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Benjamin John Strickenberger
He was born on March 29, 1939, in Marble PA, the son of Leo and Nellie (Weaver) Strickenberger.
He graduated from North Clarion High School in 1958. He then enlisted in the United States Navy. He was assigned the USS Little Rock and was a plank owner as the ship was recommissioned. He served onboard as a Machinist Mate in the aft engine room. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1962. Throughout his life he greatly treasured his time in the Navy and the relationships he forged with his shipmates. He found great joy in rekindling these friendships through the USS Little Rock Association and their annual meetings.
In 1963, he graduated from the New Castle School of Meat Cutting, PA, and began working at IGA in Oil City. On June 6, 1966 he began working for Quality Markets in Reno, PA. He remained a meat cutter with Quality Markets and Bilo in Titusville, Meadville, Union City, and Corry for 36 years, retiring in 2002. He operated Harry’s Pizza in Oil City from 1968-1973.
On April 19, 1969, he married Patricia Jane Freeman at St. Stephen Church in Oil City. They celebrated 51 years of marriage in April. Together they have one son, Matthew.
Among the things he loved doing in this life was: hunting with many friends and family members; spending time at ‘the country’ in Dempseytown especially with his brother Ken; putting on his annual day-before-labor-day picnic for over 25 years; playing basketball, volleyball, and softball in his younger days, and later with the 55+ softball league; traveling to Idaho to see his nephew Dan; being a Boy Scout leader and helping his son earn the rank of Eagle; making maple syrup; cutting steak on ‘steak night’ at camp; processing deer in the basement of the house; being a 3rd Degree member of the Knights of Columbus; dabbling in home repairs and construction projects far beyond the limits of common sense; serving as an Usher for 7:30 Mass at St. Stephen’s because there was no music; going to breakfast afterwards at Famoore’s with his table of friends; returning to Fryburg to visit with family and friends he grew up with; eating – anything, anywhere and asking ‘where are we going for dinner’ at least 7 times a day; he even enjoyed (we think) going on a cruise to Alaska in 2015 to which he brought, as he did to everything that he did, his special brand of German curmudgeonliness; helping others with a sincere heart whenever anyone was in need – because that’s just who he was; and any number of other odd projects and crazy ideas that he came up with at a moment’s notice which simply had to be done immediately, and which always brought a smile to his face. And he loved (eventually) his cats and his grand-pug.
In a special way the family is truly grateful to the work and efforts of the doctors, nurses, and staff of UPMC Northwest, the Cranberry Dialysis Center, and the Visiting Nurses Association who provided a most kind and professional environment for him, and who cared for him with the utmost respect, patience, and compassion. May God bless you all abundantly for the extraordinary work that you do!
In addition to his wife and son, he is survived by Germaine and Freda, his sisters whom he loved staying in touch with, many nieces and nephews whom he adored, and many friends and coworkers with whom he built so many incredible memories that remained with him his entire life.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Ken and his wife Helen, and brothers-in-law Peter Schill and Robert Schwabenbauer.
Visitation will take place at Morrison Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 17, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Stephen Church in Oil City on Thursday, June 18, 2020, at 11 a.m., presided over by his son, Rev. Matthew J. Strickenberger.
Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery.
The family suggests memorial donations may be made to the USS Little Rock Association, Attn: Treasurer, 63 Barnes Road, Stamford, CT 06902.
Morrison Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
Online condolences may be left at www.morrisonhome.com.
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