Paul Long

Paul Long, 54

Died: September 13, 2008
He had a heart for children. He was a goof...The kids loved him.
— Sylvia Amatangelo, biblical counselor at Life Spring Community Church
Long, an English teacher at Oaks Christian School, was on the way home from his mother's funeral. His wife and son were also hurt in the crash, but less seriously. When word spread that the popular teacher was in critical condition, students, parents and friends came together and prayed. The varsity football team, already on the field Friday night, dedicated their game to him.
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136 memories of Paul

He was a true family man; he loved his wife, son, and mom. He had the humility of Christ and was never concerned with building himself up. He loved entertaining kids and never shied away from laughing at himself. We will miss him and are deeply heartbroken over his tragic death. He is with our Savior, Jesus Christ.

— Jim Lee
September 13, 2008 at 9:26 p.m.

He was an inspiration to all that met him. As an english teacher he instilled in us great attention to detail and a writing style that follows all the rules yet still has room to breath. As a man he was a gentle and humble friend with such a warm heart unmatched by many. I remember his smile, his joy. His love for us kids was unmatched. He genuinely cared. To this very day, more than any other teacher, I thank God that I had the privilege of having Mr. Long as my teacher. Mr. Long... we will miss you so much. See you soon!

— Matthew Slaven
September 13, 2008 at 10:58 p.m.

He was my best teacher I had ever had. I hated the subject before he taught it. I could not stop looking forward to his class. I grew to love the man in Christ. He was full of love and always wanted to help each and every student. He had a ton of grace. He was a blessing to each and every student that he taught. I am more of a man and a stronger Christian thanks to him. I am honored to have known him. His passion was unmatched by any other teacher. I know he is a man of God and is certainly with Christ as we speak. God bless him! We will see you soon Mr. Long! We miss you very much. I cannot wait to see you again. In Christ.

— Kyle Kazmer
September 14, 2008 at 12:21 a.m.

Mr. Long was the best English teacher I ever had. His classes were the most memorable. We would get him off on tangents during every class yet somehow he would always tie it in to what we had been discussing. One of the most funny memories I have of him was when he was his dance to the Jumblie poem. Though few should forget that Mr. Long dressed up as Legolas from Lord of the Rings. I'm thankful that Mr. Long is in heaven with God now. He is in a better place than us. We will always miss you Mr. Long. See you soon in heaven.

— Kathryn Strickland
September 14, 2008 at 7:27 a.m.

Mr. Long was the best teacher I ever had. He always made us learn even when we thought we weren't. When tests came around we always new the answers somehow. He just had a way of getting things across, and he always made it fun. He believed in all of us, every one of us. then he let me join cross country without any pre-season training because he knew I wanted to do it, and that was enough for him. he was a great man, and we should all strive to be like him. He will be missed, God be with his family.

— Hayden Strombeck
September 14, 2008 at 1:21 p.m.

I am so saddened by your loss. We also lost a dear, dear friend who was as well loved as Paul. I hope that your family and family of friends finds support and caring in the weeks to come. We will be there for our friend, Beverly.
We know that your friends will be there for you as well.
Teachers, nurses, firefighters and police have to come together in this terrible time and support one another.
Our collective hearts go out to you.
Melanie M.

— melanie
September 14, 2008 at 5:22 p.m.

Paul was a wonderful man of God. He helped my sons numerous times when he was a counselor at Grace Brethren. He was always patient and kind and as helpful as he could be. We went to church with him for a number of years where he was known as a man who loved God. He will be deeply missed.

— Vicki Andrews
September 14, 2008 at 5:32 p.m.

Mr. Long was my English teacher from 8th-12th grade. We had a very small class, so we got to know him very well. He loved God and his family very deeply. I am saddened by this loss and for his family. They are in my prayers. I thank the Lord for his ministry and dedication.

— Amy Mentor Kaltenbach
September 14, 2008 at 10:15 p.m.

So I've known Mr. Long pretty much my whole life. Since I was little he's been teaching at Grace and even taught my older cousins. He's been a family friend for a long, long time. When I was little I used to play baseball at Grace Brethren Youth Sports and Mr. Long and my dad used to coach together. Devin and I were on the same team for a long time and Mr. Long just became one of those role model type coaches to me. Our families would go out to dinner together and even go to Dodger games. It was because of Mr. Long that I came to Grace in seventh grade and really looked forward to having him as a teacher. And then when he had to leave during freshman year I was so upset because I was just really excited to have him. To me, Mr. Long was more than a teacher. He was a friend, someone I had known and respected for as long as I could remember.

I'll never forget the baseball season of my fourth grade year. We were the Detroit Tigers and were in the championship game. Mr. Long sat our whole team down along this small hill and gave me the first inspirational speech I can remember, and one I'll never forget. He told us that we needed to finish out the season strong, with straight A's, like at the end of a school year. He told us that whatever we do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not for men. It was Colossians 3:23, which was our team verse for the season. He told us doing this was the only way to finish with straight A's. By doing this he said, we would not only win on the field, but win in everything we ever did in life.

Mr. Long finished out his life with straight A's, thats for sure. He was one of the most god-fearing men I have ever known. So rest in peace Mr. Long. We love you and I'm really going to miss you.

— Freddie Ranieri
September 14, 2008 at 10:38 p.m.

I will always miss Mr. Long. He was a great teacher, mentor, and friend. When I think of him, I always see him quite literally bouncing up and down in Borders while he tells my friends and me about his latest Harry Potter theory. I think of his Jumblies dance. I think of how much he loved us and how much he sacrificed for us as students. I remember the times we messed with his head - namely, the time we switched the "dark side" (us) and the "light side" (the not-so-crazy people) of the classroom and caused him to lose all focus for the entire lesson. I remember the times I would come and visit him in his room to ask him for advice, even when I was no longer his student. He is truly one of the greatest men I have ever known, and I will miss him terribly.

— Rachel Forbat
September 14, 2008 at 11:51 p.m.

Paul Long was my uncle. Living on the east coast, I would usually only get to see him and his family every few years. I most admired Paul's ability to speak in front of large groups and his youthful and energetic personality. At both my grandfather and grandmother's funeral he did an excellent job doing just this. He was full of energy and life, and I know he loved God very much. Paul loved his family very much also. Just this past week I remember him telling me about Devin and his cross country and how proud he was of him. That said, I wish I had gotten to see him more throughout my life, but the memories that I do have are fond. We miss you, Paul... but we will see you again.

— Cooper Long
September 15, 2008 at 7:54 a.m.

I didn't know Mr. Long, but all I need to do is read what others have written. A teacher and man like him is clearly a rarity in this world and I know that he will be missed. God be with and bless all of you who love and mourn him and God bless Mr. Long.

— Suzanne Blanding
September 15, 2008 at 8:08 a.m.

I was shocked to read in the paper that Paul, Karen and Devin had been on that train. My wife and I interviewed Paul and Karen before we hired them right out of college to come to California and teach at Thousand Oaks Baptist School. We thought they were top quality people and never changed our mind or regretted our decision.

We have exchanged letters at Christmas every year and enjoyed reading about events in their lives. We will continue with Karen and Devin, of course, but we shall miss Paul until we are caught up together at the Rapture of the Church.

May God bless and comfort you, Karen, in your hour of double loss. Coming back from a family funeral to face another is a hard test, but Christ has counted you worthy, knowing you would not be staggered even by such a test as this.

God bless

— Bob Fuller
September 15, 2008 at 8:27 a.m.

On behalf of all of the students and faculty at San Gabriel Academy, also a Christian high school, we send you our most sincere sympathy. What a loss you are living with! Although we didn't know Mr. Long, nor do we know his family, we are keeping you in our school and individual prayers. As a close school family, we want you to know how much we are grieving with you. We know that God is hurting with you and is holding you all in his strong and comforting arms.

— Bonnie Iversen
September 15, 2008 at 8:47 a.m.

Karen and Devin,
I am so sorry for your lose. Paul was great man and mentor. He really cared about everyone. Paul really gave me the ability to be a true profession in teaching. I thank him for his support and friendship. You are in my thoughts.

Guillermo "Willie" Ruiz

Former Teacher PE Teacher at Grace HS

— Willie Ruiz
September 15, 2008 at 9:51 a.m.

Paul's mother, Edith Long, was a member at Morningside Baptist Church in Greenville, South Carolina where I am the Assistant Pastor. I had the privilege of participating in the funeral service for Paul's mother on Wednesday, September 10. Paul spoke at his mother's graveside service that day. Only God knew Paul would meet his mother and father in heaven in only a few days. You may be a friend of Paul or you may not even know him, but you can see him again in heaven if you will trust in Jesus Christ alone to forgive your sin and give you eternal life (John 3:16). Praise the Lord Paul was a believer in Jesus Christ!

— Steven Huffman
September 15, 2008 at 10:07 a.m.

Paul was my big brother, he will be greatly missed by all of us in his family. It was hard as a 15 year old to have him move away from home in SC to his new home in CA. I remember thinking why on earth would anyone want to live in CA. But that is where the Lord wanted him. He loved CA. He especially loved his students. When he was home last week from our Mother's funeral he told us all about Oaks Christian and the students he had this year. Smart, lively students who were going to keep him on his toes and he was so looking forward to watching them learn.

Paul loved his Lord and Savior, Karen and Devin, his family, and his extended family. The Bible verse that comes to mind is one that was sent to me this morning by a dear friend. When Paul entered into the gates of heaven I know he heard these words, "Well done good and faithful servant ...enter into the joy if your Lord." Matthew 25:23. Can you image what joy there was in heaven they day Paul was called home? He was a pilgram on this earth, his journey has ended, he now in the arms of his Lord.

I will miss you my big brother, but I will see you again.

— Jane Hewitt
September 15, 2008 at 10:51 a.m.

