving, gardening, hunting, ham radio operation, hiking, mountain climbing, bird watching and archery.
While enjoying the sport of archery, Dale started making his own long bows. Taking a deer with one of his own bows was one of the highlights of his hunting experiences. Dale and Mary both enjoyed participating in outdoor 3-D archery shoots for the outdoor experience and the time spent with friends.
In 2005 Dale became the Idaho State Bowhunters Longbow 3D Men's Champion.
Before he became very ill at the end of December 2008, he was active in The Sagebrush Archers, The Idaho State Bow Hunters, and the "Buddha Brother's Hunting Group." His unofficial clubs included "The Old Man's Coffee Group" at McDonalds and the coffee group at Terry's Truck. In his final active months, Dale lent a hand to the Idaho Fish and Game Volunteers of Elmore County.
These few words cannot begin to describe the full rich life that Dale led and held so dear. He was a patient, loving, nurturing man to his whole family and will be greatly missed.
Per Dale's request, no formal services will be held. Family and friends are invited to gather at the Long's residence on Thursday, Oct. 4, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to share memories in celebration of Dale's life.
Dale was preceded in death by his father, Clair E. Long.
He is survived by: his wife, Mary Long; son Staff Sgt. Christopher Long (Shelli) of Fort Bragg, N.C; stepdaughter Melanie Hoyt of Boise; his mother, Freda Long of Boise; sisters Donna Van Tuinen of Florida, Delores Mittelmark of Mountain Home, and Debbie (Keith) Kurtz of Renton, Wash; two grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Dale and his family are very grateful for the care provided by his doctors, his hospice team, and the endless support of his friends. To honor Dale's spirit, please consider a memorial gift to The Nature Conservancy at http://www.nature.org/donate or a charity of your choice.
Cremation was under the direction of Rost Funeral Home, McMurtrey Chapel.