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Mattie H. Long, age 89 of New Haven, Connecticut, passed away on Easter Sunday, April 4th at her son’s home in Benton, Kentucky.
She was born March 11, 1932 in Goldsboro, North Carolina the daughter of the late Robert and Bessie Hatcher.
Music was Mattie's life. She was born into a musical family. Her mother was the music director and organist for their church and her father and aunt sang in the choir. Her grandfather was a music director as well. After studying music for many years from her parents and winning talent competitions at school to studying voice for two summers at the Juilliard School of Music, she enrolled in Fisk University where her talents were quickly noticed. She majored in music with a minor in education. It was not long before she was selected to be one of the famed Jubilee Singers where only 16 members are selected.
After graduating from Fisk, her talents took her to the classroom where after moving to New Haven, Connecticut she taught music and appreciation to inner city youth for more than 37 years. From her humble beginnings, church was always very near and dear to her heart. She joined First Presbyterian Church where she became a member of the choir and sang until just a couple of years before her passing. She also sang with the New Haven Oratorio Choir, the Heritage Chorale and was a long-time member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW). Mattie was an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. beginning at Fisk University in 1951. She later went on to serve as president of the New Haven Alumnae Chapter from 1966 to 1968. In 1984 with Delilah Gomes, Mattie helped charter and served as an advisor to Pi Alpha an undergraduate chapter comprised of student members from Yale University, Southern Connecticut State University, University of New Haven, University of Connecticut and Wesleyan University, since its inception.
Raising three sons, Andrew Jr., Robert, and Stephen, was the joy of Mattie’s life.
She ran the race against all odds and adversities and won.
I'm sure God will tell her "Well done my good and faithful servant".
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Andrew Long Sr. and a son, Robert Long. She is survived by two sons, Andrew Long Jr. (Lesa) of Benton, Kentucky and Stephen Long of Nashville, Tennessee; ten grandchildren and five great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be announced on a later date.