Many students and coworkers who knew Huey Paul Long remember him for his infectious smile. Long, who worked at the university for more than 30 years, died Tuesday night in his sleep.
A native Angeleno, Long has always been a part of the extended Trojan community. Long is survived by his wife and three sons.
Long, who served as a maintenance worker, was a fixture in the Von KleinSmid Center. VKC Library Assistant Manager Mary Clark, who knew Long since she began working at the university in 2007, said his absence will be felt by all who knew him.
“He was admired and loved by all of his coworkers,” Clark said. “Everyone that he encountered had those similar feelings about the genuineness and the humanistic qualities he had. And he saw the best in everyone, too.”
Though Long had been sick for some time, he never let it distract from his work.
“I know he had been battling some health issues, but he was just trying to get through it and keep working,” Clark said. “He loved working here and being around the students and staff and faculty. It was that driving force for him that helped him keep going.”
Throughout his time at the university, Long fully embraced his role as a member of the Trojan Family. It was not unusual to find Long cheering on the Trojans at various events, and supported USC even through his attire.
“Always sporting his USC cap,” Clark reminisced. “It couldn’t just be any type of USC cap — it had to be the one that fit just right. He was very pristine about all of that.”
His love of sport was also lifelong. When Long attending John C. Fremont High School, he was an accomplished competitor on the track team.
Though injuries interfered with Long’s passion to pursue a track career after high school, he remained an avid sports fan and enjoyed following all aspects of Trojan athletics.
“He loved all the sports,” Clark said. “Not just football, but all of the teams. He loved the band — just everything.”
Long had a lasting impact not only on his coworkers, but also the students who had the fortune of seeing him every morning. Jenny Chen, a senior majoring in print and digital journalism said Long always made the effort to have a connection with everyone he met.
“Huey was one of the most generous people that I’ve ever met,” Chen said. “I think we were all really lucky to have him in our lives.”
Linda Fawaz, a senior majoring in international relations, noted his good nature every morning.
“He was just like sunshine everyday,” Fawaz said. “He would ask everyone how they were doing. He always helped us out whenever we needed anything.”
For those who knew Long, his loss will not only be that of a friend, but of someone who exemplified what it means to be a Trojan.
“He just had the best heart,” Chen said. “He felt like family and he treated everyone — especially the people at the library that he has known for so long — like family. I know we’re all really going to miss him.”
Though Clark said Long’s joyous “hello” every morning will certainly be missed, his enthusiasm will never be forgotten.
“Those of us who had the distinct pleasure of knowing him — we are better because of it,” Clark said. “What a difference he made.”
A memorial service for Long has not yet been scheduled.