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July 24, 1920-June 9, 2012

WARSAW -- James Franklin Strickland, Warsaw, died peacefully June 9, 2012. He was 91.

Jimmy, as he was best known, was born July 24, 1920, in Warsaw, and spent his life in Duplin County.

He graduated from Warsaw High School in 1937 and attended Louisburg Junior College.

He was a lifelong member of Warsaw Baptist Church.

Jimmy distinguished himself as a private businessman, public servant and civic leader in his community and in Eastern North Carolina.

He was a World War II veteran in the United States Army Air Forces, and served in the South Pacific. He also served in the North Carolina National Guard for 26 years, and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 1985.

Jimmy owned and operated Farmers Hardware in Warsaw for 40 years.

He found a second career as a Duplin County magistrate from 1986 to 2002.

He earned an associate degree in criminal justice from James Sprunt Community College.

Jimmy served on the Duplin County School Board of Education for 26 years. He also served as a member of the James Sprunt Community College board of trustees since it was chartered in 1964, and 19 years as chairman.

In 1987, the student activities center was named in his honor, and in 2001 the James F. Strickland Scholarship endowment was established by Mr. Thomas S. Kenan III.

Jimmy was very involved in veteran affairs. He became a member of VFW Post 9810 and Charles R. Gavin American Legion Post 127, and served as post commander for both.

He participated in the establishment of the Duplin County Veterans Memorial Museum in the L.P. Best House in Warsaw. He served as a member of the board of directors from its beginning.

He served as a board member of the Veterans Day Foundation. Jimmy was immersed in the longstanding annual historic Veterans Day celebration in Warsaw. He was very proud that it is the longest running celebration in the country.

Jimmy also participated as a charter member of the Duplin Outdoor Drama society, and served as president for 14 years.

He and his wife, Margaret, helped promote many cultural activities including The Liberty Cart, Song of Liberty, The Duplin County Children's theater and A Taste of Country, as well as the Duplin County Arts Council.

Jimmy was a faithful member of more than 55 years to the Warsaw-Kenansville Rotary Club with perfect attendance. He was a three-time Rotarian of the Year and a member of the Hall of Fame, and was presented with two Service above Self awards.

Jimmy had been an active Mason for 60 years and a past master of Warsaw Lodge 677. He was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite life member, and was awarded the prestigious 2001 Harry S. Truman 33rd Degree.

Jimmy had been described as an eternal "optimist" a cheerleader and Duplin County's ambassador. He was inducted into the Duplin County Hall of Fame in 2001.

Family was the most important part of Jimmy's life. He was blessed to find his soul mate of 70 years when he married Margaret Simmons Strickland.

He was most proud of his children, Jim and Jane, for their accomplishments. His grandchildren, Danette, Cassie Carrie and James, were able to learn from his caring spirit and form an appreciation for country music and all things Nashville. The love of God, family and country were the cornerstones of his life, and he instilled these values to his children and grandchildren.

Jimmy was predeceased by his loving wife of 70 years, Margaret Simmons Strickland, and his sister, Hazel Strickland Cooper, and her husband, Dr. Ben F. Cooper.

He is survived by a son, James F. Strickland Jr. and his wife, Patti, of Smyrna; and his daughter, Jane Strickland Powers, and husband, Don, of Mount Pleasant, S.C.

He has four grandchildren, Danette Strickland Carr (Greg), Cassie Powers Hanna (Brad), Carrie Powers Zipperer (Ros) and James F. Strickland III. He also has five great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Snug Harbor in Sea Level for the love, care and support shown to Jimmy and his family.

Memorials may be given to James Sprunt Community College, P.O. Box 398, Kenansville, N.C., 28349, or Warsaw Baptist Church, 209 E. College St., Warsaw, N.C., 28398.

Visitation will be at Warsaw Baptist Church, Powell Hall, Wednesday, June 13, 2012, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Funeral service will be at Warsaw Baptist Church June 14, 2012, at 11 a.m., with graveside services afterward at Pinecrest Cemetery.


Published in Obituaries on June 11, 2012 1:50 PM