Ford Earl Longendyke, age 93, formerly of Otter Lake, died of natural causes on Sunday, September 27, 2020, at New Life Assisted Living, Lansing.
Born in Flint, Michigan on May 13, 1927, Ford was the eldest child of the late Earl George Longendyke and Lillian Violet (Henschel) Longendyke, Pierson. He was preceded in death by both parents, by his younger brother Richard Longendyke and sister-in-law Dorothy, by his first
wife Alice (Conley) Longendyke, by his sister Sue Ann Petty, by his eldest daughter Lorna Sue Longendyke, and by step-granddaughter, Tamara Rene Whitmore. He leaves to cherish his memory: lifetime friend and brother-in-law Hoyt Petty, his children Larry Longendyke, Linda Jenks, LuAnn Dyke, Leo (Holly) Longendyke, Lisa (Andrew) Tibbits, and Terryn Hodges, leaving also their nineteen grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. He also
leaves step-children Bret (Cindy) Whitmore, Brad (Wendy) Whitmore, and Holli (Ron) Crum, and their children and great grandchildren.
Answering the call of his country, Ford proudly served in the 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, of the U.S. Army. Private First Class Longendyke was part of the U.S. Army of Occupation of Korea during the tense years just prior to the start of the Korean War. He qualified as a Marksman on the M-1 Rifle, and his military decorations included the Asian- Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the Army of Occupation Medal (with Japan Bar device).
While working at many different jobs to pay his way, he attended courses at Flint Jr. College, Ferris State College, and Michigan State University, finally graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, Masters in Education, and an Administrative Specialist Degree in Education. He spent the next nearly four decades as a career educator and school administrator, starting with teaching at the Marble Elementary in the Forest Road School District (early 1950s), teaching, coaching, and driving bus in the Manchester School District (late 1950s), teaching, driving bus, coaching, High School Principal, and Superintendent at Morrice Community Schools (early 1960s), both Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent of Croswell-Lexington Community Schools (1967-1973), Superintendent at Hart Public Schools (late 1970s), and his final posting was at LakeVille Community Schools, where he served as Assistant Superintendent (1977-’79), Assistant High School Principal (1980-’82), Superintendent (1983-’85), and Elementary Principal (1986-’90). After his first retirement, Ford reentered the work force with Key Real Estate for many years. He enjoyed volunteer work and civic involvement as a member of the Columbiaville Rotary Club. Never one to sit around, Ford also enjoyed bowling and golf with his buddies, big-game hunting expeditions in the Rockies and Canada with family and friends, and making the most of every fishing, hunting, and swimming trip with his large and energetic family at their cabin ‘Up North’. Ford loved the outdoors, was a lifelong student of the world and of history, he had a great sense of humor, a hearty and infectious laugh, and he loved his children dearly. For many, Ford was known as a Soldier, Educator, and a Humanitarian. He will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:00 pm, Friday, October 9, 2020, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 404 Dayton St., Davison. The family will receive visitors one hour prior. Msgr. George Michalek, Celebrant. Graveside services with Military Honors will follow at Davison Cemetery. Those desiring may make contributions in Ford’s memory to the Wounded Warriors Project. Please share your condolences at www.hansenfuneralhome.net