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Matthew Gifford Long

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Matthew Gifford Long, 35, of Republic, Mo., died at Barnes Jewish Hospital on Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, following a lifelong battle of congenital heart defects.

He is our hero and who knows how many lives he will save in the future due to his pioneering efforts with his total artificial heart and the research that was gained. Matthew was a tissue and cornea donor and was able to save over 60 others with his final donation.

Matthew was born in Springfield, Mo., on Dec. 25, 1976, to Karen and Michael Long. He was a 1996 graduate of Republic High School.

Survivors include his wife, LeeAnn Long; two sons, Kyle and Kaleb of Republic, Mo.; a daughter, Alexis Briann Baker of Wilson, Ark.; his mother and step-father, Karen and Bob Hardie of Brookline, Mo.; his father and step-mother, Michael and Dee Long of Ft. Smith, Ark.; a sister and brother-in-law, Michelle and Paul Dotson of Ozark, Mo.; a brother, Dustin Long of Brookline, Mo.; his grandmother, Altha Hawley of Dexter, Mo.; nieces and nephews, Megan, Abbey, Garrett, and Ryan Dotson of Ozark, Mo.; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Matthew was preceded in death by his grandparents, Lindell Hawley and Eugene and Joy Long.

Graveside services were held Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, at 1 p.m. at the Dudley Cemetery in Dudley, Mo.

A memorial service will be held at the Dudley Community Center after the graveside service. Graveside services are under the direction of Watkins and Sons Funeral Services of Dexter.

A Memorial Family and Friends Night will be held Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, in Nixa, Mo., at Victory Baptist Church at 7 p.m.

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