When our son was diagnosed with Cancer, Paul used to see me on campus at school and he would say lets pray. We prayed a lot in those hallways and he was always uplifting to me in those early days of treatments. Just a hug sometimes let me know that Mark was on his mind and he was strong in prayer for our family. Paul was a decent human being and a kind man that our son got to know as a teacher and coach. Our love goes out to Karen and Devin. The Jacksons

— Cherie Jackson
September 15, 2008 at 11:01 a.m.

I knew Paul Long as "Pastor Paul" through the 15 years I knew him. Pastor Paul was my high school youth pastor over 10 years ago during my tumultuous teen years. Few invest more of themselves than he did into the lives of those they serve on behalf of the Lord. I feel blessed to have known him and to have been indelibly affected for the better by him during a very impressionable time in my life. Though my contact with him since that time has been sparse, Pastor Paul never let me forget in our emails and cards over the years that he was continually praying for me and my family. It serves as a comfort to know that he is now a member of that "cloud of believers" that is rooting us on through our journey here on earth until we meet up with them in our turn.

To Devin and Karen, and the rest of the Long family, I pray for the blessing of comfort promised by Christ to those who mourn in his Sermon on the Mount. For as Pastor Paul's namesake said, 'To live is Christ, but to die is gain.' The gain of Pastor Paul and the gain of heaven for having him is made possible through our loss, bittersweet though it is.

For those who have the information, please post the service date, time and location as soon as it is available. It would be greatly appreciated.

— Brie (Hannon) Roumeliotis
September 15, 2008 at 11:12 a.m.

Revelations - 21:4. May god bless the Long family

— Marine Mom
September 15, 2008 at 12:14 p.m.

I knew Paul back in the 70's when he was a student at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC and he worked at the Information Desk of the University. I was able to visit with Paul 2 years ago when his dad passed away, and Paul and I were able to speak at his mother's funeral visitation last Tuesday evening in Greenville. I enjoyed meeting his wife Karen and his son. Paul had shared with me that they would be leaving Friday to return home. Little did I realize nor did Paul and his family realize at the time that he would be heading to his eternal home on Friday afternoon rather than to MorePark. My condolences are to the many family members and friends and students that had the privilege of knowing Paul and the impact that he make on your lives.

— Gayle Hippe Van Scoy
September 15, 2008 at 12:39 p.m.

Was a student of Paul's from '92-'96 at Grace Brethren. He was/is a great man and am sorry to see that he is no longer with us - lot's of memories and pictures to hold onto though. My family's prayers go out to Karen, Devon and the rest of his family. I think about him often and I can honestly say that he had a profound positive impact on my academic career. You will be missed.

— Ty Wolfe
September 15, 2008 at 12:44 p.m.


September 15, 2008 at 1:16 p.m.

Mr. Long was such an incredible man. He was our teacher throughout Junior High and High School. I will never forget our Sophmore year (in 96) when he was our Bible teacher. That was such a memorable time when he really taught us how to talk to God and what it meant to worship Him.
Shortly after graduating, I had been going through a really rough time and I saw Mr. Long at a football game. He made it a point to come up to me and reach out with compassion and forgiveness. What a true example of the heart of Jesus!
I will be praying for his family during this difficult time. I cannot begin to imagine the heartache.
Thankfully though, we are not like those who are without HOPE. We will see him very soon.

— Amy Moffatt (Leonard)
September 15, 2008 at 1:46 p.m.

Mr. Long was a blessing to all who had the opportunity to learn from him. A teacher with a heart truly dedicated to teaching. Mr Long was a very loving and supportive man who wasn't afraid to be direct with you about issues he saw in your life. I thank God for knowing him and my prayers are with Karen and Devon. Thank you Mr. Long for your consummate steadfastness.

— Jason Roberts
September 15, 2008 at 1:53 p.m.

My children's teacher, my co-worker, friend, brother in Christ and pastor who married my husband and me in 2001. There's not a week that goes by that he hasn't popped into my memory for any number of reasons. His love for the Lord, his family, his fellow man and his students was evident in everything he did and his legacy will be long-reaching into the hearts of those he touched. God bless Karen and Devin in this difficult time ahead. We will all meet again in God's perfect time...

— Shari (Fearn) Hulshof
September 15, 2008 at 3:56 p.m.

I am deeply, utterly heartbroken. Mr. Long taught me Christian apologetics at Grace Brethren when I was 17. He was also my guidance counselor. He always wanted to know how I was, what I'd been up to, what I thought of the things I was learning. He took the time to make sure I was okay. I can't recall once asking if he was okay.

On a sunny winter morning in Mr. Long's classroom, he was giving us a talk about the value of ambition and hard work and that, even in your dream job, there would be something you didn't like about it. We asked him what part of his job he didn't like, and he said without hesitation, "All the guidance counseling stuff. It's really stressful, too much paperwork, and my workload never lessens. I much prefer teaching." When pressed as to why he chose to take on such a difficult task, he reflected and replied, "Well, I know I can get the job done right. It helps you guys out."

That's just how Mr. Long was. He always did whatever he could to lend a hand, and never once chose himself over his students or God.

Mr. Long was single-handedly responsible for one of the most important choices I've made to this day. In my senior year of high school, I found myself disenchanted with education. I didn't want anything to do with college. Mr. Long overheard me say this. He took me firmly by the shoulders, looked me square in the eye, and said, "Tommy, you don't mean that." I told him that I did, and he ordered me to come see him after school. He sounded as though he were aboard a ship, and doing everything in his power to prevent it from sinking. I'd never heard him speak so sternly.

For many hours that afternoon, we talked. He helped me to see that my life was worth something. I had gifts, and they were powerful. If I didn't pursue them, nurture them, and hone them, then I was just throwing them away and I was committing the gravest of disservices against myself, my fellow man, and my God. I went home that day with an insatiable thirst for learing like I've never known, and months later attended Chapman University. Paul Long gave me the courage and the confidence to strike out into the strangeness and wonder of the world and embrace every new experience as an opportunity to reflect and grow.

We drifted apart over the years... I wish I'd come back to Simi and spoken with him more often. I never got to thank him. I guess I just figured I could do it "next time."

Mr. Long was an open fellow with that kind of embarassing, parental sense of humor and no shame when it came to a well-timed pun. He loved his wife and his son as much as I could ever hope to love another human being, and he strove ceaselessly to walk in peace with God. As he walked in peace, may he rest in peace.

I'm still trying to come to grips with the horrific ramifications of his death. Heaven's never had a brighter light join its ranks, but even knowing that, right now I just can't find any solace here on Earth. One day I want to see him again.

— Tom Williams
September 15, 2008 at 4 p.m.

Mr. Long was truly an honorable man of God, and a very gifted teacher. His classes were always enjoyable and the way he worshiped the Lord so openly and joyfully is still an inspiration to me to this day ( I graduated from Grace in 99). I can only imagine how joyfully he is worshiping in God's presence now. The world is less of a place without him. Paul, You will be missed, and we can't wait to see you....your wife, son, and all who knew you are in my prayers as we mourn your loss.

— Crystal Roberts
September 15, 2008 at 4:15 p.m.

Mr. Long was a great English teacher. Besides the obvious curriculum, there were so many things he taught us. I'll never forget how funny he was in class or how much he liked Harry Potter. There are so many good memories from the class it's hard to pick one, but it's probably when he got mad at us, and half way through out lecture he forgot what he was mad about and started laughing. We love and miss you!

— Joe August
September 15, 2008 at 5:02 p.m.

Mr. Long was a man after God's own heart. He loved his family and the students he taught. We can never answer the question why but we know this beloved teacher has now seen Jesus and is in Heaven with his mother. We pray for the long family and their devastating lost.

The righteous perish,
and no one ponders it in his heart;
devout men are taken away,
and no one understands
that the righteous are taken away
to be spared from evil.
Isaiah 57

— Students of Long's Eng. 9-1 class 07-08 school yr
September 15, 2008 at 5:17 p.m.

Mr. Long really stood out among the teachers at my school. I had never had as good of an english teacher as him before I was in his class. He inspired a new joy for learning and he will be missed by all that knew him. Romans 8:28

— Connor Crane
September 15, 2008 at 5:32 p.m.

Tears are streaming down my face as I imagine the world without Paul Sheldon Long. I met Paul and Karen at church in 1987. We rejoiced as they welcomed their son, Devin, into the world (I was his first baby-sitter). My brothers (Leif and Daven) and I were students at Grace Brethren School where Mr. Long was our teacher. His teaching ability was unmatched, but it was his Biblical knowledge and Christian example that proved most valuable to his students. He was engaging, supportive, dedicated, smart, caring... I am grateful that my husband had the chance to meet Paul and I was proud to have him and Karen at our wedding. Paul loved his family, his work, his students and our God. Paul Long will never be forgotten. He touched, and changed, so many lives.

— Erica (Fearn) Neufeld
September 15, 2008 at 5:36 p.m.

Mr. Long was my english teacher last year. he inspired me to be more open hearted to individuals. his southern accent is what i will always remember of him. God bless the Long family, much love.

— anonymous
September 15, 2008 at 5:44 p.m.

Although I did not have any classes with him, Mr. Long was always talking to us in the hallways and was always smiling. Just last week he was telling us how much fun his new film studies class was. He was so encouraging to everyone and was always willing to stop what he was doing to talk. We all recalled a ratty old briefcase he would roll around with a squeaky wheel. While we are all devasted, we cannot help but smile when we remember all his small quirks and encouragements. He is loved and missed.

— Greg Ogne
September 15, 2008 at 6:04 p.m.

