Obituary of Michael Joseph Longden

October 2, 1948 - May 21, 2024

Michael Joseph Longden, age 75, of Potwin, Kansas passed away on Tuesday, May 21, 2024. Michael was born October 2, 1948, in Lafayette, Indiana to Alice Reed Longden and Joe B. Longden. He married Marilyn Sue Switch on December 4, 1976 in Dallas, Texas. They have two children and five grandchildren.

In May of 1963, Mike accepted Christ as his personal Savior at a Youth for Christ rally in Indianapolis, Indiana where he understood that his sins were paid for by Jesus on the cross. As Mike put it, he was “grateful for daily personal Bible reading and prayer time and learned much about God’s love, mercy, and His discipline to him during his life."

Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College in Illinois. At that time, his future plans were to be in missionary work. In 1974 he received his Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. While attending seminary he served in various Christian ministries with children and adults.

Mike was a hard worker and paid his way through schooling by selling Bibles in the summer in the South. Owing to his skills for meeting people, his more permanent employment was selling door to door as a Fuller Brush Man.

Mike was blessed to share the Word of God and salvation with so many people groups and cultures: Sunday School children, camp children, people in Guatemala in the summer of 1969, inner-city children in Dallas during seminary, the rural population in Kansas, Native Americans, those in care homes, and those on hospice. Mike saw it as a great privilege to minister in these ways.

God's plan for Mike was to be known as "Pastor" to three different congregations in Kansas. Mike also served as a Hospice Chaplain and later retired as chaplain from Wheat State Manor in Whitewater, Kansas.

Mike was a loving and kind man to his wife, Marilyn, and to his children, Mary and Ben. To his five grandchildren he was best known as the "Dancing Bear". Yes, Mike took dancing lessons in his youth and played in the hand bell choir in high school. He was a wonderful grandpa to his "grands" and enjoyed reading stories and having prayers and devotions with them.

Mike was generally a quiet man, faithfully and humbly serving others throughout his days. However, he also had a sense of humor and was quite hilarious, with many funny stories to share.

He will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Michael is survived by his wife, Marilyn Sue Longden; daughter Mary Elizabeth Busenitz (Arlen); son James Ben Longden; brother Richard Longden (Susan); and grandchildren Emily Busenitz, Carson Busenitz, Jessica Busenitz, Joseph Busenitz, and Jaden Busenitz.

Michael was preceded in death by his father Joe B. Longden; mother Alice Reed Longden; and brother Stephen Longden.

A visitation for Michael will be held Thursday, May 30, 2024 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM at Grace Baptist Church, 10907 KS-196, Whitewater, KS 67154. A Memorial Service will occur Friday, May 31, 2024 at 2:00 PM at Grace Baptist Church. There will be a private family burial at Lakeview Cemetery.

Contributions in Michael's memory may be made to Child Evangelism Fellowship of Kansas, 8413 W Murdock St, Wichita, Kansas 67212,; and Grace Baptist Church Missionary Fund, PO Box 118, Whitewater, Kansas 67154,


Personal Footnote: Mike Longden is not one of my blood relatives, though he certainly is a brother in Christ. Mike and I graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in the same year, 1974. We have kept in contact over the years, and my wife and I have been in his and Marilyn's home several times.

I wish to post his obituary as an honor to a friend and committed follower of the Great and Coming King, Jesus.

Last Updated May 27, 2024