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Death of a Local Legend

Gazebo Gazette

John A. Strickland, aka “Papa John”, was a man who loved, not only his family and his friends, but also his community. “Papa John” not only had such a big impact in my life, but he also had such a big impact on everyone he crossed paths with.

John inspired so many people’s lives as well. “Papa John” was kind, caring, professional, brilliant, and hard working. “Papa John” was blessed with an incredible sense of humor and a huge heart for every one he met.

“Papa John” lived a fruitful life, but he also accomplished many things as well. In 1983, “Papa John” was part of the Long Beach Fire Department family, a deacon at the Baptist church he and his family attended, and also Chief Resident Fire Coordinator for Harrison County.

After completing those accomplishments in his life, John became employed with the Long Beach School District for 12 wonderful years. For those 12 years, John was a bus driver and, sometimes, a substitute teacher. It was then that John became “Papa John” to many of the students and faculty in Long Beach.

“Papa John” was a proud Long Beach Bearcats supporter and one of the students’ favorite bus drivers. John not only drove many of the LB students to sporting events, contests, and competitions all over the state, but, he also was always cheering the LB students every chance he had.

John’s contribution to Long Beach High School and the community of Long Beach is immeasurable.

John “Papa John” Strickland was the model father, grandfather, mentor and friend. His profound impact on the lives of thousands of people and students will serve as his lasting legacy.

Strickland passed at age 71 on June 3, 2019.  There will be a visitation for family and friends on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at First Methodist Church of Long Beach from 12:00pm until the service at 2:00pm.  Riemann Family Funeral Home, 19130 Commission Road, Long Beach is serving the family.

The Gazebo Gazette says thank you for your service to the community and all you touched, “Papa John.”  Rest in Peace.

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