I'm still shocked. I can't believe that Mr. Long is gone. He was my teacher from 7th - 12th grade, but I knew him since I was 5 years old. He taught my older cousins and yes, I used to be afraid of him! As I grew, I became less afraid and more anxious to one day finally be his student. During the 6 years of being in his classroom, Mr. Long was a teacher, mentor, comedian, confidant, and friend. He practically raised us kids! He taught us everything from Vocabulary (remember those orange books?), Literature (Cyrano!), Grammar (ugh, transitive verbs and don't forget the denouement), and one year of Bible class. And I'll never forget our weekly journals and those silly surveys we used to make him fill out. But Mr. Long was never above filling out surveys, telling stories about his youth and how he met Karen at Bob Jones, difficulties having a child (thank God for Devin), stories of his German Mother, and secretly sharing his middle name with us (Sheldon). He was never above making fun of himself and even allowing us kids to make fun of him (bananas!). Mr. Long was a part of my youth and anytime I think of my Jr. High/High School years, I will synonymously think of Mr. Long. I am incredibly sad that he is gone, and I wish I had the opportunity to see him one last time (with gray hair). He touched our lives and our hearts. Mrs. Long, you were the love of his life and he always vocally thanked God that he found you. Devin, you were a gift and a miracle to your Dad, and he always told us that before and after you were born. Mr. Long, you are unforgettable and your spirit will live on through all the lives you touched. The good news is that we will see you again one day.

— Antoinette (Toni) Sweiss-Furst
September 15, 2008 at 6:35 p.m.

Mr. Long always had such a jolly spirit! I could look to his guidance if I wanted to see a warm, friendly face. Last year, Mr. Long was my english teacher, and I hate to say it, but I slacked off in his class and had to re-take the class in summer school. Having to take summer school really opened my eyes, and that I need to work harder in my subjects. Because of Mr. Long, i am a changed person, working harder in my studies, and trying to have the same positive and encouraging attitude as he did. I love him and miss him dearly.

— Brina Clark
September 15, 2008 at 7:07 p.m.

I graduated from Oaks Christian last year so I never had the opportunity of having Mr. Long as a teacher. My younger brother did, however, and all I remember hearing were stories of his cleverness and sense of humor. I had many chance meetings with Mr. Long in the hall in which we would share a word or two. And there were times when he would pass me in the hall, see me sitting there and just strike up a conversation about the book I was reading. He was an amazing man, and my only regret is not knowing him better. From what I saw of him Mr. Long was an inspiration to his fellow faculty, to his students, and to every other person he came in contact with. The love of God shown right through his eyes-he lived with a certain peace of mind in knowing he had God on his side and he was leading others to be in that place. Devin and Mrs. Long, my heart goes out to you at this time. Your strength at this time is inspiring, your father/husband was an amazing man and we will all miss him. We love you so much and you are in our prayers. God Bless the both of you, stay strong and know that you are loved.

— Shaleene McReynolds
September 15, 2008 at 7:23 p.m.

We had the honor of knowing Paul for 8 years at Lifespring Community Church in Moorpark, where he was the associate pastor & very involved in the children's program. . Paul was a gentle, kind, humble and honorable man. His life lessons were wonderful to listen to. Im so glad we took the time (a few weeks ago) to tell him how much we enjoyed listening to his life lessons. He just smiled. He made our children's program what it is today. He cared deeply about each & every child. This past Sunday through tears, our Lifespring children remembered "Pastor Paul" in the most innocent way; "I remember he always wore flip-flops", "He always carried a big backpack" "He was alwqays smiling" "He was always nice to us" "He made Louie's Lagoon fun". This is a man that we will always remember.

— Pat, Mario & Chris Noe
September 15, 2008 at 7:28 p.m.

3 Waterpolo Games on the Saturday of Mr. Paul Long's death were dedicated to him by goalie, Travis Radke, and whole set, Alistair Fleming.

May he rest in peace and enjoy the Glory of the Lord.

We love you Mr. Long

— The OCHS Waterpolo Team
September 15, 2008 at 7:40 p.m.

When my brother Frank informed me this evening that our BJU society brother had been on the Metro, a flood of memories came back--singing together, sharing a truth from Scripture, seeing him at the info. desk when I'd pick up Lena from work. . . . Our prayers are with his family and the many fellow-laborers and students he has left behind, even as we remember that "the things that are seen are temporary, but the things that are unseen are eternal" (II Corinthians 4:18). Our sorrow is not like that of those who have no hope in Christ: we anticipate one day seeing our brother again.

— Wayne Dueck
September 15, 2008 at 7:43 p.m.

Mr. Long was a selfless man; he put the children's needs before his own. He is everything you would want in a teacher and in a human being. He was only at Oaks Christian for a year and a little bit, but in that short time he touched more students lives than most teachers do in a students four years in high school. He taught not only the values of English, but the values of family and life. It is one thing to teach them but Mr. Long had the integrity to not only speak, but perform as well. We as a school will miss him terrible. God Bless you Mr. Long you were a great man and I know you are in a better place, with the creator himself.

Your friend and student,
Andrew Legorreta

— Andrew Legorreta
September 15, 2008 at 7:50 p.m.

MR. LONG was probably one of the greatest teachers I have ever had. He was always there for you not only as a teacher but also as a fun friend. He always helped me with my essays and took free time from his life to help others. He will always be remembered in my heart. I love you Mr. Long.

Haley Downey

— Haley Downey
September 15, 2008 at 8:19 p.m.

I am so deeply saddened by this loss. Mr. Long was my English teacher at West Simi Christian School in 86. I went into college knowing more about English literature than anyone in my class. We spent a lot of time teasing him about his '70's style fat was the '80's, so you know WE were sharp dressers.I remember how excited he was about the first episode of Star Trek, the Next Generation. I took voice lessons with Mrs. Long. Mr., Mrs.Long and baby Devon came to my wedding reception. (The marriage didn't last...)

Mr. Long probably didn't know he was one of THOSE teachers..the teacher that has an impact on your entire life. I so deeply regret that I did not keep in touch with the Longs.

— Colleen (Elersich) Keehan
September 15, 2008 at 8:29 p.m.

Mr. Long was my teacher from 8th-12th grade. He taught me English, Bible, German and so much more. I remember his AP English class and our 11th grade Bible class the most. I remember thinking "This man is so extremely intelligent and he is chosing to teach at Grace Brethren." He made me love English and I looked forward to our next class. Our 11th grade Bible class was incredible! He taught me how to worship; how to worship like no one else was around, like it was just me and Lord. He united our class in an amazing way and took us to a whole other level spiritually! He loved his wife and son dearly and he made sure that everyone knew it! He loved the Lord dearly and it was obvious in all he ever did! He was the best teacher I ever had and i can't believe that he is gone. My heart aches for Karen and Devin and the rest of his family! I can't even begin to imagine the pain and extreme loss that they are feeling right now. There is one thing I do know for sure though. That is that on Saturday afternoon he heard the words I so long to hear, "Well done my good and faithful servant!"
My prayers are with you all during this difficult time. You should be so proud, so very proud to be the wife and son of such an amazing man! I look forward to the time when we can all rejoice together in paradise with our Lord and Savior, the author and perfector of our faith!

— Sarah Ponce(Buckley)
September 15, 2008 at 8:34 p.m.

I only had him as a teacher for a few weeks, but those weeks were great. He was like a little kid in a candy shop about the Film Studies he was teaching. He was so energetic and full of life. He was crazy, and totally mad, but in the best way possible.
I am so glad to know that he is in heaven with our Father. I remember that he had us watching Batman Begins in class and looking at it from a Christian world view, and after words having us write in our journals about what movies we should or shouldn't watch based on the Bible. It's great to know that I will see him again with Jesus.
Mr. Long, you will be sorely missed by all who knew you. Our prayers are with Devin and Mrs. Long.

— Sammy Reynolds
September 15, 2008 at 8:45 p.m.

I Knew Paul & Karen For Close To Twenty Years. Paul, Was A True "Gentleman", In Every Sense Of The Word. I Am The Better For being Able To Call Him Friend & Brother. I Will Never Forget The Lessons In Life That He Taught Me Through Example.

— Marc Anthony Padron
September 15, 2008 at 8:59 p.m.

I didn't know Mr. Long at all, but I know his sister Gail. She's a teacher at my school in their hometown of Greenville, SC. I've read all the above comments and I feel like I knew him. Mrs. Gail [Long] Nicholas is a teacher very much like him from what's said above. I know he'll never read this but I want him to know how much I'm looking forward to meeting him someday. Mrs. Nic is an amazing woman and I'm sure he's an amazing man. Till then Mr. Long.

— Mike O'Brien
September 15, 2008 at 9:07 p.m.

I am so saddened to hear of Paul's death, but I know beyond any doubt that Paul is enjoying the joys of heaven at this very moment. He was unashamed to name Jesus as his Lord and Savior. I taught choir at Grace Brethren for a few years, and my children were taught by Paul. I was so thankful for the imput he had in their lives. We know as Christians that to be "absent from the body is to be present with the Lord." What a comfort that is to us. I will be praying for Karen and Devin. We don't always understand why God would take such a dear person from us, but our ways are not His ways, and we always know that God is good.

May God give comfort that only He can give, and may others turn to Christ because of the testimony of Paul Long.

— Julie Davis
September 15, 2008 at 9:20 p.m.

Mr. Long was a man of God and a great teacher. I first met Mr. Long back in 1989 when I first came to Grace Brethren High School. He greeted me with open arms and a big smile. There are so many things that this great man of God taught me, one of them is to never give up and to pursue your goals and dreams. It took me 6 long years to get onto the Los Angeles City Fire Dept. but every time I wanted to give up, I just thought of every thing he taught me.
As one of the fireman that was there at the train crash its one of those calls that you never wish to go on. As tears come down my face right now I know that Mr. Long is up in Heaven right. The images that I saw that day, I dont think will ever go away. You will greatly be missed!!!!!!

— Jason Lawrence
September 15, 2008 at 9:22 p.m.

Mr. truely touched my life, and i loved having you as my teacher last year. we joked and laughed in and out of class and your lessons will stick with me for the rest of my life..and i will never forget the times weve shared together and how you would always get angry at me and loren and matt in the corner for talking to much haha. but you blessed many ppl in the short time you had at oaks and you will forever be engrained in our hearts
Love Shaun

and sorry i know youd shoot me for all the grammar mistakes i just made but i know you loved to always correct my grammar mistakes hahah

— Shaun Powers
September 15, 2008 at 9:53 p.m.

