Michael Walter DeLong was born April 2, 1952, in Lapeer, MI.
During and after high school he worked on a neighbor’s dairy farm, which he loved.
He attended Lapeer High School, graduating in 1970. He then attended one semester at Michigan State University, working toward an agricultural degree. God had other plans for Mike. At Christmas break he went to his home church Hunter’s Creek Community's youth retreat and got saved. The Lord led him to attend Grand Rapids School of Bible and Music, graduating with a degree in Christian Education in 1977.
He married Robyn Susnik on October 24, 1981, at Woodward Avenue Baptist Church in Wyoming, Michigan.
He began serving the Lord in many capacities at Woodward Avenue Baptist Church, including associate pastor of the bus ministry (bringing in 200-300 children weekly), leading Junior Church and Wednesday night Awana. He and Robyn created the Bible Adventures, the puppet ministry, and filled in for Sunday School wherever they needed help. He gave his heart to ministry.
During this time he learned how to roof and build houses with a good friend, Jim Greiner. He roofed for over 12 years before God called him and his family to move to Motley, Minnesota and began working for Abeka Book from 1994-2004, working with Christian schools and homeschooling families. During this time he continued to serve in local churches working with children ministries.
In the years that followed, he worked for Carpet Direct and in various group homes, including MSHS-Wadena, retiring in 2016 due to the onset of Alzheimer’s.
His spirit and love for people continued. He always had a smile on his face and laughter in his heart. He loved to tell jokes, his favorite being the Pink Gorilla and Herman the German, telling them to whatever group he was with. In addition to spending time with his kids, a few of Mike’s favorite things were hunting, fishing, and cheering on all his Michigan sports teams. With the progression of Alzheimer’s he was unable to speak, but the smile and laughter never left him.
He joined the family of God in heaven on September 3, 2021.
He leaves behind a loving family that will always cherish his memories. His wife Robyn, of 39+ years, his children, whom he adored, Ashley DeLong, (Luke Robideaux), Michael (Chelsey) DeLong, Brittany DeLong (fiancé, Mitch Windt), and Wesley DeLong (Lauren Harkrider), two grandchildren, Oliver DeLong-Larsen and Katherine DeLong, whom he lit up just hearing their names.
He is survived by three sisters, Kaye (Dana) Vowels, Ruth (Tom) Richards, and Cindy (Ralph) Diffenderfer. Many nieces and nephews, two brothers in laws: Scott Susnik (Kelly) and Mark Susnik. Many aunts and uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Phyliss DeLong, sister, Sharon Reyes, and parents in law, Richard and Gloria Susnik.
“Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”
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