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Col. Carl E. Stracener MD

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Col. Carl E. Stracener MD Obituary
Col. Carl E. Stracener, MD

Col. Carl Stracener, Pediatrician, recipient of both the 'Legion of Merit' and 'Distinguished Service' medals, and co-inventor of the child resistant bottle cap, passed away on Sept. 13, 2011.

A longtime resident of Steilacoom, Washington, he was born in Alexandria on July 27, 1931. Dr. Stracener graduated from Louisiana State University where he also completed his medical degree. Carl was then commissioned into the U.S. Army, practicing primarily at Walter Reed, Brooke AMC and Madigan AMC. He also commanded the 4th Infantry Division in Vietnam where in addition to his duties he instituted programs to aid the indigenous people. Dr. Stracener practiced medicine for 44 years, 32 of which were at the department of Pediatrics at Madigan Army Medical Center in Ft. Lewis, Washington.

Dr. Stracener was renowned for his innovation and dedication to the field of pediatrics and devoted his career to children's health, the prevention of childhood poisonings and to the enthusiastic teaching of the next generation's childcare professionals.

One of his greatest achievements was the child resistant bottle cap which has practically eliminated childhood medicine poisonings. Carl was also involved in the early research for child safety seats. In addition, Col. Stracener was known for directing "Operation Baby Lift" during the Vietnam War, saving hundreds of children from disease and death.

Dr. Stracener leaves a legacy of doctors and nurses that are caring for today's children and who are continuing his passion for teaching future childcare professionals.

Carl was also known and loved in Steilacoom for providing medical advice and making free house calls. He was an avid sports enthusiast, photographer, and computer tinkerer.

He is survived by his wife Anne-Birgitte, brother James Curtis Stracener, children Karen, Janice, Ed, and Becky, step-children Astrid and Erik, and eight grandchildren. Carl was preceded in death by his wives, Betty Ratcliff (of Pineville) and Jan Marie Schnaible, and his sister Audrey (Stracener) Jones.

Dr. Stracener's life may be best expressed in his own words after 44 years of dedicated service upon his retirement, "I enjoy the challenge of helping children experience a longer, healthier, fuller, and more productive life." Carl left the world a better place in ways too numerous and varied to recount, and was far too humble to ever try.

Col. Stracener's memorial service with full military honors was held Saturday Sept. 25, 2011 at 11:00 AM at Oakwood Funeral Chapel, Tacoma, WA. The family suggests Carl be remembered through donations in his memory to Smile Train at 800-932-9541,

Published in The Town Talk on Oct. 2, 2011
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