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William “Randy” Long, 74, of Savannah, MO, formerly of Creston, IA passed away at St. Lukes Hospital in Kansas City, MO on Thursday, December 30, 2021. Services was at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 5, 2022 at Pearson Family Funeral Service and Cremation Center, Creston, IA with Rev. Mary O’Riley officiating. Family received friends from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, prior to the service. Private interment in the Clearfield Cemetery, Clearfield, IA. There will be a gathering at Eagles Lodge in Creston following the service to celebrate his life.
Memorial contributions may be directed to the family for a memorial to be established. Memories and condolences may be shared online at
William Randall Long was born in Creston, IA on April 10, 1947, the son of William Downard and Dorothy Irene (Embree) Long. Randy was raised in Creston, attended Creston Public Schools and graduated from Creston High School with the Class of 1965. Randy was an excellent athlete and excelled at playing basketball, baseball, football, track and any other sport he participated in. Following graduation, he received a full ride dual scholarship to K-State University to play basketball and baseball. His life changed direction and was offered a full ride at Samford University in Burmingham, AL, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. He began his teaching career in McCalla, AL at McAdory High School, where he coached many successful basketball teams and prevailed during the Civil Rights era. During this time, Randy served his country in the United States Army Reserves from 1966-1971.
In March of 1970, Randy was united in marriage first to Dawn Buxton in Cromwell, IA. Two children were born to this union: Jason and Amy Long. Due to his mother’s failing health, Randy returned to Creston in 1978 and taught and coached at Bridgewater-Fontanelle High School for two years.
Randy was later united in marriage on June 1, 1980 to his loving wife, Diane Sue Kniep, in Bridgewater, IA. Two more children were born to this union: Jeremy and Heather Long. Dorothy, Randy’s mother, passed away in 1982. In 1985, Randy, Diane and family moved to Savannah, MO where he taught and coached multiple Jr. High and High School successful basketball, football and track teams. He finished his career at West Nodaway High School in Burlington Junction, MO where he taught for 15 years. Randy retired in 2012 and continued to substitute teach until his death. He also continued to coach his grandchildren on the court and from the sidelines. He refereed basketball and volleyball for several years prior to retirement and during his retirement. One of Randy’s proudest, well-deserved honors was being inducted into the Iowa State Basketball Hall of Fame in March of 2018.
Randy had many hobbies including fishing, gardening and he loved playing golf; and for the last 20 years he has enjoyed many weekends of singing karaoke with his son, Jeremy. He also enjoyed putting all the kids and grandkids to work in the garden or any other chore he could come up with. He was an avid Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals fan and followed the K-State Wildcats, Iowa State and Iowa college teams. Randy always made it a priority to attend his grandkids’ sporting events, which he enjoyed immensely.
Preceding Randy in death were his parents; nephew, Benjamin Dodge, and father-in-law, Ron Kniep.
Left to mourn his passing is his wife, Diane Long of Savannah, MO; his children: Jason Long of Savannah, MO; Amy Falls of Burlington, IA; Jeremy Long (significant other, Hailey Hart) of Diagonal, IA; Heather (Jon) Ecker of Rosendale, MO; six grandchildren: Tyler Rexroth, Madison Ecker, Hayden Ecker, Josie Long, Ivy Bessine and Rylann Braby-Long; one great-grandson, Tucker Rexroth; sister, Sandra (Mike) Schwalmn of Baldwin City, KS; mother-in-law, Donna (Keith) Moore of Creston, IA; sister-in-law, Karla (Nick) Denney of Camden Point, MO; brother-in-law, Clint (Shaun) Kniep of Mount Ayr, IA; many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, other relatives and many many close friends.

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