Elia Austin Long / 1924-2008
Honolulu man was dedicated volunteer
Former Friends of Iolani Palace Director Elia Austin Long, a lifelong Honolulu resident, died June 6 at age 84.
Co-founder of Long & Melone Ltd. escrow company, Long was also a Marine Corps veteran of World War II and an athlete at Punahou School and Stanford University. His service to the community was extensive.
His wife of 58 years, Betty Long, met him at a bus stop downtown and married him after only a year.
"I thought he was fascinating," she recalled. "I didn't know any men who went to church on Sunday, was a Marine officer and liked cats."
Long served on the boards of many community organizations during his long career, including Friends of Iolani Palace, Bishop Museum, Kapiolani Hospital and Prince Kuhio Hawaiian Civic Club.
"He was from a generation that believed in community service," his wife said.
Long was part Hawaiian and was concerned with preserving the history and culture of Hawaii. He was the first recipient of the Ka Makamaka award for outstanding service from Friends of Iolani Palace in recognition of his many contributions over 20 years of service.
Long was instrumental in securing the transfer of the Hawaiian royal crowns, scepter and sword of state from Bishop Museum to the Iolani Palace with the help of his good friend of 70 years, Bill Morris.
"He was an all-around good man," recalled Morris, who had known Long since they played football for Punahou. After graduating from Punahou as student body president, football captain and ROTC battalion commander, Long went to Stanford, then joined the Marines as an officer during World War II, serving in China.
After the war, Long returned to Honolulu, where he operated Long & Melone.
"When we went to lunch, he always used to catch the check, that kind of guy," Morris said. "If he wasn't fishing, he was eating Chinese food. He knew every Chinese establishment in Honolulu."
He was a religious man who "never used foul language" and went to church every day at Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Morris said.
Long is survived by wife Betty, son Elia W., and daughters Lisa M. McNamarra and Leslie K. Sorensen. Visitation is 9 a.m. Friday at Star of the Sea Church, with Mass to follow at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Friends of Iolani Palace, Bishop Museum, or Catholic Charities Hawaii.