Pastor Duane Lee Strickler of Falling Waters, WV left this earth on February 23, 2021 after a month-long battle with sepsis that caused congestive heart failure. He was born August 26, 1941 in Roanoke, Virginia. He is now receiving his crowns and hearing “Well done, good and faithful servant” after a lifetime of following his Lord and Savior. He had a desire to follow in his father’s footsteps and was licensed to the ministry in 1963 and ordained as a minister in the Church of the Brethren in 1973.
The oldest child of Rev. Robert L. and Dawn T. Strickler, he is now reunited with them in heaven. He graduated from Middletown High and then attended McPherson College receiving a Bachelor of Science degree. He also earned a Masters Equivalency from University of Maryland.
Beginning his teaching career in 1963, he was able to use his love of wood working to teach Industrial Arts for 30 years in Montgomery County, Maryland. Always one with a sense of adventure, he returned home one day in 1974 to tell his wife that he wanted to be an exchange teacher in Singapore. Taking his young family of three children age nine, six, and 13 months, the two-year adventure began. He pioneered the Industrial Arts program at Singapore American School. While in Singapore, he was the director for the Outreach Singers group. Besides teaching in Montgomery County, he also taught in Martinsburg, WV for several years and worked at Lowes.
Desiring to share the gospel message, he served as a pastor in the Church of the Brethren serving 52 years. 31 of those years were spent in team ministry with his wife, Carol. They served in churches in Maryland, West Virginia, and Idaho. Along with his wife, he also served five years serving as a pastor in the United Methodist church. Although the actual number is unknown in his years of ministry, he more than likely baptized over 1,000 including his three children and nine grandchildren. He was active in the Church of the Brethren Camping program and served as a director and other roles in the Mid-Atlantic District. He served on the Standing Committee of the National Church. He also served as a volunteer chaplain in Idaho and West Virginia.
He was involved in the West Virginia Emmaus, Chrysalis, and Kiros Communities, serving as Spiritual Director in each. Trained as a Children Disaster Worker, he served in several natural disasters, in California, Louisiana, West Virginia, and Missouri comforting children who are dealing with disaster trauma.
He believed in sharing his love for Jesus to all and traveled on mission trips to Gambia, Africa in 1987 with his son and five trips to Pie-de-La Cuesta, Guatemala. He was known for his keen sense of humor and always had a joke to crack. He never met a stranger and was loved by everyone who knew him. He was the definition of “being Jesus’ hands and feet.” He had a heart for the downtrodden.
A world traveler, he visited five of the seven continents. While on the Singapore trip with his wife and children, he visited Japan, Borneo, Hong Kong, Thailand, East and West Malaysia, Iran, Italy, Malta, Germany, Switzerland, and England. After his children were grown, he and his wife traveled to Israel, Jordan, Egypt, New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, and all fifty of the United States.
He loved singing and used his talents in the National Christian Choir for two years.
Although he will be greatly missed, we are blessed to know he is rejoicing in heaven, he is survived by Carol, his wife of 57 ½ years; his two daughters, Lisa C. Herche and her husband, Robert Kent of Woodbine, Maryland, Tammy D. Burk and her husband, Steven of San Tan Valley, AZ; his son, Stephen D. Strickler and his wife, Denise of Falling Waters, WV; nine grandchildren, Christopher Herche and his wife, Mallory of Union Bridge, MD, Kaitlyn Herche Willoughby and her husband, Shan of Mechanicville, MD, Conner, Cassandra and Nathan Burk of San Tan Valley, AZ, Christian Strickler and his wife, Shannon of Falling Waters, WV, SGT. Abraham Strickler of Fort Sills, Oklahoma, Alexander Strickler, and Noah Strickler of Falling Waters, WV; six great grandchildren, Harper and Elijah Willoughby (Mechanicsville, MD) Ryan, Greyson, and Lincoln Herche (Union Bridge, MD), and Ephraim Strickler (Falling Waters, WV); two brothers, Charles Strickler and wife, Cathy of Harrisonburg, VA, Robert Strickler and wife Barbara of St. Petersburg, FL; and sister, Marilyn Reed and her husband, Tim of Wexford, PA and a number of nieces and nephews.
His life Bible verse: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phillippians 4:13.
The Brown Funeral Home South Berkeley Chapel in Inwood will be open to receive friends only from the hours of 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday, February 26, 2021. Visitors will be required to wear face masks, practice social distancing, and follow directives. A celebration of life will be held at Airborne Church on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Shepherd’s Spring, PO Box 369, Sharpsburg, MD 21782.