OSWEGO — Albert Leroy Strickland, 84, a lifelong Oswego area farmer and businessman, died at 9:58 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, at his home in Oswego.
He was born March 29, 1936, the ninth of 10 children of Isaac William and Florence Leona (Cunningham) Strickland on the family farm southwest of Oswego. Growing up during the days of the Great Depression was difficult, but everyone in the family learned how to work and it took effort from each one to keep the family afloat. He often spoke of milking the cows when he was too small to lift the bucket of milk and of him and a sister plowing the fields behind a team of two horses, Bud and Dan.
He attended the one-room Dickerman School nearby the farm and progressed to Labette County Community High School at Altamont, where he graduated in 1954 with a trade school diploma in vocational agriculture.
Albert married his classmate, Maxine Ann Paul, on June 1, 1956, and they resided on the Lost Valley farm southwest of Oswego while he and his brother, Wayne, continued their farming careers doing custom haying and other farm work for Oswego area farmers. The couple moved to Oswego, and Albert soon received his notice to report for active Army duty on Aug. 16, 1960. He was sent overseas, being stationed in Wackenheim, Germany, where he served as a machine gun sergeant for the Seventh U.S. Army’s 21st Artillery who fired the “Honest John” missiles.
Albert and Wayne and B.B. Crawford formed C & S Sales, later Strickland Brothers, on Aug. 23, 1958, selling Allis Chalmers equipment. Upon his return he and Wayne built Strickland Brothers into a successful equipment dealership. In 1970 they sold 40 new and used combines in the farming community. After Wayne’s death in 2001, Albert continued the implement business until April 2016.
Albert’s identity has always been his dedication and work ethic. One customer referred to him as the “combine doctor” for his ability to listen to the sounds coming from the combine and diagnosing various mechanical problems. He performed each job according to his personal motto: “Do it right the first time.”
He was a true farmer — that’s all he ever wanted to be. He loved the occupation he chose and the land that he worked. He never blinked an eye at working long, hard hours, and he especially enjoyed the harvest.
Albert’s wife, Maxine, passed away May 3, 1995. He then married Peggy (Ellison) Allen on Dec. 12, 1996, and she survives of the home. He was preceded in death by all his immediate family and their spouses, Velma (Ralph) Nettleton, Wayne (Betty) Strickland, Charlotte “Juanita” (Herschel Monroe and Paul Fisher) Fisher, Esther (Bill) Kirkpatrick, Elsie (Ronald) Phillips, Betty (Bill) Martinie, Leona “June” (Bill) Horn, Karen (Wesley) Ball and brother Robert Dean, who died in infancy.
Other survivors include his many nieces and nephews and Peggy’s children, Cindy (Jeff) Dean and their children, Gwyn, Easton and Anna Grace of Oswego, and Jeff (Jamie) Allen and their children, Justin, Meagan and Jackson of Alpine, California.
The service will be at 3 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church in Oswego, where Albert was a member, with Pastor Jim Irwin officiating. The service will be livestreamed on the Carson-Wall Funeral Home Facebook page. There will be a private burial on Saturday at Oswego Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday at the church. Because of the current COVID-19 situation, masks will be required by all attending. Carson-Wall Funeral Home of Parsons is in charge of arrangements, and friends may call there throughout the day on Thursday.
Memorials are suggested to either the USD 506 Foundation to be used for the Labette County High School FFA program or to First Baptist Church of Oswego and may be left at or sent to the funeral home, Box 942, Parsons, KS 67357.
Online messages may be left at www.wallfuneralservices.com.