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Jay Brooks Strange

Obituary for Jay Brooks Strange

March 13, 1920 - June 25, 2019
Inman, South Carolina | Age 99

Obituary

Jay Brooks Strange, was 99 years-old when he answered his last mission call on June 25, 2019. A lifelong resident of Inman, SC, Jay was an Army Sargent (WWII) and Pearl Harbor Survivor. He succumbed to congestive heart failure and COPD. Born in Landrum, SC to the late, Claude and Eunice Bryant Strange in 1920, he graduated from Gramling High School in 1939, and enlisted in the Army in August. He was in Service Company, 35th Infantry and began his tour in Panama--to see a little bit of the world--before being sent for basic training in Hawaii. He served six years overseas.
He was stationed at Schofield Barracks and had just finished breakfast (in town) with some of his buddies, on his last day of service, when the Japanese began bombing Pearl Harbor. During a frantic cab-ride back to the barracks--while dodging the bombs strafing the highway along their route--the cab lost a mirror and left tire. The seven service members jumped out; lifted the cab and changed the tire; so they could continue. During the ride, they could see the ships rolling over in the harbor, and the grins on the Japanese pilot's faces as they dive-bombed the fleet.
Following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he was sent to Guadalcanal: then to New Georgia: to New Caledonia: to Lake Luzon and finally: home. Most of that time was spent in a hole in the ground, coming out every three or four months. During his time there, he earned medals for: Combat Infantry Badge, the American Defense Medal with one Bronze Star, the Asiatic-Pacific Medal with four Bronze Stars, the Philippine Liberation Medal with one Bronze Star, and the Good Conduct Medal.
He enjoyed his time in New Zealand and Hawaii, spinning many stories about the friendliness of the people and the freshness of the tropical fruits. He spoke about the ripe pineapples in the fields glowing yellow at night. When he finally arrived stateside, he traveled by train across the United States to Fort Bragg, NC. Once he arrived at Fort Bragg, he learned that he was being discharged. He immediately dined on a hotdog and CokeĀ®. When asked what he missed most during his six years overseas, he answered, "Well, you'd be surprised how much you'd miss a CokeĀ®. I've gladly paid 50 cents for one many a time and it would be hot."
Jay retired from Lyman Printing and Finishing Company in 1982, where he worked as a cloth-finishing inspector for 34 years. He was a member of Holston Creek Baptist Church; American Legion Post 45; Inman Masonic Lodge 201; Hejaz Shriner; Woodmen of the World.
He is survived by his wife, Ethel Ravan Strange; daughter, Gail (Roger) Skinner; daughter, Jayne (Ron) Williamson of Hendersonville, NC; grandchildren, Ginger (Tony) Gosnell; Brent Skinner; Elaine (Kyle) Caraway; great grandchildren; Abby and Ally Gosnell; Morgan and Liam Caraway. He was preceded in death by his brother, Clifford "Buck" Strange, and nephew Donnie Strange.
The family would like to thank Agape Hospice; the many caregivers at home; The Inverness at Spartanburg; and many friends and family for their love and support during the last few years. In lieu of flowers, memorials should be made to: www.veteranlastpatrol.org.
Services will be held in the chapel at 11 AM, on June 28, 2019, at Seawright Funeral Home and Crematory, 26 East Main Street, Inman, SC 29349. http://www.seawright-funeralhome.com. Reverend Reggie Parker, Holston Creek Baptist Church and Dean Cortese, Agape Hospice Chaplin, will officiate. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Burial with military honors will be in Roselawn Memorial Gardens. The family will be at the home of his daughter, Gail Skinner, 1231 Hickory Nut Road, Inman.
Seawright Funeral Home & Crematory
www.seawright-funeralhome.com

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26 E. Main Street
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Inman, SC 29349
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