Jim Strawbridge 87, beloved husband, uncle and veteran, passed away peacefully on May 30, 2009. He was born in Pensacola, May 3, 1922, and remained a lifelong Pensacola resident. He is survived by his wife, Johnnie Merle (Whitehead) Strawbridge.
Jim was employed for 35 years as a U.S. Postal Service employee and retired in 1976. Upon retirement, he was never idle and pursued a variety of hobbies. An avid gardener, Jim was renowned for his bountiful vegetable patches and was always quick to share that bounty with friends and relatives. He was an avid bass fisherman and for many years provided professional fishing guide service on the Apalachicola River. Jim’s favorite pastime, however, was traveling the United States with his wife Johnnie in their motor home. Amassing hundreds of thousands of driving miles over some 30+ years, they visited many friends and saw many wondrous sights from coast to coast. Jim’s tales of their travels were always interesting and his memory of the details of those travels was phenomenal. One of Jim’s lifetime achievements and the one of which he was most proud was his Marine Corps service in WWII as a member of the 4th Marine Raider Battalion under the command of Lt. Col. Evans Carlson. Known as “Carlson’s Raiders”, this elite combat unit participated in numerous campaigns in the Pacific Theater including the occupation of Guam, Emirau Island and Enogai, New Georgia Island. Jim was awarded The Unit Letter of Commendation, Asiatic-Pacific Area Ribbon with 4 stars and The Honorable Service Lapel Button for his service. Post-war, Jim remained active in the Marine Raider Association and attended many of the annual reunions over the years. Jim was a testament to the motto; “Once a Marine, Always a Marine.” SEMPER FI, Jim, you will truly be missed.
Visitation will be held from 11am until 12:15pm on Thursday, June 4, 2009 at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel with services beginning at 12:15pm with Dr. Barry Howard officiating. Burial will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church, ROC Fund, 500 N. Palafox Street, Pensacola, FL 32501.
Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel is in charge of arrangements.