Eleanor G. Organ, age 101, of Marion, Ind., left this life for eternal life, on Tuesday March 31, 2015, in her home surrounded by the endless love of her family. Eleanor was born on March 7, 1914, in Marion, Indiana, the daughter of the late Francis X. Gartland, Sr. and Anna (Morrow) Gartland. She was also preceded in death by her loving husband, J. William Long and her beloved daughter Cynthia Long Forgey; husband James M. Organ and brothers, FX (Bud) Gartland, Jim Gartland, and Jack Gartland; and sisters, Mary G. Tegarden and Joan G. May.
She is survived by her three sons, John (Donna) Long of Marion, David G. Long of Indianapolis, and Chris (Jan) Long of Carmel, Ind.; daughters, Ann Long Gorey of Sarasota, Florida, Jane Long (Harry) Finch of Marion, Linda Long (John) Appel of Indianapolis, Marnie Long (Neil) Golden of Indianapolis, Karen Long (Doug) Holtzclaw of Yorktown, Ind. And step son Michael Organ, Staunton, Virginia.
Except for winters in Florida and summers at her beloved Lake Wawasee, she lived all 101 years of her life within one square mile in Marion. She married John (Jay) William Long, Sr. on June 6, 1940. Their great love produced 9 children. Her beloved Jay preceded her to Eternal Life on September 25, 1969. Her primary focus throughout her life has always been her family that has grown to include 27 grandchildren, more than 30 great grandchildren and too many wonderful nieces and nephews to count.
Eleanor was the great matriarch, the center of the wheel from which all the spokes of this great family extend. To Eleanor, nothing mattered more than God, family, country…and Notre Dame! She attended Daily Mass at St. Paul’s Church every day she was able to her entire life. She prayed the Rosary daily. She was a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, who was so very proud of the family that she created. Eleanor had an infinite amount of love to give and an infinite amount of love she gave throughout her 101 years. As a member of the Depression and WWII generation, Eleanor was incredibly frugal, making it a habit to rinse and dry coffee filters and to save the laundry suds for reuse, but yet she was perpetually and profoundly generous. While raising her children, the door to their home on 5th Street in Marion remained unlocked, welcoming her many nieces and nephews and children’s friends at any time. Her home was a safe haven, a welcoming place filled with lots of kids, lots of joy, lots of laughter and lots of dancing.
A delight and inspiration to her many descendants, she imparted great wisdom throughout the years. Never one to miss a party or a reason to celebrate, Eleanor had a gift for bringing levity and laughter into life and she taught the value of keeping a good sense of humor. She also taught the importance of using proper grammar and never hesitated to correct those who fell out of line. She taught the difference between lay and lie and that meat is done and people are finished. She taught her grandchildren and great-grandchildren the proper method to eat a Drumstick, how to get rid of an ice cream headache and that there is always room for dessert. She taught the value of kindness and sharing, except when it came to her ice cream, of course, and that we all have a responsibility to take care of each other and look out for each other. She taught that when it comes down to it nothing is more important than family and has been a model of courage, capability and acceptance. She taught by example about strength and fortitude and about living a big, full and love-filled life.
Second to her family, was Eleanor’s beloved Notre Dame. She attended St. Paul’s School, Marion, and St. Mary’s, Notre Dame. A loyal fan of the Irish to the end, she attended at least one home game a season for 87 consecutive years. She realized a great dream of hers in the Fall of 2013 when she was wheeled onto the field, donning her Irish fanware, to meet the head coach, Brian Kelly. He came out to the field early specifically to meet this incredible woman who had proven herself to be the definition of a ‘die-hard fan.’ When asked what they discussed, she responded simply that “that was between them”. This game, or more significantly the moments before the game, would end up being, to use her words, ‘one of the highlights’ of her life, an incredibly full and well-lived life that has certainly been marked by her loyalty to the boys in Blue & Gold.
Until the time of her death, she was the oldest member of St. Paul’s Catholic Church, The Hostess House and Meshingomesia Country Club, a feat that filled her with great pride.
Hers was a life so well-lived and she was a woman so well-loved. Eleanor’s legacy will live on through her enormous family that will continue to love her like crazy, will miss her every day, and will enjoy telling stories about her for many, many years to come.
Her occupation: She was the definition of a homemaker!!
Funeral Mass Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 7, at St. Paul Catholic Church, 1009 Kem Road, Marion, Indiana, with Father Richard Weisenberger and her nephew, Father Dan Gartland officiating.
Burial will be in Estates of Serenity Cemetery, Marion, Indiana.
Friends may call from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., on Monday, April 6, at Raven-Choate Funeral Home, 1202 Kem Road, Marion, Indiana. Rosary will be offered at 7:45 p.m. by Fr. Daniel Gartland.
Online condolences may be made at www.ravenchoate.com
Memorial contributions may be made to: Wawasee Area Conservancy Foundation, 11586 IN-13, Syracuse, Ind. 46567 or Community Foundation of Grant County Indiana, 505 W. Third St., Marion, Ind. 46952 c/o J. William and Eleanor G. Long Fund.