Mr. Charles Dempsey Strickland, 90, a resident of Covington for more than 57 years, passed away Saturday, June 29, 2019. Mr. Charles was born Aug. 23, 1928, and raised out in the country, around Alvaton, Meriwether County; as a very young man, he was stricken with Legg Perthes disease, requiring him to use crutches for two years. Thanks to free treatment by the Shriners Hospital in Atlanta, Charles recovered to the point that later he was able to run track when attending Berry College, ultimately setting a number of records for the school that stood for many years. He also grew up during the Great Depression, hunting and trapping as a young man, and selling the pelts to Sears Roebuck, among others. His father named him after the boxer, Jack Dempsey. His wife of 64 years, Louise N. Strickland, preceded him in death, as had his parents, Emmett Ansley Strickland and Annie Belle (Higgins) Strickland, as well as brothers Frank N. Strickland, Sr., and Ernest B. Strickland, and his sister Rebecca (Strickland) Atkinson. Mr. Charles died 29 years to the day after his mother’s passing.
Mr. Strickland was an attorney for 59 years – having worked full time while putting himself through night law school at Emory University. He was proud to be a United States Marine, having served in the reserves, and later on active duty, ultimately being sent to Korea during that war, and serving in HMR-161, which in 1951 became the world’s first helicopter squadron to deploy troops in combat. He was honorably discharged as a Staff Sergeant.
Mr. Charles was a Mason and Past Master of Golden Fleece Lodge #6 of Covington. He was the lodge’s secretary for many, many years, a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church of Covington, having previously served as Clerk of Session. He and Mrs. Strickland formed, along with a few other couples, the Newton County Republican Party in 1962, both serving several terms as the Chairpersons and traveling twice to Republican National Conventions.
Mr. Strickland is survived by his son C. David Strickland, of Covington, his grandchildren Caroline Louise “Lucy” Strickland, Charles Henry Thomas “Hank” Strickland, and Jill Elizabeth Strickland, his sister Charlotte Strickland Kuhn, of Alvaton, and many nieces, nephews and cousins, along with a host of other family and close friends.
Funeral services for Mr. Strickland was held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 2 at the First Presbyterian Church of Covington with the Rev. Steven Barnes officiating. Interment followed at Covington City Cemetery. The family received friends at J.C. Harwell and Son Funeral Home from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, July 1.
J.C. Harwell and Son Funeral Home, 2157 East St., SE, Covington, GA 30014 is in charge of the arrangements. A guestbook may be signed online www.harwellfuneralhome.com.