Clarence P. Strickland Iii
1932 - 2020
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Clarence P. Strickland III

Palm Desert - Strick was born on March 23, 1932, to Jamie and Clarence P Strickland (Jr) in Highpoint, North Carolina. On November 8, 2020, he passed peacefully at his home in Palm Desert, CA, while surrounded by his loving family.

As a young child, his family moved to Santa Ana, CA. There, he discovered that he had a strong desire to play a musical instrument. In Elementary school, his music teacher directed him to the band room, where he was asked to choose an instrument. He was very excited by the thought of playing the drums, but sadly, the drums were taken, as were all of the other instruments, except for a clarinet. His disappointment didn't last long, as he fell in love with this lonely clarinet, and his life of music began. He enjoyed being a part of the school band. Later at Santa Ana High School, he was, of course, an integral member of that band as well, and happily marched in several Pasadena Rose Parades. He even started his own band during that time. He would fervently practice, practice, while listening to Benny Goodman, who was his idol. He graduated from Santa Ana High School and soon became a student at Santa Ana Community college. While there, the Korean War began, and his friends were receiving draft notices. He quickly and wisely drove to San Diego and enlisted in the Navy. His draft notice later arrived in the mail. Many of his friends were sadly lost to the war. Because of his exceptional musical talent, he was accepted into the Navy Band. He stayed in the Navy for four years, where he was mostly stationed at sea on different warships. The admirals wanted to hear music, most especially during times of war. He eventually accepted an opportunity to transfer to the Air Force without a loss of rank. He then trained at a School of Music in Washington DC., in preparation for securing a position as a Tenor Saxophone Instrumentalist in the Air Force Band (which emanated from Washington DC). He remained with the Air Force Band for the next 17 years. He was also a member of the White House Ceremonial Band. He played for several presidential inaugurations and burials...notably, President Jack Kennedy was among those whose inauguration and funeral he was privileged to take part in. He also toured with the Air Force Concert Band for many years and traveled extensively throughout the world (and nationally) as ambassadors for the United States Air Force.

He retired in 1974. While living in Maryland, he married and became a devoted father to four children. He then moved to Palm Springs, and as a single parent, started life anew. In 1977, while working for Valley Clinical Labs in Palm Desert, he met Dona and began a courtship. They eventually married in 1990 (" they didn't want to do anything rash")! Strick worked at Palm Springs Aerial Tramway as a supervisor for eleven years. He and Dona moved to Sun City Palm Desert in 1993, where they enjoyed meeting many new neighbors and friends. Strick's new passion at Sun City was GOLF and remained so for many years. In 2016, Strick suffered a stroke, followed by two nasty falls which, both required surgery. He never quite recovered from his injuries and was under Hospice Care at home for his last five months. It was challenging for him, but he never complained. He always had a beautiful smile and was a very kind and caring family man. He was a perfectionist in everything he did, always meticulous in appearance and actions; while displaying a charming sense of humor. He loved his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and so enjoyed their visits.

He felt especially close to Jesus, and now must enjoy resting in His embrace!

Strick is survived by his beloved wife, Dona, and his three children and their spouses Bill (Jolene), Tina ( Dwayne), and Dave (Tonya). He also leaves his sisters and their spouses Diana (John) and Jamie (Nick), and his extended family, Cindi and Curtis. He will also be missed by his six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. The family wishes to extend their immense thanks to Gio for her great caregiving; and Family Hospice Care for being there for him and us.

Services will be held on Sunday, November 22, 2020, at Forest Lawn Cathedral City. Visitation (viewing) will occur from 10:00 -11 :00 AM, followed by an outdoor service at 11:00 AM.




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Published in The Desert Sun from Nov. 17 to Nov. 19, 2020.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
NOV
22
Visitation
10:00 - 11:00 AM
DEC
7
Service
10:00 AM
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2 entries
November 22, 2020
What an amazing life!
Houston Robinson
Friend
November 19, 2020
May you rest in the arms of the Lord and play your music for him. You had a great life, and lived it well !
John Fenger
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