Donna DeLong, a registered nurse in White Sulphur Springs, held a surprise birthday party at the Buckhorne Country Store and Campground in Clifton Forge for Ed DeLong, her husband who turned 80 on Feb. 19.
Ed served in the U.S. Army from 1964 to 1985 where he rose to the rank of staff sergeant.
Born in the C & O Hospital in Clifton Forge in 1947, Ed graduated from White Sulphur High School in 1961.
Ed’s father, Paul H. DeLong, was from Sistersville, W. Va. He came to White Sulphur Springs during the Great Depression as a member of the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) that was building roads in the area.
Paul married Alma Loudermilk, Ed’s mother who is from White Sulphur Springs, and Paul established White Sulphur Insurance & Real Estate.
Ed entered the U.S. Army in 1964, and after boot camp at Fort Jackson in S. C., he was sent to Fort Gordon, southwest of Augusta, Ga. where he attended the U.S. Army Signal Corps Training School.
After his stint in the military, Ed returned to White Sulphur Springs and began working for his father in the insurance business.
Ed has a younger sister, Linda Harbaugh, who resides in White Sulphur Springs, where he worked for his father until 2002 when he opened his own business, the Insurance Market Place, currently owned by his daughter, Holly Boggs.
Due to a recent operation on his foot, Ed has been limited in his mobility.
Speaking from his wheelchair, Ed remarked, “I used to spend a lot of time fishing at Lake Moomaw and target practicing, but the operation on my foot has slowed me down.”
As for his community service work in White Sulphur Springs where he has lived his entire adult life after returning home from his service in the military, Ed said, “I have spent a lot of time as a volunteer for the White Sulphur Springs Rescue Squad.”
The White Sulphur Springs Rescue Squad is a 501 (C) 3 nonprofit corporation that was founded in 1959 to work in conjunction with the White Sulphur Springs Volunteer Fire Department.
Due to his limited mobility, Ed, an avid fan of West Virginia University’s basketball and football teams, must content himself with watching his favorite teams via telecasts.
Ed lamented, “We (WVU basketball) lost by six to Texas Tech.”
Texas Tech Red Raiders recently dealt the Mountaineers a 78-72 defeat to even each team’s record at 15-12.
As for his marriage with Donna, Ed recalled, “We celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on Dec. 31, 2022.”
The gathering at the Buckhorne on Sun., Feb. 19, was attended by 20 well-wishers who were invited to share his birthday cake that featured a decorative basketball near its center.