LONG, EMMA JACKSON (1912 ~ 2011)
The following obituary appeared in the Austin American-Statesman on January 19, 2011.
Funeral services for the red-haired legend, Emma Jackson Long, 98, will be held Friday at 10:00 a. m. at Central Christian Church, 12th and Guadalupe Streets. The Rev. Peggy Edge will officiate. A private graveside service will be held in the Texas State Cemetery where she will be buried next to beloved husband Stuart Morrison Long.
Born Emma Pauline Jackson in Lefors, near Pampa in the Texas Panhandle February 29, 1912, she was a leap year child, and she often joked that she was only 24 years old. She was the second of six children born to Robert Rudd and Lillie May (Dot) Jackson. Precocious from the beginning she swept academic honors in Hereford, Texas. At the University of Texas, she graduated in 1936 with a major in history and a minor in government. It was there at UT where she met the love of her life, Stuart Long, a journalist firebrand himself, and married him the same year she graduated.
After World War II, the Longs started the Long News Service at the Texas Capitol, supplying news coverage to 26 daily Texas newspapers, a number of weeklies and provided Texas coverage for national publications such as the The New York Times newspaper and Time and Newsweek magazines. The Longs' sons, Jeb and Jeff, remember visiting their parents' office and exploring the Capitol, and at age 19, Jeff joined the staff at Long News as a cub reporter.
Mrs. Long, who died peacefully in her sleep Sunday morning at her home, was known as "Miss Emma" to many Austinites, she shattered Austin's glass ceiling - the gender barrier-- when she was elected the city's first woman City Council member in 1948. From the beginning she shook up the status quo as she spoke out for those who had been voiceless before, helping create an atmosphere that has made Austin one of the great cities to live in.
In 1957, Emma lost a race for Texas Senate and in 1959 took a break from the Austin City Council. Many citizens would call upon her, still, and she was re-elected in 1963. In 1967, she was named Mayor Pro Tem - always refusing to be pushed into the mayor's office despite much pressure to take that office. In those days, the council members picked the mayor and council members and mayor alike received no pay for the job. And as Mayor Pro Tem, she became the first person ever to light the Zilker Christmas Tree. Miss Emma retired from the City Council in 1969, ending long years of public service.
In 1984 the City Council changed the name of City Park to Emma Long Metropolitan Park - having to change the City Charter to do so. Recently, the city named a street in the new Mueller development for her. Beloved husband Stuart died in 1977 at the age of 63. Emma continued their interests in Democratic politics and in continuing to build better Austin.
She is survived by two sons - Jeb Jackson Long of La Canada, CA and Jefferson Paine Long of Cedar Creek, TX; grandchildren- Dale Daniels of Jacksonville, FL and Vickie Marie Long Alanis of Elgin; a step-granddaughter, Virginia Pratt of Austin; nieces, Judy Harbour of Austin and Linda Moore of Fort Worth; nephews Donald Jackson of Amarillo and Stuart Allen Long of Houston; and numerous other nieces and nephews and great-grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts may be sent to your favorite charity in Emma Long's name. Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com