School 13
Official Obituary of

Dr. Eric Vincent "Ehrick" Long

February 1, 1962 ~ February 29, 2024 (age 62) 62 Years Old

Dr. Eric Long Obituary

Ehrick (Eric) Long born February 1, 1962, a Walnut Hills alum, avid Bengal’s and OSU fan, passed away on February 29, 2024.  Services, held March 16th, arranged by Renfro, Patterson and Jordan Funeral Home. 

Born in Columbus, Ohio on February 1, 1962, he died February 29, 2024.  He was preceded in death by his Father, James Long, Jr.; Aunts Shirely (Long) Lyman and Patrica (Long) Reed-Grisby; Grandparents Willa Mae (Johnson-Long) Dunn, and her husband James Long, Sr. and Samuel Dunn (stepfather), Cora (Barnes) Gordon and husband John Gordon.  Those living to mourn his passing are his Mother, Earnesteen Long, Sister Amy, Amina (Robert) Wilkins and Ehrick was Uncle to Bakari and Alim Wilkins (Washington, D.C.); and a beloved Aunt Johnnie Mae Stokes (Portland, OR).    

Ehrick spent time with his grandparents, Cora and John Gordon and Willa and Samuel Dunn (stepfather), while his parents, Earnesteen and James Long worked. It is hard to believe but early on Ehrick hardly talked; and at age of 4 his parents began to really worry. But that all changed when moving to Northview, where Ehrick immediately chatted up the twin boys his age, who lived across the street. Ehrick gravitated towards independence and independent thought; his Montessori pre-school experience likely influenced his ‘march to your own drummer’ attitude. He began piano lessons in Columbus at the age of seven, performing the Moonlight Sonata for his second recital.   

In 1969, the family moved to Cincinnati where over the years, Ehrick continued piano lessons, was involved in scouts, little league baseball, playing with friends, telling corny jokes, and church activities at the Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church including the Communicants Class and the church bowling league. His sister Amy idolized him, always wanting to occupy the same space, wanting to do what he was doing, wanting to go where he was going. In other words, she was his  annoying little ‘crabby’ sister. But we bonded over Peanuts cartoons (thus the ‘crabby’ reference), as we enjoyed watching Charlie Brown movies at the Mariemont Theater and home, and would often exchange gifts with this theme even in adulthood. Ehrick identified with the piano playing Schroeder. Linus and Lucy, Fur Elise and Moonlight Sonata were songs he would play without fail, each time he practiced at the living room piano. Growing up Ehrick, swam at Silverton Park, took family trips to Columbus, New Orleans, Shawnee National Forest, French Lick Lodge, Hueston Woods, Lake Cowan, Fort Ancient, Atlantic City and Portland Oregon, to name a few.  During one trip to Portland to visit with family, Ehrick, his sister and two cousins, Salvatore and Zachary, ranging in age from 9 - 13 years, with Ehrick being the eldest, decided to go berry picking. When picking on our assigned rows, to our delight we found abundant, huge juicy bundles of berries, easy for the picking, a couple of rows over - a stark contrast to our picked-over, assigned rows. We started picking on the abundant rows but soon afterwards, were told to return to our assigned rows; we obediently complied. About 20 minutes later, other people (demographically different from us) began picking on the abundant rows. We were immediately incensed by the injustice, and three of us cousins conspired to break even. We filled the bottom of our crates with rocks and leaves, and covered them with a thin layer of the berries we had picked. We stealthily told Ehrick what we did so he could take part in our brilliant plan. His response, even when fully aware that the orchard folks were being unfair, was - “That’s dishonest, I’m not doing it”. Shocked but sticking to our ‘convictions’ and field justice, the rest of us found some shade and rested while waiting for Ehrick to finish filling his crate. If you’re wondering, we all received full payment for each crate submitted (we took our money and skedaddled)!

In 7-9th grades, Ehrick established himself as a formidable defensive football player - he was incredibly strong. He also joined the marching band in 9th grade. At half-time, he would presto-chango out of his football jersey into his band uniform, perform with the band, jersey back up and return to the defensive line. When the coach later found this out, he gave Ehrick an ultimatum - football or band.  Ehrick chose the band (despite pressure from the coach and his father).  Not only did he march in the band playing clarinet, he later led it for several years as the drum major. As much as I was the crabby sister through grade school, the tables turned and he became the embarrassing big brother when I began middle school. But all that changed when he was drum major! That was MY brother. Ehrick likely remains one of the best drum majors Walnut Hills has ever had. In high school, he was also a National Merit Finalist, member of the It’s Academic Team, trivia teams and other various quiz competitions.  His family was so proud of him. One of the family’s longstand rituals was gathering to watch Jeopardy. When everyone was home for visits, if we weren’t already gathered around the dinner table, Dad would call out ‘Jeopardy's coming on’! And we’d all flock to the TV. Without doubt, Ehrick would have been a Jeopardy champion had he gone on the show.   

