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Anna Harriet Johnson Long, 97, passed through heaven’s gates on November 30, 2012 at the Mount Ayr Health Care Center.

Harriet was born November 26, 1915 on the family farm northwest of Shannon City, Iowa. Harriet was the daughter of Swedish parents, Swan Johnson and Amanda Amelia Pierson Johnson. She attended the Shannon City school in Ringgold county and graduated as valedictorian in 1933. She attended the Iowa Beauty School in Des Moines, Iowa, where she also earned the highest grades in her class. She was first violinist in the high school orchestra and later played in the Drake University orchestra in Des Moines. After beauty school training, she worked several years at Hazel’s Beauty Shop in Mount Ayr, Iowa.

Harriet met Ralph Long while he was home for a visit from Idaho, where he worked on the railroad. They were married April 10, 1941, at her mom’s home (her dad died in 1940) in Shannon City, Iowa. Six days later Ralph started serving four years in the Army during World War II, much of the time in the Pacific theater. Harriet moved to Tacoma, Washington, and spent several months with Ralph when he was stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. She worked at a beauty shop in Tacoma after passing the Washington State Boards. When Ralph was sent overseas, she returned to Des Moines to live with her sister, Elsie, and to work in a beauty shop and in an insurance company. 

Ralph returned to Iowa after the war in November 1945, and they purchased the 150-acre farm northwest of Mount Ayr for $55 an acre, where they lived and farmed for 32 years. Three children were born to this union, Paul Vernon in 1948, Sharon Arlene in 1949 and Charles Ray in 1957. Ralph and Harriet were loving and supportive parents, attending and serving in everything in which their children participated. They worked hard on the family farm and were recognized leaders in soil conservation practices. They raised cattle, hogs, chickens and much beloved Wire Haired Fox Terriers. Harriet was an excellent cook, and they loved to entertain and to visit family and friends. They enjoyed traveling throughout the United State to see family, friends and their country. They enjoyed a trip to England in their 70s. Harriet loved to read and sew and she enjoyed making quilts and many crafts. In 1965 Harriet became a state clerk for the Soil Conservation Service, where she worked for 13 years, retiring after they sold the farm and moved to Mount Ayr. She lived in her home in Mount Ayr until she sold it at age 90 and moved to Maple Ridge Assisted Living and then later to the Mount Ayr Health Care Center. Harriet was baptized in the Valley Country Church near Shannon City and she was a member of the Mount Ayr United Methodist Church for most of her life. 

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; seven brothers and sisters, and most of her nieces and nephews.

She is survived by her two sons and their wives, Paul and Patricia Long of Caliente, Nevada and Charles and Sandy Long of Beaver Bay, Minnesota; daughter, Sharon Long of Rex, Georgia; five grandchildren, Terri (Chris) Tedford of Spring, Texas, Steven (Heidi) Defenbaugh of Charlotte, North Carolina, Benjamin (Alyson) Long of Pioche, Nevada, Lydia Long of Beaver Bay, Minnesota and Zechariah Long of Beaver Bay, Minnesota; stepgrandsons, Zack (Kim), Nick (Tammie) and Joe (Carmen) Livreri, all of Nevada; 10 great-grandchildren; 10 stepgreat-grandchildren; one niece; two nephews; many Johnson and Long descendents, and friends in the Mount Ayr area.

A memorial fund will be established at the Mount Ayr United Methodist Church.             

Services will be conducted at the Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home in Mount Ayr on Thursday, December 6, 2012, at 1 p.m. with Rev. Skip Rushing officiating.

Casket bearers will be Steven Defenbaugh, Benjamin Long, Kevin Vilmont, Jeff Sickels, Jim Johnson and Bob Johnson.

Burial will be in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Mount Ayr. 

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