John Nelson Strange

Published 11:43 am Wednesday, April 2, 2014

John Nelson Strange, a longtime resident of Vicksburg, died Monday, March 31, 2014.  He was 91. 

Mr. Strange was born in Fayetteville, Arkansas on June 24, 1922, but spent most of his youth living in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

After graduating from high school in Fort Smith, he enrolled at the University of Arkansas in the fall of 1940. In August 1942, he enlisted in the Army’s Aviation Cadet Program, and, in January 1943, he was ordered into active duty.

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During WWII, he served in the European Theater of Operations with the Ninth Air Force, the 322nd Bomb Group, and the 450th Bomb Squadron. During his tour of duty, he flew forty-seven combat missions, was was twice wounded in action and was awarded the Purple Heart with Cluster. He also received the Air Medal with one silver and three bronze oak leaf clusters.

After separation from the Air Corps in 1945, he returned to the University of Arkansas and graduated from the College of Engineering in June 1948. Later that same month, he joined the staff of the Waterways Experiment Station where he served as a Research Engineer/Scientist, specializing in Fluid Dynamics and Nuclear Weapons Effects.

During his employment at Waterways, he was granted two one-year leaves of absence to do post graduate studies at the University of Texas in Austin and at Mississippi State University in Starkville.

He was a recipient of the Department of the Army’s Research and Development Achievement Award and is the author of several scientific papers that were published in various scientific journals, especially as related to research at Waterways.

He retired from Waterways in December 1980 after 32 years of service. After retirement, he taught Mathematics at Hinds Community College in Raymond. He is also the author of two books, both published in 2005.

He was a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Vicksburg, where he taught Sunday school classes, served as a Deacon, and was honored to be elected to be a life-member of the church’s executive committee.

He is survived by his wife, Marie Slack Strange, with whom he had recently celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary; his son, Dr. John N. Strange, Jr. and his wife, Karen of Hendersonville, N.C., along with their children, Anna Grace Strange, Ethan Strange, Emily Strange, and Isaac Strange; and his daughter, Janet Strange Hammons and her husband, Dr. Michael Hammons of Clinton, along with their children, Aaron Hammons and his wife Melissa, Amy Hammons, and James Hammons.

Services will be 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 3, 2014 at Glenwood Funeral Home with Dr. Matt Buckles, pastor of First Baptist Church, officiating. Music will be performed by Jim and Shiela Hess. Interment will follow at Greenlawn Gardens Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the hour of the service.

Pallbearers will be Buddy Arnold, D.D. Davidson, Tom Hill, Robert Peters, Jim Pilgrim, Glen Rhett, Arthur Lagg, and David Haworth.

Honorary pallbearers will be the past and present members of the Grand Adventure Bible Class, members of the Executive Committee, deacons of First Baptist Church, Turner Brown, Jackie Arnold, Kerry Pitts, Hollis Allen, and Dan Daly.

It is requested that memorial gifts be given to the First Baptist Church’s Endowment Fund at 1607 Cherry St.