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The Last Sortie

[Photo] Edward W. Strother (779th)

Edward W. Strother, 779th

30 December 2012


   Dr. Edward W. Strother, age 84, was born 5 January 1927 in Decatur, Alabama and passed away at home in Hartselle on 30 December 2011.
   He is survived by his daughter Jan Strother Newman (Michael) and his son, Kevin E. Strother (Annette), his sister-in-law Carolyn W. Strother, and nieces and nephews.
   He is preceded in death by infant daughter Lisa Lauren Strother; his parents Clarence W. and Lurline W. Strother; and three brothers Robert C. Strother, John C. Strother and Kenneth D. Strother.
   Dr. Strother attended Riverside High School in Decatur and served in WWII as a Combat Tail Gunner flying B-24 "Liberator" bombers for the 15th Air Force from the US Army Air Force Base in Pantanella, Italy. Following his honorable discharge from the Air Force with the rank of Sergeant, Dr. Strother attended Auburn University in pre-dental studies. He was awarded his Doctorate of Medical Dentistry from the University of Alabama, School of Dentistry in Birmingham in 1954. He received a teaching fellowship in UAB's Department of Oral Medicine. He participated in many research projects during this time and helped to develop the first fluoride containing toothpaste.
   He began his private dental practice in 1956 in the Southside area of Birmingham. He was elected by the ADA to serve as a delegate to the Alabama Legislature.
    Dr. Strother was the first dentist to be admitted to the staff of Children's Hospital in Birmingham. He became an advocate for safer anesthesia in oral and surgical procedures for children and handicapped young adults.
    In 1961 Dr. Strother was awarded his law degree upon graduation from Jones Law School in Montgomery. He served as Chairman of the Board and as Capital Fund Chairman for the Five Points YMCA during 1970-1975.
    From 1965 until his retirement from dentistry in 1994, Dr. Strother developed and implemented a comprehensive preventative dentistry program within his practice. He was a frequent speaker at dental seminars around the country.
    Dr. Strother was an avid airplane enthusiast. He enjoyed sharing his passion and knowledge of flying and car racing with family and friends. In addition to cross country flying trips, he flew bi-wing planes, experimental aircraft, gliders, hot air balloons and even made a number of parachute jumps. He and close friend, Walter Harkins, raced his Sunbeam Alpine sports car at race courses around Alabama in the late 50s and early 60s.
    Dr. Strother was an active member of the WWII 464th Bomb Group, 779th Squadron, Fifteenth Air Force. He attended many reunions and hosted the 2101 reunion event for these special WWII veterans and their families in Huntsville.
    After retirement, Dr. Strother became a Master Photographer and delighted family and friends by capturing nature, animals and people in beautiful pictures. He was a devoted and loving father. He was also a generous friend, a knowledgeable teacher and an enthusiastic coach to his patients and friends. His presence will be missed by all who knew him.
    In lieu of flowers the family requests a contribution to Covenant House, 460 West 41st Street New York, NY 10036-6801 or at www.covenanthouse.org or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude PL, Memphis. TN 38105.

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