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Family Divided On Heart Donor’s Burial

December 2, 1986

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ The body of a man whose heart gave new life to another lies in a mortuary during a dispute between his mother, who wants him buried in Florida, and his wife, who wants the funeral in Michigan.

Robert Michael Long, 27, shot himself fatally early Wednesday because of depression over financial and marital problems. On Thanksgiving Day, his heart was transplanted into Mark Frye, also 27, of Davie.

Long’s mother, Patricia Long of Dania, who authorized the organ donation, on Monday went to court for a temporary restraining order to keep his estranged wife, Gloria, from burying him in her home state of Michigan.

″He wants to be buried down here, I would stake my life on that. I’d like to hold some kind of service for him. Nothing big, nothing fancy,″ said Patricia Long, adding her son was born and raise in Broward County.

But Gloria Long, of Menominee, Mich., said her husband should be taken north for burial. ″(Michael) told me he always liked (Michigan) and wanted to be buried here,″ she said. ″I’m trying to do what he wanted to do.″

Meanwhile, Long’s body waits in Hollywood’s Wintter Funeral Chapel, and no hearing date has been set to consider the family’s arguments.

″We were about to send him back to Michigan when we got word there might be a problem,″ said funeral home manager Colette Wintter. ″Until this family settles its differences, our hands our tied.″

Frye was in satisfactory condition Monday, said Jackson Memorial Hospital spokesman Mark Santo.

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