Couples: Richard and Janie Longing

HIM   Richard (Dick) Longing

Native of: El Dorado.

Where did you grow up: El Dorado and Magnolia.

Education: Magnolia High School, 1954; bachelor of science in accounting and economics, Southern State College (SAU), 1958.

Job: Currently, retired. Formerly, short-order cook, potato peeler and carhop for my father’s restaurant, Old Hickory BBQ; vice president of National Investors Insurance Co.; Director of Commerce under Gov. Dale Bumpers; and CEO/broker for Dick Longing Real Estate, Inc.

Parents: The late James (Jim) Lucian and Elizabeth (Beth) Katherine Longing of El Dorado.

Community activities: Bible Study Fellowship, Conway Regional Fitness Center. I vote and pay taxes.

Church activities: Sunday school teacher for 50 years and deacon at Woodlawn Heights Baptist Church.

Hobbies/special interests: Spending time with my family, barbecuing, making homemade vanilla ice cream, road trips, deer hunting and reading.

How would you describe yourself: Blessed, honest, teachable, giving, care giver, prayer warrior and patriot.

Favorite restaurant in the 501: Cracker Barrel and The Fish House.

Most enjoyed weekend activity: Participating in whatever activities our grandchildren are enjoying. Also, our trips to Branson.

What do you love about living in the 501: We moved from North Little Rock to Conway in 1973, and everyone here embraced me and my family. We were made welcome, and we have loved every year we have lived here. A great place to raise kids, great schools, great churches, great medical personnel/facilities, great sports facilities and a good place to do business. Simply speaking, “the crown jewel of Arkansas.”

HER   Janie Mixon Longing

Native of: Magnolia.

Education: Magnolia High School (National Honor Society) 1954; Meadows – Draughon Business College, 1955-56.

Job: Currently, homemaker and help-mate. Formerly secretary for McKay, Anderson and Crumpler of Magnolia and administrative assistant with Dick Longing Real Estate Inc. for 23 years.

Parents: The late Milam and Inita Mixon of Magnolia.

Community activities: Bible Study Fellowship.

Church activities: Active member of Woodland Heights Baptist Church for 28-plus years.

Hobbies/special interests: Cooking, entertaining, home decorating and spending time with my Conway and Brentwood, Tenn., families.

How would you describe yourself: Loving wife, Mother and Grandmother. Brave under trials. Good communicator.

Favorite restaurant in the 501: Cracker Barrel and MarketPlace Grill.

Most enjoyed weekend activity: Church, a meal out with friends and going to Branson, Mo.

Favorite quote: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).

What do you love about living in the 501: When I first moved to Conway in 1973, I met so many wonderful new friends at Bible Study Fellowship and still have those friends today. 


City: Conway.

How we met: We met in 10th grade at Magnolia High School. I spotted Janie walking out of the home economics building and knew straightaway that I had to meet her! I quickly introduced myself, and we’ve been together for over 60 years. Janie says her mother and sister liked me immediately; however, the first date did not go well. I picked her up in my daddy’s 1941 Ford. Trying to impress her, I doubled clutched, shifted into multiple gears and she promptly asked me to take her home!

The proposal: We had dated for four years and just assumed that we would get married when we were old enough. In 1956, ages 20 and 19, we decided that we were old enough. Poor, but old enough. I got permission from her dad, Milam Mixon, and then proposed. (We bought our wedding rings at Murphy’s Jewelers on the square in Magnolia.)

Wedding bells: We were married Jan. 20, 1956, at Jackson Street Methodist Church in Magnolia. After the ceremony, we walked into the vestibule, where my grandfather handed us a $20 bill, which immediately doubled our assets!

Children: One son, Steve (Beth) Longing of Conway, and one daughter, Eve Longing (Todd) Callahan of Brentwood, Tenn. We have two grandsons: Jacob (Holly) Longing and Parker Callahan, and two granddaughters: Hannah Longing and Anna Elizabeth Callahan. One great-granddaughter: Whitlee Longing.

Family activities enjoyed together: Celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. Vacations every summer, alternating Florida beaches and interesting destinations such as Jackson Hole, Grand Canyon, Washington, D.C, Sedona, Williamsburg and Jamestown.