DELPHINE “DEL” LONG
d. 4 May 2011 at age 87
Del Long was one of those whom I call the “Gentlemen Divers”—the Real Eight Corporation. He was born in South Carolina but came to Florida as an infant, growing up in Grant, which is just north of Sebastian. He moved to Melbourne in 1980. But, in between, he was an early member of Kip Wagner’s “A-Team”, and he was to be a big contributor. In 1956, Del had formed a dive club and soon added new members Erv Taylor and Louis Ullian. Erv connected Del and Lou up with Kip about 1959, they all realized they were “kindred spirits”, and the “gold rush” was on at Sebastian. Del was by trade a mechanic, sheet metal worker, and a welder, and he was instrumental in the manufacture of necessary salvage equipment for the group.
Del had worked for the government with the Civilian Conservation Corps and in WWII at the Battle of the Bulge, earning a Purple Heart there. His career was with Patrick AFB and with Harris Corporation. But it was salvaging treasure which earns him a spot in our memories. His wife, Barbara, and his daughter, Barbara Ann, preceded him in death, and he is survived by six other daughters, two sisters, and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Services were scheduled for 11 May 2011 at the chapel of Fountainhead Funeral Home, Palm Bay. Condolences may be sent to the family online via: www.FountainheadFuneralHome.com.
Text: Ernie Richards. Photo: McLarty Museum. In PLVS VLTRA Newsletter, 2nd-Q 2011, with permission.
Photo: McLarty Museum. In PLVS VLTRA Newsletter, 2nd-Q 2011, with permission.