Animals Pets 01


February 8, 1941 ~ June 6, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old


Mary Carroll Strickler (Naples, FL and previously Charlotte, NC, Oakton, VA, and Riverside, CA)
was a caring wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She left this world suddenly on June 6, 2023 at
age 82 during surgery in North Charleston, South Carolina.

She was born to Jim and Hazel (Holland) Carroll on February 8, 1941 in San Diego. Mary and her
brother, David, grew up in Edgemont, where they enjoyed the freedom of the outdoors offered at
the base of the surrounding foothills. The environment provided the backdrop for Mary’s first love,
dogs. She and David were responsible and accountable for Butch, a Beagle not granted indoor
presence by his grandparents.

After graduating from Riverside Poly High School in 1958, Mary chased her dreams to live
independently. She began in the Long Beach area, followed Elvis, enjoyed the beach and took
pride in her new Pontiac. Her roommates, Sue and Norma, were just a call away through the
decades that followed. In those days Mary always had a job (as she enjoyed learning to cook to
support her “eating habit”) and found employment as a secretary in a number of different
companies. She was “self taught” since leaving Poly and took justifiable pride in expanding her
interests; eg, she had a prime seat on the floor at the close of the1960 Convention
(Kennedy/Johnson) in LA. When she took a secretarial position with North American Aviation on
the Apollo program she found that the sense of purpose (the mission) and the regimen associated
with achieving objectives to be very different from her previous work assignments. She opened the
door for her career in the aerospace industry.

She moved back to the Inland Empire in 1967 where she took a position with TRW on the ICBM
program in San Bernardino. She decided that was the time and place to show that she loved
“inside” dogs too, by developing attachments to Chihuahuas and white Foo-Foos whose feet
seldom hit the floor. She raised her daughter and the dogs in an atmosphere of love and caring.
Meanwhile on the workfront, her attention to the details in getting the job completed was noticed                                                                                                                                                        and she became an administrative assistant in Redondo Beach responsible for creating a
classified environment and producing, transporting, and delivering TRW’s (winning) Strategic
Defense Initiative Architecture (aka “Star Wars”) proposal to DC decision makers.

After marriage to Bob in October 1985 their mutual love for dogs was reinforced by Mary’s
purchase of a Chocolate Lab puppy that she and Julie selected as ‘the one’ that fit into a home
then occupied by Susan, a mixed breed with Beagle attributes, and a guy who had lost his two
German Shorthair Pointers in the previous three years. An inner Boilermaker emerged within Mary
as she became a member of the Purdue Alumni Association, John Purdue Club, and the (Purdue)
President’s Council. After moving away from her beloved Riverside to the DC area, she accepted
the premise that being in the same time zone made season tickets for Boiler football to be an
exciting prospect for seven three-day weekends each fall.

Mary and Bob both shared an interest in exploring and soon they put together a classic safari to
Kenya and Tanzania to view CLOSE UP the animals seen at safe distances in US zoos. The
international trips became an annual event with the most recent one to Italy literally a few weeks
before Covid was identified in that area in 2019. Mary’s tastes in music expanded beyond Elvis to
include Michael Ball, West End Andrew Lloyd Weber productions and a trio of Italian boys, Il Volo,
who had shown in Eurovision competition that the world appreciates talent.

Mary lost her (favorite) dog, Addy, a Yellow Lab, at 16 years and three weeks, the last week of
which was very tough for all, in late November 2021. The thought of Addy being there now for
Mary and the expectation of seeing all again is what keeps one going.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents, Jim and Hazel Carroll (Riverside) and her brother,
David Carroll (Southaven, MS). Her husband of 37+ years, Robert Strickler (Naples, Florida) and
daughter, Julie Williams (Riverside) as well as immediate family members survive: Bob’s sons,
Brian (Matthews, NC) and Mark (Lake Oswego,OR) and their families, Margot, Brian’s wife, and
Lisa, Mark’s wife, and the two sets of grandchildren, Claire and Kurt (Matthews,NC) and Siena and
Juliana (Lake Oswego, OR), Julie’s husband Eureko, and their Riverside family, grandchildren
Neko, Eric and Daniel. In addition, two sisters-in-law survive; Joan Carroll (David’s wife)
(Southaven,MS) and Arlene Alexander (Bob’s sister) (Ft Myers, FL). The family trees of the Carroll
and Holland families cover a wide swath of SW USA with their roots. By the 1930s many had
moved to the west coast paradise of California with the result that family reunions in Riverside or
Modesto became the summer highlight for Mary through the years, the most recent being “up
North” in the Modesto area before Covid.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 am on Friday, July 21, 2023, at the First United Methodist
Church, 4845 Brockton Avenue, Riverside, CA. Following the service all attendees are encouraged
to gather with the family at an informal reception hosted by the women of the Methodist Church.

Arrangements entrusted to the care of Akes Family Funeral Home, Riverside, California.

©copyright 2023 Akes Family Funeral Homes


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of MARY CARROLL STRICKLER, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor MARY's memory.


Memorial Service
July 21, 2023

11:00 AM


© 2023 Akes Family Funeral Homes. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility