As I have previously blogged about, my Uncle Junior (my dad’s oldest brother) has been battling a valiant fight with brain cancer. In March he went home on hospice and put up a notable fight. The week before we left he started to get worse. My parents debated about what to do…if they should stay home or go to the beach. They told Holly and I to go on. The condo was paid for and we couldn’t get any money back from it. They decided Friday morning to go on, and if need be, they would drive on back to Memphis.
Monday, June 30th, my mom got the call that his BP was really low and his breathing was shallow. The family was preparing to say goodbye to him. My parents started packing up to leave early Tuesday morning. We all went to bed Monday night and I woke up early Tuesday morning and saw that my cousin had tagged me in a photo on FB that Uncle Jr. went home early Tuesday morning. He died around 1:00. So sad.
This was the picture that we were all tagged in….so perfect, such an awesome picture.
My parents told us all to stay at the beach since we had the girls and everything. So we missed the funeral and felt really bad about it. We talked about him often throughout the trip. He was buried on July 3rd.
Here is his obituary:
Elmer Curtis Strachan, Jr., 78-years-old, died on Tuesday, July 1, 2014, at his home in Corinth, Mississippi. After his valiant fight with colon cancer in 2008, Junior’s battle resumed in November 2013, with the discovery of multiple brain tumors. His strong will to live, unwavering faith in God, and the love and prayers of family, friends, and many supporters carried him through seven hard-fought months.
Junior was born on November 10, 1935, in El Paso, Texas to Elmer Curtis Strachan, Sr. and his wife, Maude Strachan. His grandparents were Will and Anna Victoria Strachan. Junior was the second of four children. He graduated from Ysleta High School in the Spring of 1953 and went on to graduate from Texas Western University, now UTEP, in 1957.
On June 3, 1954, Junior married Patricia DeAnn Scott. For the first six years of their marriage, Junior and Pat made their home in El Paso, Texas. However, in August 1960, they moved their family to Corinth, Mississippi. They remained happily married for forty years until Pat succumbed to her own battle with cancer on March 11, 1994. During their forty years together, they had two wonderful children, Richard and Joni. They later enjoyed travelling with family and friends to places such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone National Park, and White Sands, New Mexico.
Junior was fond of saying that he had a hand in raising most of the children in the community, and many young people throughout the community can speak to his influence in their lives. He was always actively involved with the youth at Kossuth United Methodist Church, and some of his favorite stories to tell were of youth bike trips to Shiloh National Park and canoe trips down the Buffalo River. More recently, he was involved with Kossuth United Methodist Church’s Forever Unending Eternal Love (F.U.E.L.) program.
Junior’s love of music also had a profound impact not only on his life but on the lives of many others. He was instrumental in starting the band at Kossuth High School and even undertook the scary task of teaching adolescent kids to play very loud trumpets. His patience and tutelage paid off when one of his students, Tom Coleman, was selected for the Lion’s All-State Band. He also served as the music director at Kossuth United Methodist Church for forty years until his most recent illness forced him to resign his post.
Nine years after the loss of his wife, Pat, Junior married Rebecca Lancaster. During their eleven year marriage they enjoyed travelling to Branson and going on cruises. They also served as music directors for the F.U.E.L. program at Kossuth United Methodist Church.
Junior’s favorite pastimes were farming and Atlanta Braves baseball. During the summer he could generally be spotted in either the garden or the hay field, and if the Braves were playing on TNT you can bet the TV would be tuned in. His cattle also held a special place in his heart. He always had at least one cow in the field that enjoyed eating Certs from his hand. Most recently, he enjoyed showing his great-granddaughter, Lorelai, the workings of the farm, as she faithfully made every step he made during his evening chores.
Outside of farming, Junior served as the General Secretary for the Corinth Valley Bodies of the Scottish Rite for more than thirty years. He was also an active member of the Corinth Breakfast Lion’s Club where he helped raise money to send numerous children to the All-State Lion’s Band. He also indulged his love of theatre by participating in several plays at Corinth Theatre-Arts.
His surviving family members are numerous, but mainly include:
Children: Richard Curtis Strachan and his wife Rita, Joni Dee Strachan, and Beth Ann Rossi and her husband Warren
Grandchildren: Shannon Michelle Sellers and her husband Gerald, Scott Allen Crum and his fiancée Tarah Shaddix, James Curtis Strachan and his wife Becca, Jordan Strachan, Elaina Rossi, and Payden Rossi
Great-Grandchildren: Lorelai Elizabeth Sellers
Spouse: Becky Strachan
Immediate Family: Judy Miller and her husband Bob, and William Fred Strachan and his wife Kathy
Other Family Members: Unfortunately too many beloved cousins, nieces, nephews, and brothers and sisters in Christ to list or even count.
Visitation will be held at Magnolia Funeral Home on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The memorial service will be held at Kossuth United Methodist Church on Thursday, July 3, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. A luncheon reception will be held following the service in the L.C. Follin Christian Life Center.
Pallbearers include Charles King, Bert Mills, James Moffett, Tony Parker, Stacy Suggs, Norris Davis, Jimmy Jones, Clayton Ledford, Ward Duffey, Bob Miller.
Memorial donations may be made to the Kossuth United Methodist Building Fund.