Obituary: James Virgil DeLong


HOUGHTON LAKE — James Virgil “Virg” DeLong, 84, Houghton Lake, died March 16, 2011, surrounded by his loving family at Horizon Senior Living, St. Helen.

A service was held March 19, at Christler Funeral Home, Houghton Lake Chapel. The Rev. Bryan Thompson officiated. Memorial donations may be made to Heartland Hospice.

Mr. DeLong was born July 3, 1926, in Middleburn, W.Va., to the late Earl and Zelma DeLong. He served in the Navy during World War II. He and the former Lila Elaine Chilcote were united in marriage in Newaygo Sept. 23, 1950. She survives.

The couple moved to Houghton Lake from Newaygo in 1950 when Mr. DeLong’s work transferred him to the area. He was a maintenance worker in the oil fields for Sun Oil for more than 34 years. He was a member of the Houghton Lake VFW Post #4034 and was an avid outdoorsman and hunter.

A Little League coach and softball coach, he was always active around the ball fields. It was while coaching softball in 1950 that he met and married his star pitcher, Lila. Preceding him in death were his parents; one sister; two brothers; and grandson, Michael Gibson.

Surviving Mr. DeLong are his wife of more than 60 years, Lila E. DeLong of Houghton Lake; two sons, Jerry (Cindy) DeLong of Texas and James (Rhonda Barnhart) DeLong of Houghton Lake; three daughters, Sandra (Jim) Marshall of Houghton Lake, Debra Morley of Houghton Lake, and Carla DeLong of Houghton Lake; 11 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Evelyn (Gilbert) Chilcote of Armada, and Wilma Nolen of Ohio; and many nieces and nephews.