Samuel Longfield, age 96, departed on the highest of flights, on Friday, May 3, 2019. Sam was born on December 11, 1922 in Detroit, Michigan, the son of Frederick and Edith Longfield. Sam graduated from Madison East High School in 1940. He joined the Navy at the start of World War II and served as a pilot stationed in the South Pacific, flying every type of plane the Navy had. He continued to serve in the naval reserve for many years. After the war, he finished his degree at UW-Madison and the American Institute for Foreign Trade. He then married the girl across the street, June Middleton, in Madison and was married for 68 years. Sam and June moved the family from Madison to Detroit in 1956 where Sam embarked on a life long career as a corporate pilot with General Motors. He loved flying, traveling the world and ended his career as Chief Pilot for GM. Sam retired from GM in 1982 and later moved to Middleton, WI to be close to family. He came from humble beginnings and came of age during the hard times of the Great Depression, never looking back or taking anything for granted. He truly exemplified “The Greatest Generation”.
Sam is survived by his wife, June Longfield; children, Bruce (Jane) Longfield and Susan Longfield; grandchildren, Sarah and Adam Longfield; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, Frederick (Adeline) Longfield of Monona; sisters, Margaret Barnwell and Elizabeth Longfield of California; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; Kenneth (Joan) Beier of Middleton, and Thomas (Sandi) Middleton of Middleton and Ohio.
Rest in Peace, Dad. Actually, you’ve been resting for a few years now… May you now be at peace and equipped with new wings, legs, eyes, ears and lungs that match your spirit. You were an officer, a gentleman, an aviator, incredibly wise and worldly, and the very best father & husband. Put out your hand and touch the face of God. We will miss you every day here on earth.
Arrangements are pending at this time.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirthof sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”
John Gillespie Magee Jr. 1922 – 1941
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
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