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Dr. William H. Strickland, 84

Dr. William H. Strickland, 84

On Saturday, January 18, 2014, Dr. William H. Strickland of Laurel Park and Lake Pointe Landing passed away peacefully on his 84th birthday.
He was surrounded by those he loved with all his heart -- his children, grandchildren and other family members. He fought heroically the last year of his life and never complained though he was in constant pain. He was deeply appreciative of the incredible care he received from all the staff of Pardee, Life Care and The Bridge at Lake Point Landing where he lived.
Dr. Strickland was born in Benson, NC on January 18, 1930 to Virginia and William Strickland. He had one brother, Riley Dan Strickland who is 2 years younger and still lives in Charlotte, N.C. Shortly after he was born his family moved to Lenoir, N.C. where his father was a well known attorney and author. Bill, as he was called by his friends and family, excelled academically at a very early age and also became very interested in music. He played the coronet in his High School band. Over the years he became very proficient in playing the piano while also learning to play the hammer dulcimer. After graduating from High School at the top of his class, he attended and graduated from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C. While studying pre-med, he worked in the kitchen of several sorority houses in order to pay for his education after the onset of his own father's serious illness. Upon graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with honors, he was accepted to the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem , N.C. While attending medical school he met and married the love of his life Alice Snow Strickland. They were married for over 60 years until her death on October 29th, just a few months before his own passing. After completing medical school, Dr. Strickland did his Family Practice residency in Johnson City, Tennessee where Donna Strickland Hager, the first his four children was born. Due to the "Doctor-Draft Act" Dr. Strickland enlisted in The United States Air Force and was stationed in Selma, Alabama where he was a First Lt. in the Medical Rescue Division.
Upon completing his military obligation, he practiced for a short time in Lenoir, N.C. where his oldest son, William Keith Strickland was born. Shortly after that, he was recruited by the late Dr. B.J. Romeo in 1958 and began his long medical career in Hendersonville, N.C. where the last two of his four children Virginia Lynne Strickland and John Snow Strickland, D.D.S. were born and both still reside. Dr. Strickland's practice soon grew so large that it became necessary for him to recruit other physicians and open his own private practice. He worked for many years in partnership with Dr. Edgar Baker and Dr. David Slawek in the office they built on the corner of Fleming Street and Fifth Avenue just a block away from Pardee Hospital. Dr. William Strickland was devoted to the progress and growth of the hospital and healthcare community in numerous ways including serving as Chief of Staff at Pardee, President of the Medical Society, on the Board of Directors for what is now Blue Ridge Community Health Services as well as on many other boards and civic organizations such as Rotary, Henderson County Health Department, Bank of North Carolina, Nations Bank and many more. He was instrumental in obtaining the funding for the Kayden Onocolgy Center from his dear friend and longtime patient Helen Kayden as well as numerous other projects at Pardee in need of funding. He was always a loyal advocate of the Hippocratic Oath and treated all patients and their families with respect, love and compassion. He made house calls up until his final retirement after 56 years of practice in Henderson County. Aside from his absolute love of his wife and children, Dr. William Strickland was the definition of complete adoration when it came to his grandchildren. His pride and love became legendary as he talked about them with every person he came in contact with.
They are:
Major William Philip Pearsall, USAF of Bowie, of M.D. (son of Donna and Jim Hager, Jupiter, Fla. and Arthur Pearsall, Hendersonville, NC. and Philip's wife Jennifer and their daughters Rylee Jane and Raegan Lee Pearsall, Bowie, MD.)
Megan Pearsall Cannone of Marlton, N.J. (son of Donna and Jim Hager, Jupiter, Fla. and Arthur Pearsall, Hendersonville, NC and Megan's husband Captain Anthony James Cannone, USAF and newborn son Charles William Cannone, Marlton, N.J.)
Meredith Brooks Strickland, Margaret Caroline Strickland, and Grace McKenzie Strickland (daughters of Keith and Marti Strickland of Elon, N.C.)
Kaitlyn Mabrey Capps (daughter of Lynne Strickland, Hendersonville, NC & Todd L. Capps who lives in Charleston, S.C.)
Royster Snow Strickland of Hendersonville, N.C. (son of Dr. John & Katie Strickland, Hendersonville, NC).
Dr. Strickland was a member of Society of Nuclear Medicine, The Frederick R. Taylor Society of the History of Medicine, The Southern Medical Association, The American Academy of General Practice, A Diplomat of the American Board of Family Practice, A Fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians and a Life Member of the North Carolina Medical Society. He was in the Grand Chapter of the Phi Chi Medical Fraternity, was a Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Theta Sigma, honored in the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, received the Evan J. Carey Memorial Award in Anatomy and was given the Outstanding Service in the Field of Medicine Award by Pardee Hospital.
Always a man of integrity, unconditional love and endless compassion, Dr. Strickland will be remembered for his dedication to the well being of each and every person he cared for, his impeccable good taste and handsome features and his unmatched sweetly humble demeanor. One of the first physicians to arrive at the scene of the 1967 Piedmont Airline crash that claimed 82 souls, he worked tirelessly with his wife Alice, a nurse, alongside friends like Dr. Bill Lampley to give aid in its aftermath. He gave selflessly to this community and the people within it his entire life. He embodied the true meaning of being a doctor and never wavered from his passion to serve.
A special thanks to Dr. James Caserio for his constant dedication to him during his later years, Dr. Scott Donaldson whom he respected and grew very fond of, Dr. Mike Jones, Dr. David Mackel, Dr. Stuart Glassman, Dr. William Lampley and Dr. Phil Sellers - all colleagues and longtime friends. And of course, his best friends Dr. and Mrs. John Spengler and Dr. and Mrs. Edgar Baker. A special thanks to all the nurses who kept his practice going for so many years (Jane Ray, Sarah Putnum and the late Ada Nix Osborn) and all the other healthcare staff that cared for Dr. Strickland over the years and most recently assisted him during his most difficult illnesses. The family would like to give recognition to Margaret Suber and Blondie Gash for their kindness shown to their father during the last year. Also, a very special thanks to Mrs. Hattie Waters and her late husband Donnie who are considered family and who worked and cared for the Strickland's for over 30 years.
He is survived by his four children Donna Strickland Hager of Jupiter, Fla., Keith Strickland of Elon College, NC, Lynne Strickland and John Strickland, both of Hendersonville, NC.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to the Blue Ridge Humane Society, Ph. 828-692-8374, 1214 Greenville Highway, 28792, blueridgehumane.org in the name of Dr. and Mrs. William H. Strickland.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. and officiated by Father Alexander Viola at the Bo Thomas Auditorium on the Blue Ridge Community College Campus. A reception will be held there immediately following the service. All other information and arrangements are being handled by Thomas Shepherd & Son, contact: Melody Shepherd. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 PM Friday, January 31, 2014 at Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors.