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Mary Erma Strickland

November 23, 1923 April 28, 2021
Mary Erma Strickland
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Obituary for Mary Erma Strickland
Mary "Erma" Strickland A Desegregation Trailblazer
West Putnam, Johnson Crossroads - Mary E. Strickland, born November 23, 1923, 97, entered eternal rest at home peacefully, Wednesday, April 28, 2021.
Mary earned a Bachelor's degree from The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, Tallahassee in 1955, and her teaching career began in 1956 at the local Oak Grove Elementary School at Johnson Crossroads. Mary blazed a trail when Superintendent Carey Ferrell, who regarded her as one of the best teachers in the area, asked Mary to join his staff at West Putnam's Interlachen Elementary School during the 1966-1967 school year. Although, she faced intense opposition from anti-integration elements, Mary was a social change agent in the Putnam County Schools landscape who paved the way for other Black teachers who followed in her footsteps. Mary retired in 1988.
After five decades, Mary's legacy continues today, a legacy in which her immeasurable contributions significantly advanced the County's transition to a more equitable and inclusive education system. Mary resided in Johnson Crossroads with a loving, devoted daughter, Brenda Strickland-Brown, also a retired educator. Mary also leaves a legacy of memories to be cherished by: Two sons: Oliver W. Strickland (Mary Dell) Dallas, Texas and Leonard J. Strickland (Diana) Gordon Chapel. One brother, Rev. Joseph Williams (Lillie Mae - deceased), Hawthorne, A host of sorrowing Grandchildren, Great- Grandchildren, One Great-Great-Granddaughter, and many Nieces, Nephews, Cousins, and Friends. Preceded in Death: Husband: Rev. Joseph H. Strickland. Mary and Joseph were joined in married bliss for sixty-three years. One son, Joseph H. Strickland, Jr., Parents: Mary M. and Charlie Williams, Fifteen siblings and their spouses. Church Affiliation: Trinity United Missionary Baptist Church, Johnson Crossroads, Rev. Dr. Clarence Woods, Pastor
Viewing will be Friday, May 7, 2021, 3:00 P.M. - 7:00 P.M. at Pinkney-Smith Funeral Home, 21400 S.E. Hawthorne Road, Hawthorne, FL
Celebration of Life Service: Saturday, May 8, 2021 at 10:00 A.M., Outdoors under a large pavilion in an open field across from Gordon Chapel Community Church, 521 Gordon Chapel Road, Hawthorne, FL. Burial will be in Gilgal Cemetery, Hawthorne, FL. The Cortege will form 9:15 A.M. at the home of the late Mary E. Strickland. MASK AND SOCIAL DISTANCING RECOMMENDED. PINKNEY-SMITH FUNERAL HOME OF HAWTHORNE.
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Previous Events





3:00 PM 5/7/2021 3:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 5/7/2021 7:00:00 PM
Pinkney-Smith Funeral Home - Hawthorne

21400 SE Hawthorne Road
Hawthorne, FL 32640


Pinkney-Smith Funeral Home - Hawthorne
21400 SE Hawthorne Road Hawthorne 32640 FL
United States





10:00 AM 5/8/2021 10:00:00 AM
Gordon Chapel Community Church

521 Gordon Chapel Road
Hawthorne, FL 32640


Gordon Chapel Community Church
521 Gordon Chapel Road Hawthorne 32640 FL
United States

Cemetery Details


Gilgal Cemetery Final Resting Place

111 Gilgal Road
Hawthorne , FL 32640

111 Gilgal Road Hawthorne 32640 FL
United States

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