Mary Lou (Brigham) Long

Born: Thu., Apr. 25, 1935
Died: Fri., Mar. 1, 2013


3:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Thu., Mar. 07, 2013
Location: Burns Mortuary

Funeral Service

1:00 PM Fri., Mar. 08, 2013
Location: Burns Mortuary

Concluding Service

1:30 PM Fri., Mar. 08, 2013
Location: Olney Cemetery

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Mary Lou Brigham Ringering Long

Crooked River Ranch

April 25, 1935-March 1, 2013


Mary Lou Brigham Ringering Long, 77, died peacefully at her home in Crooked River Ranch on Friday, March 1, 2013, surrounded by family.

Mary Lou was born in La Grande, Ore., also known as God's Country to her, on April 25, 1935, to John Robert Brigham, the son of an Englishman, and Nancy Emily Casteel Brigham, a Native American woman. She was the middle of three daughters who all spent their childhood growing up in the Meacham, Squaw Creek and Gibbon areas of Eastern Oregon.

Mary Lou was a Walla Walla Tribal member, one of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.  Throughout her lifetime, she was very proud of her Native heritage.

Mary Lou graduated from Athena High School, and in 1952 she married Floyd Ringering of Pendleton, Ore.  They lived there for 10 years and together they had three children. They divorced in 1962, but Floyd’s family remained very close to Mary Lou and the kids throughout the years.

 Always a working woman, Mary Lou was a 37-year government employee, beginning in Mission, Ore. In 1964, she transferred to Warm Springs, Ore., to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) as an administrative officer. She raised the kids in Warm Springs and lived and worked in Warm Springs until transferring to Portland, Ore., to work at Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). Wherever she worked, she enjoyed spending time with her coworkers. She made lifelong friends everywhere she went.

Mary Lou held that position from June of 1974 until she retired in June of 1990. She decided she wanted to spend more time with the kids and grandkids. She spent the next 20 years keeping up with all the sporting and after-school activities that all of them had going on.

On January 2, 1977, Mary Lou married Robert Long of Madras, on a cold snowy day with nearly a foot of snow on the ground. Robert left his employment at North Unit Irrigation District (NUID), as a ditch rider, and soon after he began working at John Deere Corporation in Portland, Ore. He continued there until 2007, retiring after 30 years.

With Mary Lou’s three kids grown, she and Robert were able to make the most of long weekends and their annual 3- or 4-week vacations to travel about while still working full-time. They made many road trips to New Orleans and the East Coast to visit Robert's side of the family over the years, usually with a very special dog, and a cat or two riding in the motor home, looking out of the front top window. They actually wore out the first little motor home and replaced it in 2004 with a newer, larger model. 

Mary Lou and Robert were also able to take several cruises. Their retirement plans were to see even more of the U.S. Unfortunately, illness made later travel very difficult. Mary Lou was a cancer surviver, but her Alzheimer's robbed them of that special time.

Mary Lou is survived by her husband of 35 years, Robert Long, of CRR, Ore.; her son, Robert (Bob) and Diane of Madras, Ore., with grandsons Brian of Redmond, Ore., and Eric of Portland, Ore.; daughter Pamela Friend of CRR/Terrebonne, Ore., with grandson C.W. and Mandy and great-granddaughter Nymewae, of Portland, Ore., grandson Joshua and Ashley and great-grandson Gillian of Terrebonne, Ore., and granddaughter Cheyenne of Pendleton, Ore.; daughter Kristi Lou and Craig Erickson of Pilot Rock, Ore., with grandson Boyd of Salem, Ore., and granddaughter Ashley of Pilot Rock, Ore.; sisters Jeanne of Prineville, Ore., and Betty of Pendleton, Ore.; along with many nieces and nephews and cousins. We loved her so and will miss her every day.

She was preceded in death by her mother and father, baby brother Bobby, and Pam's son Gillian Friend.

Mary Lou and Robert moved to CRR in 2006 to be closer to family members. She loved being in Central Oregon, but the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon were her true home. She will be laid to rest alongside of her mother and father and other family members at Olney Cemetery in Pendleton, Ore. Viewing will be held Thursday, March 7 from 3-6 p.m. at Burns Mortuary, 366 S.W. Dorion Ave., Pendleton. Services will take place Friday, March 8, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. in the Burns Mortuary chapel.

If you would like to make a donation it can be made to your local Alzheimer’s Association in Mary Lou’s name.

Cards of sympathy can be mailed to The Ringering Family, P.O. Box 74, Madras, OR 97741.

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Gayla Calvert
   Posted Wed March 06, 2013
Bob, Pam, and Kristy,
I am so sorry to hear of your loss, I will keep you in my prayers, and remember the good times at family reunions with your Mom.
Love, Gayla

Marcia and Larry Grahn
   Posted Thu March 07, 2013
Bob, Pam and Kristy,
Our deepest condolences on the loss of your Mother. What a battle she had with a horrible disease that robbed you all of the joy in her last years. We're thankful she is at peace but understand the painful loss you all feel losing your beloved parent. Praying for God's comfort for you all getting through these difficult days ahead and praying you can go forward with the best memories you shared with her.

   Posted Sat March 09, 2013
Kristi,Pam,Bob condolences to you and all your family members,as well as Mr. Long. There are many fun memories of growing up in the late 1960's and knowing the family & the fluffy black cat named "Labur". Something I've realize as years pass ,we are our parents in many ways. MaryLou was a person ,a parent which I had admiration for.Take care.

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