Music was central to Ehrick’s life. In addition to the piano, marching band, and clarinet, Ehrick formed/joined several rock bands during high school, he majored in music for his undergraduate degree, participated in the Waukesha Area Symphonic Band, played as a member of the band Hyway, and taking a yearlong break before finishing his dissertation, he toured with the band Zealous to entertain troops located in in the French Riviera and Middle East.  Ehrick was offered a full, four-year scholarship to a great undergraduate school, but chose Carroll College based on its music program and offerings (his concentration was the keyboard and clarinet). In his thesis, he discussed the African-American influences on contemporary classical composers.  He studied ethno-musicology for his PhD which considers the culture of music, including how it is used to address social conflicts, which was a unique fusion of thoughts and ideas that were important to Ehrick. His dissertation, “Pop Standards, Music and Commerce in the Age of Rock'', examines the commercial standardization within the popular music industry. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame acquired it for its library collection. Ehrick also published writings with the New Museum of Contemporary Art which illustrated how the TV was “A Member of the Family”. He served as an adjunct professor at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, Hunter College, and the City University of New York (CUNY). His teachings came from a sociological perspective focusing on how pop culture was influenced by and impacted by various phenomena, including music and music videos. His classes were in high demand and many people in the music and entertainment industry registered for his classes. A few months before his death, he was contacted by Hyway band members to record and perform. His recent purchase of a blank music scorebook shows his intent to compose music. The receipt for the notebook is dated 2/25/24.  

Ehrick was an extremely gifted writer. In addition to his proven technical writing skills given his music and other publications, he also enjoyed creative writing, producing screenplays, and stand-up and sketch comedies. We recently learned he was planning to try his hand at acting!   

As Uncle to Alim and Bakari, Ehrick picked them up from school, helped with homework, took them to the arcade, and gave them books. Some of Ehrick’s traits and mannerisms have rubbed off on them, like his wry humor and playing the piano.

As a Son, he was seen as a free spirit and a culturally aware man. Joining in with a group of  Carroll College students, he traveled to England and Amsterdam. When living in New York, he met a woman he befriended during daily breakfasts at a Times Square diner, who invited him to visit her family in Germany. Not realizing he would be required to speak German the entire time there with her family, he was happy to return home. When his band was touring army bases, he visited Turkey where he sat and drank tea while an artist fashioned a wooden sailboat. He displayed this boat on the fireplace mantle. In the French Riviera, he encountered a person he wished to talk to and the only language they somehow found in common was Latin. So they conversed in Latin! Ehrick seemed to be rather fearless regarding travel but one time when Mom and Ehrick were transferring trains in the New York subway, Mom questioned Ehrick about a nearby group of people and Ehrick responded that he was much more afraid of the police because you can’t defend yourself against them. He was also seen as a man of moral character and goodwill.

Even with his obvious intellectual genius, his accolades, and all that he did (known and unknown), to me Ehrick is simply my brother and I was his ‘Sis’. I saw the love he showed for Mom and Dad. He was a tremendous support to me while I was in graduate school as he moved in to help care for my kids and helped wordsmith my thesis. He made the best french toast and ham pancakes. He told the corniest of ‘jokes’ always. He played the keyboards to support the production For Colored Girls, in which I appeared while we attended Miami University. He supported my dear friend, Pastor and Judge Tracie Hunter.

When the Peanuts character Lucy was not antagonizing friends, she had a vulnerable moment when disheartened over life’s unfairness, and her little brother Linus informed, “Well, for one thing, you have a little brother who loves you”. Well Ehrick, for one thing, you have a little ‘Sis’ who loves you”.  

Ehrick was his own person, he was not overly concerned about superficial things; he was not compelled to change who he was to fit into the box others wanted to put him in. He had high morals, and an exospheric intellect that caused him to seek meaning and truth. He was loved.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Eric Vincent "Ehrick" Long, please visit our floral store.

 Service Program

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March 16, 2024

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Western Hills Brethren In Christ Church
2815 Robert Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45211

Funeral Service
March 16, 2024

11:00 AM
Western Hills Brethren In Christ Church
2815 Robert Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45211

Video is available for this event


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