I have known Mr. Long for quite some time. First, when my sisters went to Grace Brethren High School, and more personally when I attended. He was such a great man and amazing teacher. He was passionate about everything he talked about, no matter what topic. We could sit in class for a bit talking about Lord of the Rings and he would get so excited, and than a minute later be talking about a book we had read for that class and he would be equally enthusiastic. I feel blessed to have known Mr. Long he really was always there when you needed him, and he will be missed greatly by all of those lives he has touched. I am comforted to know that Mr. Long was such a great man of God and is in a much better place. Thank you for all you have taught me Mr. Long! I will see you one day again.

My prayers are with you Mrs. Long and Devin, may God bless you both.

— Natalie Gonzalez
September 15, 2008 at 10:05 p.m.

Mr. Long was teacher unlike most. He made a promise to all of his students that he would come watch them play at least one of their Oaks Christian games. In the class room he was nothing but helpful and never lost his smile. It was an honor to have been taught by him. From his abundant amount of knowledge to the conversions we had inside and outside of class Mr. Long touched not only the classes of 09 and 11 but also all of those he worked with.
Mr. Long the back corner will miss you forever!!!


— Loren Klein
September 15, 2008 at 10:10 p.m.

I remember how you took Erich in when he first attended Grace Brethren School and made sure he wss welcomed by everyone. You had all three of my kids; Erich preceded you in death and I know he is now up there with you showing you the ropes of heaven. My sincere condolences to your wife and son. I remember them all from the football games. In Christ.

— Sharon
September 15, 2008 at 10:30 p.m.

Mr Long was one of the most amazing teachers i have ever had. I had the pleasure of recieving instruction from him when i was a freshman at Grace Brethren High School. He was a Lord of the Rings fan and had a wonderful way of helping kids understand tough concepts. he also had a way of getting off on bunny trails which led to wonderful class discussion! Tim and I both loved him very much and he will be missed greatly by our family.
Our prayers go out to the family WE LOVE MRS LONG TOO!!!

— Anonymous
September 15, 2008 at 10:51 p.m.

Although I never had the pleasure of having a class with Mr. Long, I got to know him. He always took time to say hi to me in the hallway and ask how I was. If I ever needed help and my teacher wasn't availabile, he was always there to help me. He always had a smile on his face and always was eager to help. You could see the passion he had for teaching in his eyes and how he would get so excited to come and help someone. He always had his jokes to try and make you laugh. He took time out of his day to help others and to support them. He was at as many event in every sport that he could have been. He loved every student and he loved the school. He had only been at Oaks for a year but he has made a lifetime impact.

It's so hard to think a man with such a good heart and amazing character is gone, but I know he is in a better place. You have made a difference in many people's lives, especially mine. You have taught me to always live my life to the fullest and to love everyone no matter what. You were so good to everyone and so kind and forgiving. I could only dream of having the type of character and love and passion that you had for everyone and everything that you did. May God help your family and bless them and help them through this time because I know you loved them very much and you would want everyone that is grieving for you to be happy and to take a part of your amazing character and live it through thier own lives, I know I will. We all love you Mr. Long, you're an unforgettable man. You're going to be missed greatly.

Love Always,

— Melody Fahimirad <3
September 15, 2008 at 11:02 p.m.

Speechless......We are in shock and deeply saddened! Mr. Long was our English & Bible teacher at Grace Brethren throughout high school. He was a wonderful teacher who cared deeply about his students. He will forever be in our hearts and memories. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and son. There is no doubt in our minds that he touched many lives and will be greatly missed. We lost a great man on this earth, but we have peace knowing that Heaven received one more angel.

— Shadi & Brandi (Cox) Sawalha
September 15, 2008 at 11:26 p.m.

I was stunned when I heard the news. I went to his Mother's viewing in SC essentially to see Paul. We were in college together and were members of a campus society. Paul was a godly young man. He was one I admired and hoped to emulate for his balance of intellect, humor, and self-control.
I'm grateful that since Paul was a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, I will see him one day.
My prayers are for his family.

— Wade Kuhlewind
September 16, 2008 at 4:58 a.m.

I was one of the crew memeber of a ambulance that responded to the accident on that day. I trasported many people that day. I just wanted to say. I'm sorry for your lose.

— Thomas EMS
September 16, 2008 at 9:34 a.m.

Paul was a wonderful man! My heart stopped when I heard the news. He taught my brother and I English, Typing, and Bible at Grace Brethren. We both miss him dearly. We have wonderful memories of him and his kind heart. The world has lost a true Angel!

— Amber Littleton
September 16, 2008 at 10:40 a.m.

Mr. Long was a wonderful teacher. He was quite a character that brought laughter. I have many great memories of him and his classes. Though a sad time for his family and friends, I know he's enjoying heaven. There's a peace in that. The Long family is in our thoughts and prayers. I graduated from Grace in '99.

— Alexandra Gubser
September 16, 2008 at 11 a.m.

Its really hard to hear and grasp this news. He was such a great God fearing man who always provided a good path of direction for us kids. He was my referee at Junior High Basketball games and a great English teacher. We always razzed him as kids in junior high but looking back I realized he was a great influence on my life. He introduced me to Good Christian Rock when I was at an age where MTV was a big influence. He will never be forgotten.

— MIcah Littleton
September 16, 2008 at 11:37 a.m.

I am truly saddened to hear about Paul. He was my teacher at Indian Hills Academy in the early 80's. Mr. Long always had a way of connecting with his students. I had not seen him in over 20 years until last summer when I went to his church. It was good to see both of them and to actually be remembered after all of these years have passed. I am so greatful that I had the opportunity to reconnect with Mr. & Mrs. Long. I know that Paul is with the Lord. I hope that Mrs. Long and their son heal from their injuries. The loss of their father/husband is an emmence pain that I cannot imagine. With faith, I hope that they will persevere. All of my love and prayers to the Long family.

— Kimberly Wilson
September 16, 2008 at 12:10 p.m.

Paul was a man of great compassion who loved Jesus, his family and his students. He was a servent committed to Christian Education and a co-founding teacher of Grace Brethren High School in 1987. May his students never forget the Grace he lived out before them everyday and keep their hearts and eyes focused on Jesus Christ. He will be missed.

— John & Lyn Boal
September 16, 2008 at 12:13 p.m.

I remember Paul from Shiloh Community Church in Moorpark many, many years ago.
He and his wife were always so kind and he so energetic.
My condolences to the family for your earthly loss of him at this time and my heart rejoices in the assurance that he personally knew Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

Hugs to you!

— Janet Bisping-Seghi
September 16, 2008 at 12:15 p.m.

My heart goes out to the Long family. God bless.

— Jaime Becker
September 16, 2008 at 12:57 p.m.


September 16, 2008 at 2:38 p.m.

I never had the chance to have mr. long as my teacher at oaks, but I know he was an amazing teacher and friend. My heart goes out to Karen and Devin. We're praying for you!

— Anonymous
September 16, 2008 at 6:19 p.m.

In my long journal entries in Junior High English, I used to write mid-sentence: "I bet you aren't actually reading this." Of course, in his famous green pen, Mr. Long would put "yes I am."
His devotion to his students was second only to his devotion to God and his family. Mr. Long, you will be missed, but your impression on the hundreds of students you mentored lives on.

— Natalie Sweiss
September 16, 2008 at 6:56 p.m.

To my favorite teacher...

I had so many plans that involved you this year, and i didnt know how much i counted on you until now. please forgive me for not knowing how much you meant to me. thank you for meeting with me almost everyday during free periods to improve my grade. i was looking forward to my second year with you.... i felt like i was in some exclusive club, film studies.... how cool. i was super into movies, but i knew your passion is what would drive the class to excellence. you would kill me right now for my lack of grammar and capitalization, but maybe you can let it slide just this once. I am sorry you never got to write my college reccommendations, you were one of two teachers i felt close enough to ask, in all my 6 years at oaks christian school. you will be more than just missed.

My prayers go out to devon and mrs. long.... through this i hope they feel less grief and more of a relization that they blessed to know such as amazing man.

And i promise to you that i will watch every movie on your list film studies list of movies, as my final project.

With all the appreciation one student can possess....

— Alexa Pace
September 16, 2008 at 7:05 p.m.

Even though I never had Mr. Long as a teacher, he would still say hi to me in the hallways at school and ask how I was doing. He actually cared about his students and their wellbeing. He will be forever missed by his students, but we will see him soon in Heaven. Thank you so much for being one of the most Godly men, husband, father, friend, and teacher I have ever known. We will never forget you and we are also praying for your son, Devon, and loving wife, Karen. In HIS name,

— Ciera Cole
September 16, 2008 at 7:09 p.m.

Mr. Long was my teacher and guidance counsler at Grace Brethren from 95-99. Paul was an amazing teacher. I always looked forward to attending his Bible class. He taught the Bible so effortlessly and he engaged us. We sang worship songs that he had made up hand motions for. He was always there for his students no matter what circumstance. He was truely a man of God. He loved the Lord. My thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and some, as well as his family. He will be missed and never forgotten.

— Nicki (Ferrare)Galentine
September 16, 2008 at 7:57 p.m.

Mr. Long taught at Grace Brethren for years. He was my brother's and sister's teacher, and I finally had the pleasure to have him as my English teacher in my freshmen year of high school.

Being a freshman, I wanted to take the really "challenging" classes. So I took English Honors at Grace Brethren. Well, let me tell you, it was a lot harder than I expected, but Mr. Long was always there to help me and any other struggling student.

In those few months, he taught me a lot. Not just about the famous book 'Treasure Island' or how to write a good essay, but about life and what is out there. He made sure we all knew how important we were, that the world had a place for every single one of us. He was truly a man of God.

When I heard the news about his death, I couldn't help but cry. Mr. Long fulfilled a lot in his life. He impacted the lives of every single one of his students, and he really impacted mine. I wish I was able to have him as my teacher for ANY subject every year.

