Obituary-Denny Lee Strickland, Sr.  

Published 1:11 am Friday, November 17, 2023

Funeral services for Denny Lee Strickland, Sr. will be Saturday, Nov. 18, at Steens First Baptist Church, 40 Odom Road in Steens, Mississippi 39766, Brother Danny Avery officiating. Visitation at 10 a.m., with services at 11 a.m.. Interment with U. S. Navy honors will be at Egger’s Cemetery in Caledonia, Mississippi. Memorial Gunter Peel Funeral Home, Columbus Mississippi will oversee services.  

Denny Lee Strickland, Sr., age 75, passed away early Monday morning, November 13, at his daughter’s  home in Columbus, Mississippi. Denny was a resident of Lakeland, Florida. He was born in Columbus on May 15, 1948,  to the parents Homer “Junior” Strickland and Lou Ellen Bridges Strickland. He attended and  graduated from S.D. Lee High School in Columbus in 1966. After graduating, Denny went to work briefly  at American Bosch before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in June 1967. Thus began an illustrious career with  his beloved Navy. After enlisting in 1967, He went to Naval Station Great Lakes, Michigan for his basic training and afterwards through November 1980, he served on various ships: USS LOWRY, USS PUTNAM, USS WILLIAM C. LAWE AND USS HERMITAGE. From December 1980-June 1983, Denny was assigned as an instructor at Service School Command in Orlando, Florida, then as Leading Chief aboard the USS DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER. He served in the Fleet Training Group, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 1985 to January 1988, as Senior Visual Communications Instructor.  

In February 1988, Master Chief Denny Strickland assumed duties as the Command Master Chief of Naval Station Norfolk. In June 1990, He assumed the duties of Command Master Chief aboard the Commander Second Fleet Flagship, USS Mount Whitney until July 1993, where he served as the Command Master Chief for Commander, Training Air Wing ONE, NAS Meridian, MS.  

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Command Master Chief Denny Lee Strickland retired from the US Navy July 1, 1997, but he remained Navy strong throughout the rest of his life. One could not miss that Denny was a Navy veteran if you met him or knew him personally. After God, his wife and family, Denny loved the Navy with his whole heart. But he loved nothing better than being on a ship at sea. His family often told him that he volunteered for sea duty even when he didn’t have to! Denny’s upbringing by a Godly mother and his military career, shaped him into the honorable man he became. He was a friend to all and loved by everyone. After retiring to Lakeland, Florida in 2009, Denny became an institution in his Highland Fairways community. Denny was not slack in lending a helping hand to others and was lovingly called “The Mayor of Highland Fairways. He was always admired for being the sharpest dressed veteran in any military affair.  

In addition to his parents, Denny is preceded in death by his brother, Donald W. Strickland; daughter, Candice Strickland; and grandson, Denny Lee (Trey) Strickland III.  

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Julia V Strickland; daughter, Kimberly Zettler (Danny) Columbus, Mississippi; sons, Denny L Strickland, Jr (Sharron) of Luverne and Mark Strickland (Susan) of Smithfield, Virginia. Sisters, Wanda Shelton (Larry) and Sharron Beasley (John) both of Columbus. Brothers, Warren Conner (Tammy) Caledonia, Mississippi, Ray Conner (Mary Jane) DeKalb, Mississippi, Irvin Conner (Belinda) Union Mississippi, and Mark Conner of Caledonia. Grandchildren, Madeline, Tanner, Stella, Sadie, Savannah, Carlie Strickland and Elizabeth and Alyssa Zettler.  

Pallbearers will be Donald Strickland, JR, Jimmy Strickland, Bo Shelton, Chase Conner, Dale Conner, Justin Black.  

In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to St Jude on Denny’s behalf.  

Denny’s family would like to extend a special thank you to Lakeland Regional Hospital, Doctors and Nurses for the care given to him, also The Good Shepherd for their part to get Denny ready for his journey back to Mississippi as well as Baptist Hospice in Columbus for caring for him on the last leg of his earthly  journey. A last shoutout to his wonderful Highland Village community for all the love and support to Denny and His family during the time he had with you and his sickness. He loved you all and will forever be missed by all of us.