Edmond J. Strickland, 90, of Livingston, California, passed away peacefully in his home on March 12, 2022, with his daughter Shannon by his side.
Edmond was born in Amhurst, Texas, on August 24, 1931, to Benjamin (Frank) F. Strickland and Rena Mae (Gardner) Strickland. Edmond was raised in Madill, Oklahoma where he attended Madill High School, excelling in leadership as his Senior class President and Captain of the football team. He also received honors, was named for All-District and All-State running back and voted “Most Popular” his senior year. Edmond graduated High School in 1952 with a football scholarship to Oklahoma University (O.U.).
After graduation, Edmond attended Oklahoma University, O.U. (1952-53), however due to an injury while on the O.U. football team, he left O.U. and transferred to Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma his sophomore year (1953-54), studying Engineering. There he met his loving wife of 51 years, Marlene A. Strickland. They married in May 1954 when he was immediately drafted into the Army, serving his country from June 1954 until June of 1956. After discharge, he attended Southeastern State College in Durant, Oklahoma, graduating in 1958 with a B.S. in Physical Education. In 1958 he also attended Fresno State College in Fresno, CA, where he did graduate work and was an assistant coach on the Freshman football team. He later completed his Masters, in Physical Education from Southeastern State College in Durant, Oklahoma.
In June of 1957, Edmond and his wife Marlene welcomed their first child, James, (1957-2021), born in Durant Ok. In July of 1958 their daughter Shannon was born in Fowler, CA, and finally in December of 1962, their youngest son Wesley was born in El Paso, TX.
Edmond officially began his teaching & coaching career at Ft. Hancock H.S., Ft. Hancock, TX, from 1960-63. In 1963 his family moved to Gallup, N.M., where he taught and coached at Gallup H.S., from 1963-68. After moving to California in 1968, he taught and coached for 2 years, 1968-70 at Maxwell H.S., Maxwell, CA. Finally, in 1970, he and the family moved to Livingston, CA, where he taught and coached at Livingston H.S. from 1970, until his retirement in 1993. Throughout his teaching and coaching career, he taught courses in Physical Education, Math and Shop. Edmond, also known as “Coach,” coached a variety of sports during his career which included football, basketball, track, gymnastics, tennis, and wrestling.
In retirement, Edmond and his wife remained active, travelling the country in their Airstream trailer. He also enjoyed activities such as metal detecting, fishing, and golfing.
Edmond was also very proud of his Native American heritage. His grandfather Alfred (Buddy) T. Gardner was an “Original Enrollee” with the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, of which Edmond was a longtime member and “Choctaw Veteran.”
Edmond was predeceased by his father (Frank), mother (Rena), wife (Marlene), son (James) and sisters (Ruby, Rena, and Louella). He is survived by his daughter Shannon Strickland; son and daughter-in-law, Wesley, and Nina Strickland; daughter-in-law Sandra (Cole) Strickland; grandchildren Justin Strickland, Melissa Peinado, Dana Glenn, and Cole Strickland; great-grandchildren Ella, Sammy, Aubrie, Jakobi, Adelia and step great-grandchild Nathan; his beloved cats Pooky and Tiger and grand-dogs Dolly and Sysie.
On a final note, if Edmond (Coach) Strickland ever referred to you as “Ya Big Dummy,” that meant he really liked you and all of us “Dummies” out here will miss him dearly.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to his favorite charity, K9s for warriors, http://www.k9sforwarriors.org