Many people go through life not having one single teacher care about their student's lives or their future. However, because of Mr. Long, I was one of the lucky ones to be able to know how it feels to have a teacher who loves and cherishes every single one of his students.

Mr. Long, you will definitely be incredibly missed.

-Debbie Williams

— Debbie Williams
September 16, 2008 at 9:15 p.m.

Tears are running down my face as I think back of the memories of having Mr. Long as my 7th and 8th grade English teacher (i think homeroom too :)as well as reading all these memories from other former Grace Brethren students and teachers. He was a wonderful example of an ordinary yet, Godly man who used his gifts and talents to touch the lives of hundreds of students throughout his teaching years. He introduced me to Christian Rock too, back in 1987. I always thought Christian Music consisted of old church hymns but nooo, Mr. Long introduced me to Petra and Michael W. Smith :). Mrs. Long and Devin-my family's heart and prayers go to you both, for the peace that transcends all understanding, which only our Heavenly Father can give.

— Lori Pham (Shigematsu)
September 16, 2008 at 9:32 p.m.

Mr. Long was my 9th grade english teacher and cross country coach. Though he was my teacher, my most memorable moments are of him as a coach. When we had to travel to a cross country meet Mr. Long would drive us in the school's white van; when we had to pray before a race he would be right there with us; and afterwords he would take us all out to dinner to celebrate our accomplishments in the race. Our team spent a lot of time with him at practice and got to know him not only as a teacher and coach, but as a person of God. From cool summer mornings to hot afternoons, we would run up and down hills at practice, and Mr. Long was always there supporting us. He was one of those people who coached for the love of coaching; it wasn't just a job to him. I learned a lot from Mr. Long; whether it was to push myself to run a little faster, or if it was to write a five paragraph essay in honors Lit. Mr. Long will always be in my heart, and the Long family in my prayers.
John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

— Devin P.
September 16, 2008 at 9:45 p.m.

Mr.Long was my teacher from 7-12th grade at Grace Brethren. I can honestly say that I passed my English and Literature classes in college with ease because of what he taught me. I loved writing about "What I did this summer" in my journal every year and I loved watching movies and waiting for Mr. Long to ask us where the foreshadowing was and who was the main character. Mr. Long was like a Grace Brethren legend- everybody knew him and had "Mr.Long Stories". My older brother had him, I had him, and then my little brother had him as a teacher. I am grateful that we got to know him and learn from him. My prayers are with his family. We will miss him!

— Elizabeth Slaven
September 16, 2008 at 10:11 p.m.

I never personally met Mr. Paul Long, but after reading all the comments, I am sorry I did not have the chance. I am an old friend of his brother, Carl. We worked with the SC Highway Patrol together, him as an officer and myself, as Administrative. Carl and his family are one of the most humble and caring people I have had the pleasure to know. He lifted me up so many times when I needed it. Paul and Carl look a lot alike. But Paul is with the Loving Heavenly Father enjoying his rewards and his forever.
We will meet him again

— Becky Spires
September 16, 2008 at 11:20 p.m.

I had the distinct pleasure of working alongside Paul for just half of a school year before he retired from his position at Grace Brethren. That was my first year as a teacher, and Paul, as chair of our department, took time out of his extremely busy schedule to meet with me as a mentor teacher. Needless to say, there are a lot of things in my lesson plans that he inspired. Paul lived out the grace of God in every aspect of his life that I saw. Paul's love for Christ was so visible and contagious (and undoubtedly still is), and it most definitely made an impact on me. We were able to stay in touch over the past couple of years after he left Grace, and I definitely count it a privilege to have called Paul Long my friend. I will definitely miss Paul - it's still hard to believe he's gone. By the grace of God I am confident that I will see him again.

— Josh Starkey
September 16, 2008 at 11:24 p.m.

Paul, I know you are reading this -- You read everything. I never met a man who could remember obscure characters from long forgotton books and explain their significance in the story in such detail. You are amazing. I counted on you for so much and didn't even realize it until this week. I had to speak at Oaks Christian on Monday to tell them what happened and found myself picking up the phone to call you to ask what you thought I should say. Then I remembered, I won't be able to do that for awhile. Thanks for being my partner in ministry, for sharing the work and sharing life. I'll miss you. Save me a place at the banquet table of Christ. I have some Harry Potter questions. I'll be along shortly. --PT.

— Pastor Tony Amatangelo
September 17, 2008 at 8:52 a.m.

he was a great guy, he was my english teacher and i will never forget the times where he would get off topic all the time and talk to us about things going on in our lives. he made my experiences at grace that much better

— Rick
September 17, 2008 at 9:55 a.m.

My heart was saddened to hear this news. I had the privilege of having Mr. Long as a teacher at Grace Brethren High School. His love for God was evident in everything that he did. He was a caring teacher who prepared us for life beyond high school, while being a true example of what it means to live your life for God. His love for his family was also evident. He loved you so much and was so proud of Devin. Our thoughts and prayers are with you both as you go through this difficult time.

— Christen (Olsen) Wolcott
September 17, 2008 at 10:12 a.m.

Karen & Devin
We all miss your wonderful husband and father. I needed to let you know what Paul meant to me. Paul was not only my teacher at Grace Brethren, he was also my friend. He was a man of integrity and virtue which is an extremely difficult quality to find in these difficult times. Paul helped sculpt me into the man I have become.
Thank You Mr. Long for all of your personal support for so many years. You truly are a gift from GOD.
Shawn Lawrence

— Shawn Lawrence
September 17, 2008 at 11:17 a.m.

Mr. Long.....taken too soon. He made such an impact on my life as a student of Grace from 1992-1995 when I had to move to NC. He told me I would pick up that southern accent and I would get so mad at him, but he was right. He said "Andrea, you'll be able to turn that accent off and on just like that". I can and I will always think of him when it comes creeping out! Mr Long was so much more than a fantastic English teacher, he was a godly man, kind, funny, focused on eternal things. Someone that could laugh at us kids and let us laugh at him. His class was fun and engaging. I've truely never had a better teacher than Mr. Long. I just made a visit back to Simi 2 years ago and he's the one teacher that Jessica and I searched the entire school to find and I'm so glad we found him and I was able to see him and laugh about old times. He touched so many lives and I will never forget him. My prayers are with his family. I will see him agian. Much love.

— Andrea (Davis) Hedgepeth
September 17, 2008 at 11:28 a.m.

On Thursday night, September 11, we had a family dinner and get together at my house before Paul and his family and Jane and her family left to go back home after the funeral of our mother. I walked into the living room and there was Paul, sitting in my red leather chair. He had a laptop open and a stack of papers. I asked him what he was doing. He was grading papers. I think I now know why he was always dragging a backpack around with him when he visited. I new it had a camera in it, but apparantly, he took his "homework" with him when he traveled! He said that he was really concerned about a particular student who was having a hard time in his class. He was always talking and thinking about you guys. Although he lived on the other side of the continent and I did not get to see him very often, we kept in touch by e-mail and cell phone. When I came out to a conference in Ca. in 1999, I was able to spend a day with him. He gave me a whirlwind tour of the area and took me to Grace Brethren. He always talked about his students and his schools. He loved it at his new school, Oaks Christian, and sent me links to the website. I look at it all the time. I want to thank everyone for posting memorials. I have laughed and cried while reading them. Being a Carolina guy all my life, I never could understand why he loved it so much in California. Now I do. He had a tremendous network of people who truly loved him and his family. I look forward to meeting some of you on Friday.

Carl Long (Paul's brother)

— Carl Long
September 17, 2008 at 12:36 p.m.

My three children were blessed to have been taught by Mr. Long at Grace Brethren. There is no doubt that he made a lifelong impact on each - not only academically, but, more importantly, spiritually, as well. His abundant enthusiasm for teaching, his students, and the Lord were evident. Back to school night was always an adventure - he even made me want to return to school! As a guidance counselor, he was immensely helpful in navigating the college entrance waters. He always took time to thoroughly answer my questions and provided me with excellent advice. The Long family happened to attend a mutual friend's party a month ago and we were able to catch up. He remembered everything about my kids and was clearly excited about Devin's college opportunities. I feel fortunate that I was able to see him that last time. My prayers are with his family during this difficult time. God bless you, Mr. Long. Your rewards are eternal. Until we meet again...

— Margie Williams
September 17, 2008 at 1:25 p.m.

I am Paul's sister in South Carolina. I am looking forward to meeting all these wonderful friends, colleagues, and students who have posted incredible comments about my brother. Your comments have made me understand better why Paul loved his work in Califoria so much. They have also been a source or great joy to see how Paul has impacted so many lives during his short journey on this earth. My greatest comfort is that we will see Paul and my mom and dad again . . . they just got a head start in heaven!! I know that if we could ask Paul what should come from his death, he would say that he wants his students to all know Jesus Christ as their personal saviour . . . he wants to be reunited with you in heaven. Thanks to everyone who has taken Karen and Devin under your care. We count on you since we are so far away. Please keep all of us in your prayers as we travel to the funeral and to be with Karen and Devin.

Gail Long Nicholas (sister of Paul)

— Gail Long Nicholas
September 17, 2008 at 1:31 p.m.

Mr. Long was a wonderful teacher! He always had the student's best interest in mind; though we may not have known it at the time. I had Mr. Long for 4 of my classes that I can remember. He was a very passionate teacher but very relatable with all of his students. I just saw him a couple of months ago and he would never just walk by you he would always sit down and talk with you to catch up make sure you were doing good. He was a wonderful man of God and will be missed.

— Former student~ Grace Brethren
September 17, 2008 at 1:55 p.m.

Dear Long Family and special friends,
We are so sorry for your loss of our fun, loving, wise, kind and beautiful friend Paul. We know he is in heaven with his Lord God Almighty and probably up there teaching a class. Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone and we pray that we can all see God's glory from this tragic even. Karen and Devin remain strong in God's love and faithfulness....take one day at a until midnight...because we don't know what tomorrow will bring. We love you and are here for anything that you may need. We love you.

