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View a eulogy for Henry Larry Strickland, USMA '64, who passed away on November 24, 2017.

Henry Larry Strickland

West Point, 1964

Be Thou At Peace

Posted by Michael Strickland on December 5, 2017:

Henry 'Larry' Strickland, age 75, of Newport Beach, CA passed away on November 24th, 2017. Larry was born on May 19th, 1942 in Los Angeles, CA.

The son of Henry Lester Strickland and Maxine Johnson Strickland, Larry grew up in Pico Rivera, CA as the oldest of 3 children. Throughout his childhood he was surrounded by the large and loving 'Johnson Family' as he began to show his penchant for the Military as well as the Arts, two passions he carried with him throughout his life. As a young teen, he gathered the neighborhood boys together to make 8mm war movies that many believe could rival the similar homemade films of Steven Spielberg's youth.

Larry graduated with Honors from El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera in the spring of 1960 and then headed East that summer to attend what would become his Alma Mater - The United States Military Academy at West Point.

While at West Point as a Cadet in Company B-2, Larry continued to follow his passion for Art with his drawings; entertaining his classmates and the entire Corps with his illustrations in The Pointer, the monthly publication of the Corps of Cadets. Being back at West Point also allowed him to be close to his Father's side of the family, as he would receive regular visits from 'The Strickland Family' of North Branford, CT; visits that warmed his heart, as he would write in letters home to CA, and greatly helped the young Cadet win the battle many young Cadets fight - homesickness.

It was during his third year at West Point that Larry went on a blind date with a young lady from nearby Darien, CT, Sally Chapman; a 'blind date' who would later become his wife and the mother of his two children.

After graduating in 1964 from West Point, Larry was commissioned as an Officer in the Air Force and moved with his new bride to begin their life in Colorado, where he had the thrill of working at NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) and achieving the rank of Captain. It was in Colorado where he and Sally welcomed their two children into the world, Sherrie and Michael.

Larry resigned his commission and returned to civilian life in March of 1969. Upon leaving the military, Larry and his young family returned to Southern California, where he entered the business world and, with the exception of the time spent in service of our country, where he would ultimately spend his entire life.

Larry's marriage to Sally ended in divorce, but they remained close throughout the remainder of his life until the time of his passing, where Sally, Sherrie & Michael all held him close as he gently slipped into the afterlife, accompanied by the sounds of the US Military Academy Band which he loved so dearly.

A second marriage also ended in divorce. However, his stepson from this marriage would go on to attend West Point as well, graduating exactly 30 years after his Stepfather as part of the Class of 1994.

Toward the end of his life, Larry would circle back around to his love of Art, moving away from his favored pencil and chalk mediums and into the digital age as he studied and pursued a career as a Graphic Artist.

Those who knew Larry well can attest to the fact that he had a wonderful sense of humor and an infectious laugh. A sound that will be dearly missed.

Larry is survived by: his mother, Maxine Strickland of Newport Beach, CA; his daughter, Sherrie Edwards of Thousand Oaks, CA; his son, Michael Strickland of Longmont, CO; his 3 grandchildren, Bodhi Edwards, Luke Strickland & Sienna Strickland; his sister, Pam Stone of Edmonds, WA; his brother, Eric Strickland of Newport Beach, CA and many surviving Johnsons and Stricklands still residing on both coasts and all points in between.

Larry was cremated, as per his wishes, and will be inurned at West Point. A Memorial Service will take place in Southern California in the near future. Anyone desiring information about Larry's memorial services may contact his son at mstricklnd@aol.com

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made in Larry's name to 'The Dreaming Zebra Foundation', where your donation is tax deductible and supports access to art and music supplies for underprivileged young artists - http://dreamingzebra.org/index.php/get-involved/donate


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