Dr. William “Ray” Stricklin (9-5-18) service 9-11-18
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Dr. William “Ray” Stricklin on Wednesday, Sept. 5, in Munfordville, Kentucky, at the age of 72.
Ray was born April 17, 1946, in Savannah, the third son of the late James Riley Stricklin and Dorthea Emily Reynolds Stricklin. On Sept. 2, 1967, he married Cheryl Ann Cheaney in Snyder, Oklahoma. Together, they raised a daughter, Sarah. On July 16, 2011, he was united in marriage with Dr. Pamela I. Clark in Reisterstown, Maryland.
Ray graduated from Central High School in Savannah, where he served as president of the Student Council. He was an active member and officer of the Future Farmers of America. In 1968, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in animal husbandry as well as a Master of Science in 1972 from the University of Tennessee, where he was a member of the award-winning Animal Livestock Judging Team. In 1975, Ray received his Doctorate from the Pennsylvania State University.
On Jan. 23, 1969, Ray entered the Army and completed basic training at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, before being assigned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas, for medic training. He was awarded 24th Infantry Division Soldier of the Year in Fort Riley, Kansas, before ending his military service in December of 1970.
In 1976, he began his career at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, where he served as assistant professor of animal science for four years. In 1980, Dr. Stricklin joined the faculty of the Animal and Avian Sciences Department at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was to spend the majority of his career. As an associate professor, Ray enjoyed inspiring and mentoring his students. His affinity for lively and challenging debate is warmly remembered. Passionate about applied ethology and the ethics of animal welfare, Dr. Stricklin traveled the world to attend conferences, give lectures and teach classes. During his tenure at the University of Maryland, Ray served as associate dean of students for his department, was the chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and was deeply honored to be appointed as a Lilly Fellow for the 2002-2003 academic year. Ray retired in July of 2018.
Ray was a longtime member of Robertson Chapel United Methodist Church in Savannah, before transferring his membership in later years to the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. He frequently volunteered at the church homeless shelter and enjoyed participating in Sunday school discussions.
Ray and Pam planned to spend their retirement in the town of Munfordville, Kentucky, where they had recently purchased a small farm. In his final year, Ray’s conversations were filled with enthusiasm for his return to farming and he enjoyed hosting family gatherings, fishing in his pond, working in his garden, and taking his grandchildren for rides on his new property. He also enjoyed collecting LEGO, traveling, listening to music, and was an avid reader of history and philosophy. Ray had a gift for storytelling and frequently entertained his family and friends with tales from his childhood and other Stricklin family stories.
In addition to his wife and mother, Ray is survived by his daughter, Sarah L. Koelsch and husband Robert of Lake Bluff, Illinois; brothers, Don Reynolds Stricklin and J. Mac Stricklin, both of Savannah; sisters, M. Elaine Raines and husband Bob of Hot Springs, Arkansas and D. Annette Williams and husband Keith of Paducah, Kentucky; and grandchildren, Anna Dorthea Koelsch, Mary Dona “Marjorie” Koelsch and Robert William “Fletcher” Koelsch.
Along with his father, Dr. Stricklin was preceded in death by his brother, Kim Stricklin.
Services were held on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at 1 p.m., at Shackelford Chapel in Savannah with Jeb Stricklin and Jason Estes officiating. Burial followed in Mt. Hermon Cemetery at Savannah.