— Jayne & Phillip and Brandon Smith
September 17, 2008 at 4:51 p.m.

I just went to Devin's birthday party with his parents and other friends. His dad was a true friend who you could be yourself around. We will all miss him dearly. I sure do.

You will not be forgotten Mr. Long

— Josiah Rand
September 17, 2008 at 5:26 p.m.

I can honestly say that I have never had a better English teacher in my life. I can remember being in chapel one Wednesday morning as my 8th grade year was coming to an end. Mr. Long shared with us that day. I saw his passion for the Lord immediately and right away I was looking forward to having him as a teacher the upcoming year for English. On our first day of school that next year, I walked into class and sat down in the front row. Just like every teacher, he passed out the rules, what we would need for the school year, the parent signature papers and some other ones. As he was going through the guidlines with us, he suddenly pulled out a bucket and said ,"Yes, I did watch High School Musical this summer and I loved Ms. Darbus' idea for taking away cell phones in class. So this is the cell phone bucket in honor of Ms. Darbus!" That's something I will always remember. He loved to go off on tangents about Lord of the Rings and Star Wars, but always tied it back in with Literature. His love for God was shown more clearly to me that semester and he cared so much about what was going on in our lives and always wanted to know how he could pray for and with us. He was so encouraging. I was so sad when he left in the middle of the school year. A couple of us went and said goodbye and gave him hugs. I had seen him around a few times after that and he would still ask how I liked school, what God was doing in my life. I know that Mr. Long was sent to this earth for a reason and I know he has fulfilled it and is living, REJOICING, with Jesus now. I will miss you Mr. Long, but by the promise of Jesus Christ and the hope we have in Him, I know I will see you again very soon.

— Aly Thompson
September 17, 2008 at 7:58 p.m.

Dedicated. Great teacher. True Christian. He brought out the best in me. I know we'll meet again. Thank you Mr Long.

— Dustin Bancroft
September 17, 2008 at 9:34 p.m.

I never had the oppertunity to have Mr. Long as a teacher. Now that I hear about him, I wish that i had. Mr. Long was such an amazing man and now that he is gone he has taught me even more than he did while he was alive. Mr. Long taught me how to love God and how to live my life for him. He taught me how good people can really leave an impact on people's heart forever. He taught me how much life matters and how short it is. But mostly, Mr. Long taught me how much the people in your life matter to you and how you can't take each day with them for granted. This year I will live for Mr. Long. I want to make him proud. I know that I can.

Love your friend,

"Blessed are those who mourn,
For they will be comforted."
~Matthew 5:4

— Anna
September 17, 2008 at 9:44 p.m.

My heart bleeds not only for your loss, but for that of my father, and the other 23 involved in that horrific day.
I know the Lord is sovereign and has a perfect plan through these fiery storms of life.
We are all praying constantly.
Much love from our grieving home to yours-

— Kelsey Souser
September 17, 2008 at 10:43 p.m.

We at Life Spring will sorely miss our beloved Pastor Paul. He finished the race set before him, and I know the Lord is pleased with him. My prayers go out to Karen and Devin, and to all those who lost a loved one in this terrible tragedy; also to those still recovering from their injuries.

For those who may not have heard, Pastor Paul's memorial service is this coming Monday, September 22, 10 a.m. at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village.

— Christine Cairns
September 18, 2008 at 1:13 a.m.

First, I must apologize for any grammatical errors in this letter; Mr. Long, please do not use that green marker! There is a strange bond that develops between a teacher and student. You spend countless hours together, sitting in a hot classroom watching the minutes pass by. You rarely keep in contact with one another, yet you know each other so well. I have shared many stories with friends in the last few days- all of us recounting great moments that will never be forgotten. I have noticed many of the letters written here are by Grace Brethren students. It was a small but very special group. Although we have all moved on with our lives, it was a special place that would not have been the same without Mr. Long. I can vividly remember running to class (pass that big tree towards the bungalows and up the stairs), hoping Mr. Long would not write me a tardy (he usually did not). All teachers have a phrase to quite down their students; "I can wait!" etc. Mr. Long simply said, "people, PEOPLE!!!- it always worked. I have written this more for me than anyone else, but some of you may understand. He was a great teacher and will live forever in our memories.
God bless and my condolences,

— Canaan Hillery
September 18, 2008 at 3:50 a.m.

Paul, you are a wonderful man, I know you are reading all these comments, and enjoying unimaginable joy with Jesus. You have touched the hearts of so many, and truly will be missed. Until we meet again.

— Hank Laird
September 18, 2008 at 10:24 a.m.

My heart is broken, I knew Paul for 28 years he was my teacher, I remember when I first meet him I was sitting in class and heard someone yelling PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE, please sit down, at Indian Hill Christian Academy, when I stuck my head in to see who this was I saw a rather thin man, I was expecting to see a football running back. What a beautiful man who loved his family so much! When I was trying to get my children into Grace Brethren 10 years ago, they were not taking to many students because they were at there max. I ran into Paul at 'Jim's Tires' and told him and he said, 'Tim lets pray' Cory and Kyle have been attending there ever since! To God be the glory in everything he hath done! Paul when God needs to call us all home after the trumpet call, usher us all in by yelling PEOPLE, PEOPLE, PEOPLE it's time to come home! With all our love Tim, Monica, Cory, Kyle Edwards

— tim edwards
September 18, 2008 at 1:12 p.m.

"Mr. Consistent," that's who he was. He knew what was true (The Word of God), absorbed it, shared it, and lived it CONSISTENLY! No doubt, Paul would humbly refuse such a tribute, but it is no less true. For now, he leaves behind a precious wife and son, but soon, the one who Paul Long consistently preached will bring about a great reunion. We who believe in Jesus look forward to seeing Paul again. There will be worship and praise - then 'Mr. Consistent' will correct my punctuation. We loved Paul Long and our deepest sympathy and prayers are with Karen and Devin. In His grace, Steve and Lynne Brewer.

— Steve & Lynne Brewer
September 18, 2008 at 1:21 p.m.

Mr. Long was my sons' (James and John)teacher in AP English and Bible also their guidance counselor at Grace Brethren. I believe in my heart that he helped tremendously in shaping and guiding my sons to what they have become today. I always thought of him as one of the best teachers at Grace.

May God's peace and love comfort you during these sad times.

— Brenda J. Delos Reyes
September 18, 2008 at 3:32 p.m.

Karen & Devin,
We were deeply saddened for you as we learned about Paul's transition into glory. Although the answers of why are not always answered, God has told us who He is and what we should do. He is sovereign and immutable so his purposes and promises never fail. He has also asked us to be faithful. It was this faithfulness for which our family will always remember Paul. Right now, I can only imagine Paul taking part in a Revelation 19 service:

Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, 'Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.' It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. (vv. 6-8)

Paul will be a portion of our memories, but he is now worshiping our Savior!

With love, prayers, and hope in Him,
The Nandors

— Scott Nandor
September 18, 2008 at 3:50 p.m.

Carl, Jane, Gail, Karen and Devon,
In reading all these wonderful words about your brother, husband and father, I wish that I had known him better. We were in the same youth group at Hampton Park, and in the Acad at BJA, and the University with my husband, (Paul being a couple years older). I am very sorry for your loss, encouraged that you WILL see him again and that he is looking his Lord and Savior in the face and singing His praises. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Doug and Cathy (Gibbins) Richardson
Jonesboro, GA

— Cathy
September 18, 2008 at 4:10 p.m.

Mr. Long and I were always together while we were both at Grace Brethren. I used to eat lunch with him and talk about everything there is to talk about in literature and everything else with him. He was my cross country coach and he used to let me run around inside all the buildings so I could stay in the A/C on those hot summer days. After every race there he was with the carton of chocolate milk I had to drink while on my cooldown. I remember the one time that we finally had a race where other schools that aren't small private schools would finally be there and he told me I wasn't going to have to run because I was injured. That night we took Bri home with us in the van, and even though he almost crashed the van on the way out of the park, we had the funnest time coming home. He was always making exceptions for me so that I would fit in with everyone else, and not feel like a sore thumb loser. He even used to let me sleep in his AP English class, and would always let me bring in some new book to read instead of the conventional ones assigned. I remember on twin day, we ran down to the Family Christian store and bought these way-too-small Veggie Tales shirts, with tight blue jeans. Mr. Long was more than just a teacher to me, he a was a friend and was someone who always made sure I was walking on the right path. Whenever I had questions about marriage and relationships he always knew how to give me the guidance I needed and how to make sure it wasn't some sort of I know better speech. Both me and Bri miss him alot, and are saddened that he wont be able to be there with us physically on that wedding day he always supported but we both know that he won't miss a single thing that any of us goes through while we finish this life to meet him once again.

— Ryan
September 18, 2008 at 4:32 p.m.

We were asked to post the Memorial Service arrangements by one of Paul's Students. It is listed below.

A memorial service will be conducted Monday, September 22, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. at Calvary Community Church, 5495 Via Rocas, Westlake Village, CA with Pastor Tony Amatangelo officiating.

— Jane Hewitt
September 18, 2008 at 5:33 p.m.

It has been many years since I have spoken to either Paul or Karen. Paul was the youth pastor at Thousand Oaks Baptist Church and for the most part my brother and I were the only attenders. We spent a lot of time together at that time. We moved away in 1980 and I only saw them once since then. I was very shocked when I heard of the accident and I feel a great loss even though it has been 28 years. I wish now that I had kept in touch. I remember Paul as a great friend and a very Godly man. Karen, I am so sorry for your loss. We will all meet again in heaven.

— John Fuller
September 19, 2008 at 1:50 a.m.

i know exactly how you feel, my father had passed in that accident, i will pray for him and the whole family. HUGS

— Mey Chao
September 19, 2008 at 9:37 a.m.

Paul once told me "Be as smart as you can, but remember that it's better to be wise than it is to be smart." My heart is saddened by the loss of one of my heroes, my mentor, the man who was supposed to officiate my wedding.

