A memorial service for Mr. Elbert Clinton “Doc” Strange will be held at Stephens Funeral Home in Meridian, MS on Saturday, December 14th, 2019 at 2pm.
Elbert Clinton “Doc” Strange passed away on November 19th, 2019. He was 91 years old and resided in Collinsville, MS. Elbert was the son of Mack Clinton Strange and Clera Ivy Marybelle Scott Strange. He was the oldest of eight siblings including Volna Ivyloy Strange Butler, Mary Edna Strange Anderson, David Haskell Strange, Arrie Pearl Strange, Joseph Ernest Strange, Mack Craig Strange and Katherine Irene Strange Rouse.
He was born on March 27th 1928 in Kemper County, MS but moved to Atlanta, Texas when he was 2 years old. His family later moved to Collinsville, MS when Elbert was 16 and then to Pascagoula a year later. He enlisted in the Navy the day before his 18th birthday in 1946 and served three years as an aviation machinist in various locations including San Diego CA, Midway Island, Houma LA and Pensacola FL. On June 30, 1951 he married Catherine Lee Jones and had three children; Charles William in 1952, Erica Stephanie in 1954 and Noel Kelvin in 1956.
In 1952 they moved to Brownsville, Texas and he went to work for Pan American World Airways as an aircraft maintenance mechanic where he was soon offered the opportunity to move to New York, NY to learn about the “new jets”. That catapulted his career in the golden age of aviation as he moved up the ranks in the airline because of his intellect, drive and strong work ethic that he learned from his parents. He and his family lived in the suburbs of New York City (Smithtown, Long Island) as he moved from maintenance to flight crew where he was trained first as a flight engineer and then a commercial licensed pilot. He first flew early propeller aircraft on the old transatlantic routes to Europe via Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland and Ireland. “Doc” Strange then went on to learn about the new jets and then to pilot the Boeing 707 first to those European destinations and then everywhere else on the globe. He routinely traveled to distant destinations such as Buenos Aires, Argentina; Tokyo, Japan; Tehran, Iran; Bahrain, Saudi Arabia; Bombay (Mumbai) India as well as most larger cities in Europe. As time progressed with new developments in aviation, he then moved on to flying the Boeing 747SP to all of those destinations non-stop.
Doc never forgot his roots in Mississippi and longed for the simplicity of life on the farm. In the early 1970’s he made the decision to buy a piece of land in Collinsville, MS where his grandfather’s old house was located and he “commuted” from Collinsville to JFK Airport in NY City for many years before he retired. He remained on that farm the rest of his days until his death.
He is survived by six of his siblings, his life partner Sarah Brown, his children Charles William Strange, Erica Stephanie Strange, Noel Kelvin Strange, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
Visitation will be at the funeral home on Saturday, December 14th beginning at 1pm until service time. Friends may sign the online register at www.stephensfunerals.com.
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