Cover photo for David Stevens Longson's Obituary
David Stevens Longson Profile Photo

David Stevens Longson

September 8, 1963 — July 17, 2023

David Stevens Longson

If you were listening in the wee hours of the morning on July 17, 2023, coming from the heavens you heard what surely were the most joyous sounds of reunion imaginable. David Longson, “Big D”, finally was able to shed his down syndrome and stroke-crippled mortal body.

Oh how little we knew that that day when Frank (our dad) returned from the hospital, gathered us (Julie, Mark and Greg) around him, and told us that Betty (our mom) had given birth to a “special” baby. He used words like “down syndrome” that meant nothing to us. All we knew, once Dave came home from the hospital, was that he looked a little “odd”. Well, life in the Longson family (and many others) was about to change forever!

None of us kids really experienced the early-life challenges that Frank and Betty had raising a down syndrome child. What we did experience in Frank and Betty was two parents who loved this special child unconditionally. They taught us to view Dave as a celestial spirit in a special body who had come to earth to test us…because he had already passed the test.

Needless to say to anyone who knew Dave, he didn’t test us, he blessed us! We witnessed Dave display love and create love that none of us can really describe. His humor is legendary. His sayings are legendary. His hugs and kisses are legendary. All who knew him didn’t just love him, they relished that he knew and loved them.

In case anyone thinks that those with down syndrome have lives that are limited, Dave proved that wrong. We don’t even know where to start describing his life but here are a few highlights.

Hartvigsen Elementary School (1967-86) – this incredible school and the amazing staff saw that down syndrome kids could learn much more than anyone thought. Dave came away so blessed.

Scouting – Dave obtained the rank of Eagle Scout in 1981. The special needs troop and the angels that were dedicated to that troop gave special needs kids a marvelous experience.

Special Olympics – nothing beat watching the joy of seeing these kids compete and relish the experience regardless of the outcome. Dave skied, played basketball, ran track, swam, etc. in the Special Olympics. He attended two international Special Olympics. His medal collection is enviable, accumulating more than 100 medals. He loved wearing his medals in public to show his accomplishments.

Primary and Priesthood – Betty saw the need and organized a special needs primary that eventually brought in kids from all of Salt Lake City. Their primary programs were legendary with all of us alternately crying and laughing. Dave relished being baptized and receiving the Priesthood. Dave passed the Sacrament every chance he had. He loved to serve.

Mission – Dave was called on a two-year mission in 1998. He served two years at Hartvigsen Elementary School pushing the wheelchair-bound kids from the school to the seminary. Diligently, he served every day rain or shine.

Martin Door Manufacturing – In 1988, Dave was hired at Martin Door to work in the manufacturing area doing odd jobs. Dave’s social nature and humor soon became distracting to the other employees who loved being around him more than working. Soon, Dave’s work was transitioned to preparing the instructional paperwork that was included in each door. Dave became Martin Door’s longest-tenured employee.

Jazz Games – how many times can a shoe be tied and untied? Depends on how close the game was. How many can say they attended a Jazz game with Big D who always bought dinner as well as providing the tickets and a parking pass? The ripple effect of Dave’s generosity extends for miles! Dave was in a commercial and used the royalties for years to buy Jazz tickets.

His Birthday – the greatest of all challenges! Who can come up with the gift that gets the “look”. We all tried and were most often defeated by the complete random nature of his choice. Dave loved celebrating his birthday and we loved celebrating it with him. We’re sad we’ll miss what would have been his 60th this year.

Dave-isms – You will have to come to the funeral to hear even a few of them. Dave came up with so many sayings and they have infiltrated the vocabulary of so many. While his language was difficult to understand by some, his sayings were understandable to all who heard them. His legend will endure as we all continue to use his sayings.

Animals, especially dogs – they loved Dave and Dave loved them. The goodness and unconditional love displayed by pets were perfectly reciprocated by Dave.

What can we say about Dave’s angels here on earth (there are too many to mention)! You came into Dave’s life when he needed you and you needed him. Every niece and nephew became his best girlfriend or best friend. Libby, Sabrina, Kate and Morgan were his best girlfriends of late, making him laugh and feel loved. Teola Gordon was the first angel when she accepted a calling as his Sunday School teacher. When Dave lost Betty, he was distraught but couldn’t convey to us the size of the hole in his heart. Dorretta came into his life and loved him like he was her own son. Jill and Terry took Dave into their home after his stroke and made him part of their family. Their love of Dave is exemplary. As Dave’s needs grew, Michelle and Lima began their special care of him. We cannot sufficiently say thank you to all the angels!

If you knew Dave, you loved Dave! Thank you Dave for changing our lives for the better! We love you and cannot wait to meet you as a celestial being in a celestial body!

Dave is survived by his siblings Mark (Michelle) Longson, Greg (Dorothy) Longson, Jill (Terry) Toone, Matt (Kristin) Longson. Dave was preceded in death by his parents Frank and Betty, his sister Julie, sister-in-law Sharon Longson, sister-in-law Chris Longson and his grandparents. He leaves behind many nieces and nephews who loved him SO much.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, July 22nd at the Holladay 14th Ward building, 4917 Viewmont Street, Holladay, Utah at 1:00 p.m. A viewing will be held at the same location Friday, July 21st from 6-8 pm and Saturday from 12:00-12:45 pm. Interment at Wasatch Lawn. In lieu of flowers please donate to the Special Olympics or the Humane Society.

The service will be livestreamed on the Goff Mortuary Facebook Page at the following link: 
https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Funeral-Service---Cemetery/Goff-Mortuary-116988261695382/ 
(The livestream video will appear when the service starts.)

 

 

 

 

 


David Longson - Funeral Recording.mp3

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