William Arthur ‘Bill’ Longfellow

Published 4:41 pm Wednesday, October 30, 2019

William Arthur “Bill” Longfellow died Oct. 26, 2019, at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, where he received outstanding care from loving medical professionals after a battle with cancer and heart failure.

Bill was 88 years old.

Bill, an only child, was born Feb. 1, 1931 in Portland, Ore. Before making his home in Vicksburg 37 years ago, he lived most of his life in New Orleans, La. 

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He graduated from Loyola University with a degree in economics and was proud to serve in the Air Force during the Korean War.

An entrepreneur and preservation enthusiast, Bill restored historic homes in Louisiana and Mississippi.

The Martha Vick House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, and another house he restored on Grove Street were both awarded the Rehabilitation Award by the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation. 

After years of neglect, with imagination and determination, Bill and his partner, David Dabney, made the Martha Vick House a much-loved piece of the historic fabric of Vicksburg. 

Bill enjoyed giving tours of the Martha Vick House and hosting parties including Vick Family reunions, weekly bridge games, special occasions and long remembered New Year’s Eve parties. According to Gailen Vick, the president of the Joseph Vick Family of America Genealogical Society, Bill is the only honorary Vick family member.

After hosting more than two decades of Passover Seder for the Vicksburg area Jewish community, Bill was very pleased to be an honorary member of the Jewish community. 

The last five years Bill and Dorothy Brasfield were inseparable.  Bill and Dorothy spent their time traveling, attending Mississippi Symphony Orchestra events and Church of the Holy Trinity services.  They had fun with Dorothy’s daughter, Jean, playing with the many pets at Tannenbaum, Dorothy’s country estate. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; his grandson, William David Weinell; and his partner of 37 years, David Hunt Dabney.

Bill is survived by many friends; his beloved Dorothy Brasfield and her two daughters Dorothy Jean Blakeney and Lynn Vinson and her husband David Vinson; his two daughters, Lisa Ann Longfellow and Karen Longfellow Stone and their families.

Lisa and her husband, David Weinell have homes in Destrehan, La. and on Grove Street in Vicksburg.  Karen and her husband, Andy Stone, live in Brentwood, Tenn.

Grandchildren include Sebastian James Weinell; Kathryn Stone Walker and her husband J. Patrick Walker; Robert Andrew Stone; and Jackson Longfellow Stone.

Services will be Friday, Nov. 1, at 3 p.m. at Church of the Holy Trinity with the Rev. Andy Andrews officiating.  Friends are invited to the Martha Vick House after the service for visitation and refreshments.

Burial will be in Portland, Ore., where four generations will be buried together at River View Cemetery with a view of the Willamette River and Mount Hood, the same view Bill enjoyed as a child.

Memorials may be made to the Music Department or the Grounds and Building Fund at Church of the Holy Trinity, Episcopal.