Devin...I have the greatest memory of you. I used to babysit you when you were young. One night (you were about 5 or 6)we sat down to a dinner of pasta and crescent rolls. You looked up at me with a roll in your hand and said (no joke)"Jesus broke bread with his diciples". You are blessed to be a carbon copy of your father!

Karen...Can I have a fanny pack?

With LOVE,
Katie Brewer

— Katie Brewer
September 19, 2008 at 10:25 a.m.

One of the last memories I have of my uncle is talking to him in my aunt's living room in SC. We talked about Florida State football and the ACC, the big Ohio State - USC game (He was pulling for USC), my plans after college, and just life in general. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine that would be the last time I had a one-on-one conversation with my uncle. Close to a week later, it still doesn't seem real. My uncle loved to laugh and never was afraid to make fun of himself. I remember going to the beach and making funny faces with him at the camera when my mom wanted to take a picture. He truly was a big kid at heart. My Uncle Paul was also a dedicated Christian who loved God. I know he's with the Lord now, and I'll see him again some day. Until then, Uncle Paul.

— Lori Hewitt
September 19, 2008 at 7 p.m.

I was bless to have Pastor Paul/Mr. Long as the best teacher I ever had and as a youth pastor; which meant he had a big hand in forming who I am today. Besides my father and now, my husband, no man had a greater impact on my spiritual growth than Paul Long. He was loved by our family and is now sorely missed.

— Erin (Jackson) Skifter
September 19, 2008 at 10:57 p.m.

When I was at Grace I decided to get my nose pierced, which was against dress code. Mr. Long used to always remind me to take it out, until finally one day he decided to cut out small circle bandaids that fit the size of my piercing perfectly. I suppose he did it because he would stand outside with me as I try and pull the jewelry out... my eyes would water and I'd clench with pain. I would say he cut out about ten of them, put them in an envelope and laughed at the delivery. He told me I won't have to take it out anymore as long as it was covered, and now I have no excuses.
He was a great teacher. Infamous for a fanny pack, and leading worship with his wife. He had a lot of pateince, and was geniunely concerned with my future. He helped me apply to different colleges and would consistently ask how things were going. I used to sit through tutoring with him, in hopes to pass the AP exam. Although I was there just to get help, I always enjoyed our time. If anything was ever wrong he would ask for a hand in prayer and give his encouragement. Mr. Long is a man of God, a loving father, and an inspirational teacher. I give great thanks to Mr. Long for his hard work and dedication. For the extra effort he put into my future, and the smiles he brought to my face.

— Alyssa Matsuno
September 21, 2008 at 9:45 a.m.

Mr. Long was my 7th-10th grade English teach at Grace Brethren. He would take time to mentor everyone and help anybody that needed it. He was a great person and a teacher that we could all learn from. He will be greatly missed.

— Nabih Khoury
September 21, 2008 at 12:35 p.m.

Bob and I have fond memories of the Bible studies, youth groups and school events that we attended with both Paul and you. We also recall the meals out and the Christian concerts where we could just be friends and support one another. We shared in the power of prayer until Devin was born. We miss you Paul! We love you Karen & Devin.

— Stella Oster
September 21, 2008 at 4:44 p.m.

Mr. Long,
You are an amazing person and i hope you can hear me right now becuase you have tocuhed all of my families lives. Thank you for everything. I don't know what i am going to to without you at oaks but i know that your spirit is looking down on us from heaven and that your spirit will always be at oaks.
sorry about this message right now it has bad grammar but at lease i have a comma and you always taught me that you can put a comma anywhere.

— evan
September 21, 2008 at 5:06 p.m.

Mr. Long we all know is in a better place. There is suffering, evil, hurting, loss, but we know that Mr. Long is in heaven praising his creator in perfect peace. You will always be missed but we all have the hope that we will see Mr. Long again in heaven!

— Grace Student
September 21, 2008 at 5:27 p.m.

Mr. Paul Long was the fewest childhood teachers I remain contact with. I had him as my English, Math, Bible and PE teacher from 1987 - 1993. There was no doubt of his love for God and for his students. He demonstrated a professional relationship with each of his students, and a sincere passion for each of us to succeed. I also had him as my Choir teacher back in elementary school at Indian Hills Christian Academy. Mrs. Long, Karen was also my 2nd grade teacher! And when I graduated highschool, I was supposed to address him by his first name, but every time I see him, I still address him as Mr. Long.

Mrs. Long and Devon,
May the peace of our Lord be with you during these times. Mr. Long is now home with our Lord. God bless you both!


— Edward (Eddie) Schyvynck
September 21, 2008 at 8:52 p.m.

God's work through Paul's life has been made so evident over the past few weeks. Paul himself would not have believed it if we could have told him how much God would be able to use a time like this.

Working and coaching with Paul, Karen and Devin for 12 years at Grace Brethren, I can confidently say that I never knew a man who was more comfortable NOT conforming to this world as Paul was. He was truly a man of integrity. From his sense of humor to his style of coaching, he stayed true and honored God through his actions. His life-long lessons and Biblical applications will be with us forever. I wish I had Paul as a teacher through High School. Thank God for Paul Long and his family!

— Tim Plaster
September 21, 2008 at 10:24 p.m.

I'm reminded of a scene from "Meet Joe Black" where Anthony Hopkins asks Brad Pitt "Should I be afraid (of death)" and Brad Pitt answers back, "Not a man like you"...Well I am certain that Mr. Long was not afraid of dying because he knew, like the rest of us, where he would end Heaven!!! Mr. Long was my English and Math teacher at Grace Brethren Jr. High from 1988-1991. I remember him and Mrs. Long back at Indian Hills Christian Academy when Mrs. Long was my 2nd grade teacher...such good deepest sympathy goes out the the Long Family in this time of'll be forever missed on this earth Mr. Long, but we will see you again. Thank you for everything you taught me.

— Eli Khoury
September 21, 2008 at 10:57 p.m.

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Paul. He was my teacher at Indian Hills Academy. Although I hadn't seen Paul and Karen in a while, the memories of my time at Indian Hills are all the richer because he is part of them. He was a true encourager who had the ability to make us all laugh. Thank you, Paul, for the time you invested in my life so many years ago. Our love and prayers go out to Karen and Devin. May the peace of God comfort you both.
The Millers

— Greg Miller
September 21, 2008 at 11:51 p.m.

I was one of the lucky girls that knew Paul as my youth pastor over 10 years ago. I used to think that us five (consistent) girls in his youth group at Simi Valley (now Faith) Christian Church were very special to him, but after reading a few of these touching comments, I realized that MANY of the youth he worked with over the years felt the same way. I think this fact just speaks to the love he had for his work and youth as well as the strength of his ministry. I will always remember him the way I have always known him and saw him last; vibrant, happy and excited about life. Karen and Devin, you will be blessed for sharing this wonderful man with all of us, he will be missed, and you will always be in our thoughts. I love you.

— Kathryn Rosa Couch
September 22, 2008 at 1:48 a.m.

I'm reminded of the scene in the movie "Meet Joe Black" where Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt are walking up over the hill towards the end and Anthony pauses for a second and asks Brad Pitt, "Should I be afraid (of death)?" and Brad Pitt replies, "Not a man like you." I am certain that Mr Long felt the same way because he knew, just like the rest of us, exactly where he was Heaven. Mr. Long was my English and Math teacher at Grace Brethren Jr. High from 1988-1991 and Mrs. Long was my 2nd Grade teacher at Indian Hills Christian deepest sympathy goes out to the Long family in these sad times...Mr. Long will be forever missed, but we will see him again. Mr. Long, thank you for everything you taught me.

— Eli Khoury
September 22, 2008 at 8:45 a.m.

Karen, I was saddened to hear of your loss. I remember you and Paul from many years when we all taught at Indian Hills Christian Academy. You always made me feel welcomed as the new kid on the block when I took over a class mid-year. Then the next year, when our world was in turmoil over the loss of 2 teachers and the combination of classes resulting from it, you were a stronghold to the semi-new still wet behind the ear teacher who just went from a class of 9 to a class of about 35. I remember you and Paul fondly and have about you and prayed for you over the many years. God bless you and your son and place His loving arms of support around you at this time. I just heard about the service for Paul this morning and wish I had been able to attend. I never knew you were blessed with a son until today and my heart goes out to him. My Joy will be 16 in January and I don't know what she would do with me and vice versa. God bless you and keep you. Deena

— Deena (Marshall) White
September 22, 2008 at 11:04 a.m.

Mr. Long was never my teacher, but I've known Devin since I was in kindergarten. I got to know Mr. Long over the 8th grade east coast trip and after that, Devin and I switched over from Grace to Oaks for the start of our 9th grade year. I will always remember Mr. Long as the man who made every attempt to see every sports team play. He loved to support the school and he did so by teaching his students and cheering for his students during sports games. Thank you Mr. Long for always asking me how I was doing in school, sports, and overall, life. You're family is in our prayers! We love and miss you!

— Leah
September 22, 2008 at 7:11 p.m.

If any of you were students, you know exactly what that is. I was a student at grace brethren for every grade except 12th. I am in my early 30s now.
Mr. Long was by far the most impressionable teacher ever. He actually cared. I think his class was the first class we all sat in a circle. I remember trying to learn a whole bunch of no way does my limited vocabulary correlate to Mr. Long..

Anyways, we used to make paper footballs in his class and when he wasnt looking, we would chuck them hard and bop people in the face. We also did spit wauds too. If i had to speak to any of my teachers about personal issues, he was the one i would consider.

He cared about the students and supported us at almost every game. He cared and we knew it. My cousin went to Grace Brethren and the first thing I said to him was, "Do you have Mr. Long?" S TRV IO DO comes into mind right now... S LV PA? hazy..
You could just tell that he actually cared and wasnt fake. He was 100 percent genuine.
I'm sorry for your loss and my prayers are with you and your family.

— Chris Stevens
September 23, 2008 at 3:15 a.m.

