Martha Taylor Morrison Long

Published 5:15 pm Tuesday, April 18, 2023

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Martha Taylor Morrison Long, known to family and friends as “Tay” , died peacefully on Sunday, April 16th, 2023 at the age of 85. She was born in Selma, AL on November 2, 1937 where she and her younger brother, Ken, spent their childhood and youth. Their parents were Billy and Mabel Morrison. Her father had played football on the University of Alabama football team in the 1920’s so Tay grew up a Crimson Tide fan. Her mother was a Tuscaloosa girl. A family member of her mother’s ran a boarding house there where Billy and his friend, Kenneth Harper rented rooms and had meals and met the family girls.

In high school and college, Tay excelled academically. She was a member of the honor society and was initiated into Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Alabama where she earned her degree. At the encouragement of a high school teacher, Harlan Brown, she pursued a major in French. Her junior year (1958) she was informed that the U.S. State Department was hiring college students who spoke French to work for them at the Brussels World’s Fair. Tay applied and was offered a job. She was attending a house party with friends in Biloxi, MS when the phone rang in her room. A male voice she didn’t recognize asked if she had a passport and if she could be in New York in 2 weeks. She replied “yes, yes” as the gentleman identified himself as a State Department rep hiring for a job in Brussels at the 1958 World’s Fair in Belgium. She dropped out of college and spent six months working there where she met people from all over the world and had visits from family and friends from Alabama. She returned to the states and re-enrolled for a final year at Alabama. After graduation she was employed by Pan American airlines in their office in New Orleans. She had an apartment with 2 classmates from Alabama. At Christmas time the classmates who were graduate students at Tulane went home. She had only the weekends free from her corporate job with Pan Am. An Alabama male friend called her roommate a couple of times while the roommate wasn’t home and on the last call asked if Tay would join him for a drink. By the time her roommate returned she had had several dates with the friend who would eventually become her husband, Wiley Long. They had their first date on New Year’s Day, Wiley proposed in March and they were married on October 28th, 1961. They became the proud parents of daughter, Elise Long Ruby and son, Wiley Long III. They enjoyed traveling with Tay’s Pan American Airlines discount. They went to Hong Kong and Tokyo for their honeymoon. Her 90% discount gave them the trip for $190 each round trip.

Wiley preceded Tay in death. He was cremated and his ashes released at their family place in Orange Beach, AL. Tay wishes for the remains to be treated similarly. She is survived by their children, grandchildren and her brother.

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Memorials may be made to their church, Roswell Methodist Church, 814 Mimosa Blvd, Roswell, GA 30075 or to Sky Hill Animal Soci