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Obit: Eleanor Long-Wilgus (May 8, 2005)

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D. K. Wilgus Collection online (6)

Franz S. 26 May 05 - 01:17 PM
Pete Peterson 26 May 05 - 01:35 PM
GUEST,ClaireBear 26 May 05 - 02:09 PM
GUEST,Ron4tOSU 31 Aug 12 - 06:17 AM
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Subject: Obit: Eleanor Long-Wilgus
From: Franz S.
Date: 26 May 05 - 01:17 PM

This is the text of an obituary my mother wrote for herself. She died on Mother's Day, May 8. As usual, she left out a lot of the good parts.



Eleanor R. Long-Wilgus was born February 9, 1923, in Seattle, Washington, and died May 8, 2005 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She was the eldest daughter of Earl Percy Jones and Myrtle Eleanor Jones. Through her paternal grandparents, she was descended from Francis Jones, member of Cane Creek Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends from 1755 to 1772.

She earned her B. S. in General Studies with High Honors from Portland State College in 1957; M.A. in English Literature from Portland University in 1958; and Ph.D. in English Literature and Folklore with Distinction from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1968. From 1968 to 1985 she taught Folklore, Comparative Mythology, and Medieval Literature at Santa Clara University, the University of Saskatchewan, the University of California at Los Angeles, and California State University at Long Beach, California.

Her numerous publications in the comparative study of narrative folk song and popular superstitions include the monograph, The Maid and The Hangman, which was awarded the Chicago Folklore Prize in 1971. She has also co-authored On the Banks of Mulroy Bay: Stories and Songs about William Sydney Clements, Third Earl of Leitrim (with her husband, the late D. K. Wilgus) and authored Naomi Wise: Creation, Re-Creation, and Continuity in an American Ballad Tradition. She also recently published Caged, a book of poems dealing with her experience of macular degeneration. From 1983 to 1989 she also served as Senior Editor of the publications of the Oriental Healing Arts Institute of Long Beach, California.

She came to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in 1993, after her husband‚s death. In his honor, she endowed a fellowship for graduate studies in Folklore and donated their extensive Folklore archives to the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She was a member of the Modern Language Association, the American Folklore Society, the Irish Folklore Society, the Canadian Society for Traditional Music, the International Arthurian Society, the International Commission for Ballad Research, the North Carolina Folklore Society, the Chapel Hill Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends, Friends of the Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Friends of Orange County Department of Social Services, where she served as Publicity Chair and Archivist. "

She left out her work as a riveter and ship scaler, her union organizing, peace activism, her early civil rights work, and the songs she sang when I was young.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Eleanor Long-Wilgus
From: Pete Peterson
Date: 26 May 05 - 01:35 PM

Franz, I am sorry! I knew of the work both your father and mother have done, and I'm sorry I never got to meet them!

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Subject: RE: Obit: Eleanor Long-Wilgus
From: GUEST,ClaireBear
Date: 26 May 05 - 02:09 PM


I am honored to have been one of your mother's students in both folklore and medieval Irish literature at Santa Clara University.

Both programs were memorable. But in particular, Folklore with Dr. Long was unforgettable -- and a personal growth experience I continue to treasure.

I am sorry I didn't know more about her then, and even more sorry that, now that I do, I cannot go back and live that time over again, breaking through the student/professor barricade to know more about someone who was at one so rich in experience and so comfortable to be around.

Sincere condolences on your loss, and please know that she is remembered with both great esteem and great affection from this quarter.


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Subject: RE: Obit: Eleanor Long-Wilgus (May 8, 2005)
From: GUEST,Ron4tOSU
Date: 31 Aug 12 - 06:17 AM

Dear Franz, I, too, was a student of your mother at Santa Clara U. I was fortunate to have her for two classes: medieval lit and folklore. She could be a notoriously hard grader. Yet, as we got to know each other in private talks, she opened up to me a bit--as I did to her. She comforted me when I was distraught a couple of times. And, once, as she turned around from her typewritter to face me, she had tears running down her face. She felt comfortable enough to share a difficult time with me. I thought of her often after I graduated. I think she would have been astonished to find out that one of her so--so students caught fire and earned an MA in Theology and PhD in Philosophy at Marquette U. Her work ethic stayed with me. After it scared me, it took me places she'd never have thought possible. She sincerely took joy in her students success and I wish I could have thanked her for her role in my life. Deepest condolences. Your mother was stellar.

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