Cover photo for Michael Longbella's Obituary
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1946 Michael 2024

Michael Longbella

March 30, 1946 — May 24, 2024

Motley, MN

Michael Francis "Mike" Longbella, a much-loved husband, dad and papa, passed away on May 24, 2024, in his hometown of Staples, Minnesota. He was born to Ernest and Corene Longbella on March 30, 1946 at the Staples Hospital, attended and graduated from Staples High School in 1965, and married his 6th grade sweetheart, Shirley Farber, on November 12, 1965 in a ceremony held in Phoenix, Arizona where they had moved to when he was hired right out of high school as a machinist by Sperry Phoenix Aero Space – a division of Sperry Rand that manufactured aeronautical machinery. Shortly after, he was drafted into the army and served with the 527th Personnel Service Company in Qui Nhon Vietnam from December 14, 1965 until October 30, 1967 when he received an honorable discharge. After completing his duty to his country, Mike and Shirley returned home to Staples, Minnesota and a few years later, on August 19, 1968 they welcomed their daughter, Shela, into the world making their family complete.

Mike was a talented, wise, and hard-working man his whole life. As a young boy he was very ambitious and outgoing. He would shovel others sidewalks, mow lawn, trim hedges, and had a paper route. Throughout high school he worked at the bowling alley and theater in town to help his family out. After returning home from the service, his machinist job was waiting for him but he knew he wasn’t able to do that kind of work anymore. Instead, he worked as a cook at the high school in Staples, moved to Burnsville working at Midline Glass, returned home to Motley and worked at the Two Rivers Grocery Store, as a custodian at the Motley School and retired as the custodian at Seafest/Multifoods in Motley. He relied on no one but himself to accomplish anything and everything he set his mind to doing. It was his stubbornness and determination that ­­­led him through life – doing things his own way and it was his loyalty, strength and commitment that made him so loved.

Some of his hobbies included reading, cooking, woodworking, drawing, painting, carving, and wood burning. 

Predeceased by his parents and his brother Gary, Mike's memory is honored and kept alive by his loving wife Shirley, his daughter Shela, his Son-in-law Curtis, his grandsons Alex & Zachary – that he loved more than life, his brother Wayne, his sister Karen (Steve) Hoemberg, several brothers & sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews.

A service to celebrate Mike's life will be held on May 30, 2024, at 11:00 am at the Brenny Family Funeral Chapel in Staples, Minnesota with a reception to follow. Mike will be laid to rest at the Motley Cemetery at a later date.

Mike’s life is one of dedication, love, and an unwavering commitment to his family who will miss him deeply.  

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Brenny Family Funeral Chapel, Staples.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael Longbella, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Brenny Family Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services - Staples

309 N Fourth Street, Staples, MN 56479

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Thursday, May 30, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Brenny Family Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services - Staples

309 N Fourth Street, Staples, MN 56479

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, May 30, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Brenny Family Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services - Staples

309 N Fourth Street, Staples, MN 56479

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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