William Herbert Strickler passed away Sunday, October 16, 2022 at his home.
He was born December 28, 1944, at Beloit Community Hospital, Beloit, KS, to William Herbert Strickler and Ruby Maxine (Jones) Strickler. His father was shipped to Europe with the Army SeaBees and was killed in October 1944 in France just before the Battle of the Bulge.
His early years were spent in Jamestown, KS, with his mother and maternal grandparents. In 1948, she met and married Alfred Hansen and the families eventually moved to Beloit. Bill's maternal grandmother owned and operated nursing homes where both families worked and lived. His step-father attended school for radio and television repair in Kansas City and the family lived there for a year where Bill started school and his brother Harold was born.
He began school in Beloit at the Field School and then the Rogers School before attending the then new elementary school. At the Junior High School he first met his future wife, Karen DePoy. Jobs included working for local farmers and in the local bakery for Gordon Snyder. After his junior year in high school, he and his parents and brother moved to near Granton, WI, and he graduated from Granton High School in 1964. The family moved to Marshfield where he worked in a cannery for the summer and then enlisted in the Navy.
Boot camp for Bill was at Great Lakes, in Chicago, After graduation, he was transferred to San Diego for cooking and baking school, navy style, This was followed by submarine school at Groton, CT, and then a flight to the Philippines, Clark Air Force Base, to be transferred to the guided missile destroyer USS Hoel, DDG13. The ship had many missions supporting the aircraft carriers and troops fighting in Vietnam and visiting many ports in SE Asia.
Later, Bill was transferred to Pearl Harbor, HI, to meet the nuclear submarine USS Halibut, an experimental boat, where he was one of the cooks and bakers for the crew. A highlight was shaking hands with Elvis Presley while he was filming a movie. He was formally discharged at Treasure Island, CA. He picked up his 1967 FLH Harley Davidson in San Diego and rode across the desert, stopping in Beloit to visit family there, and then to Milwaukee, WI. He worked for Aqua-Chem as a certified welder building water purification plants for use in Vietnam. He later worked for a company building an elevator in Jewell, KS.
Bill and Karen were married June 22, 1969, at the Cawker City, KS, Methodist church. That fall he attended VoTech school in Salina, KS, on the GI bill. Upon Bill's successful graduation from Air Conditioning and Heating school, he found a job working for Sears in Topeka, KS, They made their home in Valley Falls, moving to the country in 1975.
Their children came a little later in life with Kristina born in 1980, the twins Matthew and Michael in 1982 and Marshal in 1983. In 1993, Bill retired from Sears and worked for a short time as a maintenance man for low income apartments in Meriden and Valley Falls. Later, he began working for Jefferson Village, Winchester, from which he retired in 2010.
He was a Life-Time Member of VFW.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, and his daughter Kristina. He is survived by his wife of the home, sons Matthew (Tiffany), Michael (Jenna) and Marshal (Devan), and grandchildren Rilley, Skyley, William, Wyatt, Owen, Zane, Caydren and Cally, as well as brother Harold (Simone), nieces and nephews.
As he wished, he was cremated, private services and inurnment will be at Pleasant Prairie Cemetery, Randall, KS.
Parker Price Cremations, Funerals & Receptions, 245 NW Independence Ave., Topeka.
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