Mr. Long was the best part of my high school days. He was open, caring, and seemed to know a little bit about everything. So many times, my classmates in German class conspired to get him talking so that we wouldn't actually have a lesson that day... but even then, you learned so much from him. I would spend hours just chatting with him after class, because we were both J.R.R. Tolkein fans and eagerly awaiting the movies coming out.

This is just a tiny sampling of the memories I have of Paul. I owe him so much, and I will miss him terribly.

— Kira Wilson
September 23, 2008 at 3:52 p.m.

My familly met Paul and Karen at Thousand Oaks Baptist over 25 years ago where my mother, Carol, was the organist and Karen was the Pianist while Paul lead worship. Paul always had a great knack for choosing the hymns that would tie into the sermon of the day. One of the biggest treats was when Paul was the "substitute preacher" occasionally. He had a way of getting the message across that made you smile and enjoy learning. His love for the Word of God shone through.

Both he and Karen put up with my silly childishness at AWANA and into the youth group as time went on. Such patience with such a rouge! Paul was my history teacher at my brief stint at Liberty Canyon Christian, and again, he helped me learn and do well that year almost effortlessly.

When my mother emailed me the news, I sat in shock and disbelief and finally, tears. I read about the collision in the papers (I was in Thailand at the time and live in London) but couldn't believe that someone I know and respect was taken as a result.

Paul was and is an example of what a true man is and most definitely the epitome a Hero. His example has touched so many lives around the world, and for that, I know God will reward him greatly.

— Laura-Lynn (Long) Sandes
September 25, 2008 at 10:36 a.m.

To my dearest family, some things I'd like to say...
but first of all, to let you know, that I arrived okay.
I'm writing this from heaven. Here I dwell with God above.
Here, there's no more tears of sadness; here is just eternal love.

Please do not be unhappy just because I'm out of sight.
Remember that I'm with you every morning, noon and night.
That day I had to leave you when my life on earth was through,
God picked me up and hugged me and He said, ""I welcome you.""

It's good to have you back again; you were missed while you were gone.
As for your dearest family, they'll be here later on.
I need you here badly; you're part of my plan.
There's so much that we have to do, to help our mortal man.

God gave me a list of things, that he wished for me to do.
And foremost on the list, was to watch and care for you.
And when you lie in bed at night, the day's chores put to flight.
God and I are closest to the middle of the night.

When you think of my life on earth, and all those loving years
because you are only human, they are bound to bring you tears.
But do not be afraid to cry; it does relieve the pain.
Remember there would be no flowers, unless there was some rain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned.
But if I were to tell you, you wouldn't understand.
But one thing is for certain, though my life on earth is over.
I'm closer to you now, than I ever was before.

There are many rocky roads ahead of you and many hills to climb;
but together we can do it by taking one day at a time.
It was always my philosophy and I'd like it for you too...
that as you give unto the world, the world will give to you.

If you can help somebody who's in sorrow and pain,
then you can say to God at night......""My day was not in vain.""
And now I am content....that my life has been worthwhile,
knowing as I passed along the way, I made somebody smile.

So if you meet somebody who is sad and feeling low,
just lend a hand to pick him up, as on your way you go.
When you're walking down the street, and you've got me on your mind;
I'm walking in your footsteps only half a step behind.

And when it's time for you to go.... from that body to be free,
remember you're not're coming here to me.

Ruth Ann Mahaffey (author)
~With LOVE from me to you.

— Anel Azusena, City of Angels (L.A), California
September 26, 2008 at 12:44 p.m.

Though we all may have lost someone who is a big part of our lives and our hearts and we are not able to replace or fill that emptyness that our love ones have taken with them when they left this world. but i hope that maybe we all can come together and allow each other to come into each others lives since i know that we all share the same pain. when my father passed in that metrolink 2008 crash my life has not been the same and its been very difficult, my father left behind his wife and 5 children and so many grand children, and we all miss and love him so much but talkin about him with my family and remembering all the good times we had with him helps us with our pain of losing him. so i just would like to let you all know i am here if you need to talk or just someone to listen to you. my email is

my hearts and prayers go out to you.

— mey chao
October 1, 2008 at 10:04 a.m.

It was early morning when I learned of the train crash. I was up feeding my newborn baby. I knew several people who took that train and immediately prayed for everyone on that train. Fortunately, two close friends decided that afternoon to take a different means of transportation...out of the blue. My mom called me that afternoon and asked me if I remembered a Mr. Long from Grace Brethren School. I said, "oh yes." She then told me that he had died in the train crash. Tears poured down my face. I just couldn't believe it. Mr. Long was my English and Algebra teacher at GBS. I attended Grace Brethren from 1980-1989. Mr. Long was a very caring and compassionate man who loved Jesus Christ. He was an honest and fair teacher. I vividly remember his Michael W. Smith and Petra posters hanging on the walls. He introduced all of us to Christian Rock (there were only about 75 students in the whole school at that time). We all were a tight-knit group of kids. I remember the skinny ties that he wore and that he always, ALWAYS brushed his teeth after his lunch break. He would always come back into class with toothbrush and paste in hand. He will be missed dearly on this earth...but for those who believe will see him again one day!!!

— Stephanie (Booth) Slayman
October 1, 2008 at 2:42 p.m.

We did not know Paul but heard so many wonderful things about him while we were in California. Our son Christopher was also killed in the accident so we understand the grief you are feeling. Please know our hearts are breaking for you also and prayers are with you at this time. May all those wonderful memories you have of him help sustain you.

— Donna & Roy Aiken
October 4, 2008 at 2:03 p.m.

From the first graduating class of Grace in 1993 I had the great priviledge of having Mr. Long as my teacher for all the years I was at Grace and his impact on my life has been continually felt even until this day. Like others I as well grew a great love for English and Christian rock (and metal) from his wonderful classes. His clases were the ones I looked most forwarded to.

It's sometimes hard to understand why God chooses to take such incredible people at such difficult times, but we can all be asured that Mr. Long is in the presence of our great and amazing God and Savior. Our precious Father in heaven will take watch over his family and will strengthen them in this time of need. All of our prayers are with the Long family. May the love and grace of God strengthen you.

— Jason Stevens
October 5, 2008 at 11:05 p.m.

its been one month since you died. i still think about you everyday. and i miss you. i wish i could have known you better. but i didn't get that chance. i don't know why God didn't give me that chance. but i love you. "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21.

Thank you for being such an amazing teacher and for teaching me how to love and how to live and how to die in a way that is honorable and that is affecting to those around. I will love you forever Mr. Long. Oaks Christian still misses you and we always will. Devin is being taken care of. I thought you might like to know. We know that you are with him and with us everyday but your earthly presence is missed. Please say hi to Steven Jackson for me. And to God. I know you're with Him. You couldn't be in a better place.

— someone who loves you
October 18, 2008 at 3:39 p.m.

To Paul Long's Family.... as you approach this first Christmas since your father and husband's death...May you find comfort knowing that because of this glorious occassion and the birth of our dear Lord, you will see him again...all of the pain and hurt that you may feel will be gone and you will know peace....

— ...someone who remembers....
December 22, 2008 at 6:20 p.m.

Mr. Long was more than just my teacher in ninth grade. He was also my cross-country coach, my fellow fantasy fanatic, and my little league baseball coach for nearly five years. I can still vividly remember standing on the baseball field and going through the repetitions of the perfect baseball throw. He never gave up on all of us annoying and probably unskilled players, and his excitement for when we performed the perfect throw was one hundred percent genuine. This reaction perfectly captures the spirit of Mr. Long. He didn't mute his feelings. He loved everyone and honestly hoped only for the growth of others whether in knowledge or in Christ. He taught me how to throw a baseball, how to keep going in a race, how you can be excited about geeky things and be proud, and more than I have room to recount. I'll never forget Mr. Long, and I praise and thank God almost everyday that He let me have so much time with him.

— Austin Smith
January 27, 2009 at 11:38 p.m.

Dear Karen and family, My name is Jan Grace and I lost my husband Ron in the accident. Iam hoping you would be interested in joining us in a support group that is meeting every Sat. at the Simi Senior Center. It is being run by professional counselor's from a hospice in thousand oaks at no cost. The first meeting was last Sat. and I found it very helpful and supportive being with the family members who share the sadness of the loss we all experienced together that fateful day. I'm hoping that you and your family can come and join us and we can help each other in the healing process.
Jan Grace-Simi Valley

— Jan Grace
April 2, 2009 at 11:12 a.m.

that is very sad my prayers go out to the family of this man, but it's really ironic how he was returning from a funeral when the train crashed i'm sorry

— Minkus
April 13, 2009 at 10:11 a.m.

It has been well over a year since Mr. Long's passing and I am just now struck with the memory of his beautiful heart. My sophomore at Grace I decided to run. I joined cross country and was terrible at it. During my first race I got lost on the switch-backs and finished at about 45 minutes. All Mr. Long could say to me was how proud he was that I finished, that I stuck it out, that I did not give up. I was beyond embarassed yet he saw no reason for this. He saw past my in flaws and I believe he saw past most peoples flaws. What an admirable characteristic! I aspire to be this way. You are missed, loved, and admired Long! May God continue to bless your family.

— Jenny Velas
February 22, 2010 at 4:41 p.m.

Rmembering my brother 2 years later.

— Gail Nicholas
September 12, 2010 at 1:56 p.m.

We miss you.

— Oaks Christian School
September 13, 2010 at 9:01 p.m.

Share a memory of Paul.

Email addresses are not republished or used for marketing purposes.
Keep in mind
  • The Times initially mispelled the name of Michael Hammersley and Beverly Mosley.
  • The coroner's office reported a 26th victim the afternoon of Sept. 15, but a few hours later said the tally was 25.

Chatsworth Metrolink Crash is the Los Angeles Times' database of fatalities from the Sept. 12, 2008, train collision.

Latest Numbers

25 dead

135 injured

About the Data Desk

This page was created by the Data Desk, a team of reporters and Web developers at The Times.