Barbara Andrews Strickland

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Barbara Andrews Strickland passed away peacefully on October 20, 2013 at Oak Hammock in Gainesville, Florida. She was born November 19, 1924 in McComb, MS, the second child and only daughter of Henry David (H.D.) Andrews and Ethel Gordon Andrews. The family moved to Baton Rouge, LA when Barbara was a child. Her father was a pharmacist and became the owner of Andrews Rexall Drugs, a combination drug store, soda fountain and restaurant located at the main entrance to LSU. It was at this drug store that she met her future husband, Wayne, who worked at the soda fountain. After graduating from University High, Barbara attended LSU for 2 years until Wayne graduated in 1943 with a chemical engineering degree. With an industrial deferment from the military draft, he started working at the government aluminum plant in Baton Rouge. Barbara first finished Business School, and then, so she could join her husband at the aluminum plant, she finished a special government- sponsored program and became a certified chemical analyst working in the office adjacent to Wayne. They worked together there until he gave up his deferment and volunteered to join the Navy's ultra secret radar program. They married on Christmas Eve 1944 in Corpus Christie, TX, where Wayne was undergoing military training. Barbara became employed as the secretary to the local head of the Red Cross. They soon moved to Melbourne, FL where he was assigned to the Banana River Naval Air Station as a Radar Specialist. Barbara worked as a supply clerk at the same base. At the end of the war, they returned to Baton Rouge, where Wayne took a job at the local Exxon plant. In 1946, their son Gordon was born, followed in 1949 by a daughter, Janet. The husband's career with Exxon involved 10 years in Baton Rouge (2 temporarily in NYC), 18 years in Caracas, Venezuela, 3 years in New York, and finally 3 years in Coral Gables, FL, followed by retirement in 1979. During her time in Caracas, Barbara was involved with golf, tennis and bowling, and for a short time worked at the Academy La Castellana as a counselor for troubled students. For the next 23 years, Barbara and Wayne lived primarily in Cashiers, NC, but always with a winter-time place in Florida. They played a lot of golf, and Barbara was the local paddle tennis champion (on her own court). During the later years in Caracas and throughout their time in NC, Barbara and her husband traveled extensively with lots of exciting adventures. In Egypt, she rode an ankle-biting camel several miles to visit the pyramids and later took a raft trip up the Nile to King Farouk's Palace. In Jordan, she rode an Arabian stallion through the gorge to see the Rose City of Petra. In Israel, she walked in the Dead Sea. In Greece, she rode a donkey up and down the steep zigzag trail on the island of Santorini. In China, she ate "monkey brains" and rode in a military troop carrier helicopter to see the Great Wall, and in the interior, the secluded Imperial Palaces. She rode the chunnel train between London-Paris, and was on the last England to USA voyage of the original Queen Elizabeth luxury liner. In an "unprepared-for-tourists" Russia, she rode in an old, rickety bus on underdeveloped roads between St. Petersburg and Moscow. For occasional rest stops, the bus pulled over in wooded areas with instructions of "…women to the left, and men to the right." In Singapore she rode in pedicabs on the major highway. In Scotland she played golf on the five major courses. At the North Cape she sat on Santa's lap. And in Morocco she experienced the olfactory challenges of visiting an active hide tannery. In 2002, they moved from North Carolina to Coral Gables, FL. Two years later they moved to a long-term care facility, Oak Hammock at the University of Florida, in Gainesville. Barbara was predeceased by her parents, her brother Dale and her grandson, David Strickland. She is survived by her husband, Wayne, her son Gordon (Colleen), daughter Janet Eaglstein (Bill), two grandchildren, Graham Strickland and Alexandra Strickland, and many nieces and nephews.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from Oct. 24 to Oct. 25, 2013
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