John Wayne Long

Date of Birth

June 12, 1949

Date of Death

June 8, 2024

City of Death

Santa Barbara, CA

Considered a Renaissance man by his friends and family, John Long was profoundly intellectual, a close observer of people, mesmerized by humanity and philosophy, and immensely curious about the world and its workings.

A long-time Santa Barbara resident, John earned bachelor degrees in sociology and anthropology at UCSB. Diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 36, John refused to be defined by the disease, and instead became even more driven and motivated to learn and accomplish. He went on to receive an MFCC from Antioch University, and a master’s degree in sociology at UCSB. John worked in the field of labor relations, first at the United States Post Office and then at UCSB for many years. He was firmly committed to worker’s rights even while representing the institutions he worked for, and was both a skilled advocate and a compassionate mentor.

A man of many and varied interests, John was a musician and songwriter, author, world traveler, lecturer at Antioch University, online guru with a large following on social media, “dance mom” to his youngest daughter, avid motorcycle rider, and committed Hawaiian-shirt collector. He considered Maui his second home. John, who was more of a dog person until he met his wife, Joy, quickly became a devoted cat lover, and he and his family raised many adored felines over the years. He embraced authenticity in people, was intently engaged in studying the philosophy of life, and thought deeply and acutely about the nature of the world. Even after his last cancer diagnosis, John never lost hope or his passion for life, family, and friends.

John is survived by his wife, Joy Williams, his daughters Jessie Long (Mark Giuliani) and Christie Woods, grandson Kyle Smith, granddaughter Madison Woods, brother Michael Long (Kailua Long), mother Naomi Clowers, and best friend, Michael Stichler.

The family would like to extend their deep gratitude to Gregg Newman, MD, and George Cheng, MD, as well as the entire medical team at Ridley-Tree Cancer Center. Their empathy and support for John will never be forgotten.


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