Lt. Gen. Michael P. DeLong, USMC, Retired, 73, of Treasure Island, passed away unexpectedly July 27, 2018.
Michael was born March 15, 1945 in Kinston, NC to the late Phillip C. and Katherine (Cahill) DeLong. He is survived by his beloved wife, Katherine; son, Phillip DeLong of Colorado; and sister, Susan Newton of Lady Lake, Florida. Michael was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy. He received his master’s degree from Central Michigan University. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy, Lt. Gen. DeLong was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the Marine Corps and went to flight school at Pensacola, FL. A true war hero, he served tours in Vietnam where he survived being shot down three times; additionally, he served in Somalia, campaigns Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Lt. Gen. DeLong considered his times as a Commanding Officer the most enjoyable tours. He commanded the squadron, HMM-266 in New River, NC as a Lt. Col. Marine Aviation Weapons, Tactics Squadron (MATWS-1) as a Col. in Yuma, AZ, and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in Miramar, California as a Major General. His last assignment was the Deputy Commander, United States Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, where he set up the first coalition of international forces from as many as 80 countries. He retired in 2003 after more than 36 years of military service. A distinguished author, he wrote several books about his time as the Deputy Commander at CENTCOM.
Upon retirement from the Marine Corps in October 2003, he transitioned to the civilian workforce as Senior Vice President of the Shaw Group, Inc. From 2008 until 2013, he served as Vice President of Boeing International Corporation. Since 2003, he was a Board Member of Sykes Enterprises.
Michael was the epitome of the Marine motto "Semper Fidelis", always faithful. He was loyal to his family, his country, and his service. Michael always took care of "his Marines". Among Marines, he had the reputation for being firm but fair. He was never afraid to make the hard call, no matter the occasion. Michael was always the guy you wanted on your side. He was smart, competitive, and unafraid; a true "bulldog" of a man who had a tender side as well. Always quick with smile and a laugh, he approached life with gusto. He will be missed by many.
Visitation will be held from 3:00 to 5:00 pm on Sunday, August 5th at the David C. Gross Funeral Home in St. Petersburg. Interment will follow at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.
A reception will follow on Sunday at 5:30 pm on St. Pete Beach. Information will be available at the funeral home during the visitation.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the charity of your choice.
David C. Gross Funeral Homes, Central Avenue Chapel in St. Petersburg is serving the family.