Mary Earlene Strinko

Mary Earlene Strinko

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Mary Earlene Strinko, age 95 of Chesterfield, Missouri, passed away peacefully in her home on December 9, 2017, at approximately 7:40 PM. Affectionately known by family and friends as Earlene, her final days were spent in the care of her loved ones who desire to celebrate her life as opposed to mourn her death.

Earlene was born second to the youngest of six siblings in Bumpus Mills, Tennessee. At the age of six, she traveled north with her three brothers and two sisters to the thriving industrial community of Middletown, Ohio. She would graduate from Middletown High School and meet Thomas John “T. J.” Strinko soon thereafter, following him to New York City where Tom had been stationed for service in the Coast Guard. On June 10, 1942, her and T. J. were married at the Broadway Tabernacle Church. Their first child, Thomas Edward Strinko, was born in New York a year later. Upon completion of Tom’s commitment to the Coast Guard in 1945, they returned to Middletown where they continued to grow the family. Tom became a custom home builder starting the T. J. Strinko Construction Company.

Carol Ann Strinko was born in October of 1950, Steven Douglas Strinko in October of 1952, and Gregory Dean Strinko in June of 1954, and it became Earlene’s mission to raise and care for her four children. Her heart was especially connected to her precious Carol Ann who was born with Down syndrome. For 64 years they were all but inseparable as Carol became representative to all that was good about the Strinko family. Carol Ann passed away in May of 2015 of natural causes. But Earlene never let go of the wonderful and caring thoughts that she had for her special Carol Ann. Her husband Tom also preceded her in death, having passed away in March of 2005.

Earlene became a committed sports fan as son Eddie inspired the family with his decision to play football at Lemon Monroe High School in Monroe, Ohio. He went on to play as a walk-on at University of Southern California, beginning a football legacy for the Strinko household as Steve and Greg would follow him gaining notoriety and full athletic scholarships to the University of Michigan. Earlene was emphatic providing the boy’s support relentlessly maintaining their uniforms and driving them back and forth to practice.

When Carol, Steven, and Greg had reached adolescence and Ed had gone off to college, Earlene and her cousin Evelyn Smith opened a Merle Norman shop in downtown Middletown. They ran the business for a couple of years until deciding to sell. That was her only outside the home endeavor, however, she did start an in-home bible study that was attended by several of her friends. Earlene had an open mind regarding the spiritual and much of her studies were geared toward the metaphysical and supernatural with a particular interest in Edgar Cayce. Earlene did consider herself a Christian but not in the traditional fundamental sense.

Earlene is survived by her three son’s Eddie (Vanna), Steve, (Arlene), and Greg (Janice), five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, who desire to express that Earlene’s passion for family and her love for people were exemplary of how she lived her life. She never spoke ill of anyone, her gentle demeanor and elegant grace, combined with her ability to forgive, were traits witnessed and experienced by all who crossed her path. Those who knew her personally can attest to how sweet and loving she was. Earlene made the world around her a better place, touching, and changing those who were blessed to make her acquaintance. We have lost a saint and heaven has gained an angel. If we could somehow find a way to bottle what she had and prescribe it to all, it could change the world. She will be sorely missed. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date in Middletown, Ohio. In lieu of flowers please send all donations to the Special Olympics or the National Down Syndrome Society.

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  1. Karen Fishman says:

    You were also lucky to have had her in your life for so very long, and she was lucky to have all of you. Continued thoughts and prayers.

  2. Jackie Burkhalter says:

    So sorry for your loss. Aunt Earlene was a wonderful and caring person. I know she will be deeply missed.

  3. Liz Fury says:

    What a full life she led!!! A wonderful and sweet lady. May she RIP. ❤❤

  4. Rebecca Poole says:

    I am praying for you all as your going through this difficult time. She may not be here on this earth with you but she will remain in your hearts forever. May The Lord fill you all with His wonderful peace.

  5. James Pickens says:

    To Steve, Greg, and the entire Strinko family,
    I am sorry to hear of your profound loss. “May God shine his light upon you, and give you peace.”

  6. Barb Williams says:

    She will be truly missed. I was blessed to have had her for an Aunt by marriage and loved all of the family. Thankful to have been cared for and loved by her sons and now to be with her loved ones that have gone before her. Gods blessings.

  7. Kathy Peck says:

    Oh her smile, would light any room or any heart. She had a gift…it was love and caring. She was my Aunt, my moms last living sibling…they are ALL gone now, hopefully ALL together again at last. She offered her house to me to get married at, offered such a warm welcome when we went to Florida…just an awesome Aunt…I will remember her love and kindness always but most of all that SMILE. I am so sorry for your loss, but she is happy and it was time for God to take her hand. Love and prayers to all.

  8. Charles McElroy says:

    Steve & Greg,

    Saddened to hear of your mother’s passing. May God continue to grant His grace upon you.

  9. Linda Koenig says:

    What an example of what an Aunt should be. I only pray I mean as much to my nieces as she meant to me. Kind, generous, strong and beautiful woman for sure. Rest in Peace. Till we meet again.

  10. Deb Cochran says:

    You all were so very blessed to have such a wonderful woman in your lives. A sentence in her obituary was so heartwarming and inspirational…”If we could somehow find a way to bottle what she had and prescribe it to all, it could change the world.” An amazing description of a fine lady!
    We are so very sorry for your loss!

  11. Robert scotney says:

    God blessed this wonderful lady with 95 amazing years spent loving and caring for her world war 2 veteran husband and four amazing children. We have lost an amazing person, one day we will all be reunited and will love to hear the stories Mrs Strinko would be willing to share. God bless you Steve. Prayers for the entire Strinko family.

  12. Sharon Martinez says:

    Sweet, dear, Aunt Earlene was such an inspiration to me and all who knew her. Her presence on earth will be sadly missed. Heaven most certainly has gained an angel.

  13. David Simpson says:

    So sorry for your loss. May the love and memories you hold in your hearts for your Mom be a source of strength as you move through this sad time.

  14. Jennifer & Luis Marrero says:

    So sorry for your loss. Such a beautiful tribute. Prayers being sent.

  15. Dave & Spugs Dillon says:

    What a wonderful legacy she left through her unselfish care of Carol and the great example she was for all her family. She lived her life with grace. RIP Earlene.

  16. George Przygodski says:

    Your mom was a blessing to all family and friends. She was a great example of Christian love. To be absent of the body is to be present with the Lord. Our condolences go out to you.

  17. CALVIN O'NEAL says:

    God loves you.

  18. Becky Hughes says:

    When I think of Earlene, the words that come to my mind…beautiful smile, kind and loving soul, a marvelous woman!

  19. Teresa Williams says:

    What a precious lady that loved life and life loved her. Always a sorry for the loss but I bet her arms are opened wide for Carol Ann….

  20. Roger Szafranski says:

    Now that is what I call a “Wonderful Life!” 95 years of having a family and friends that love and cherish you, I only wish we all could be so lucky. Your mom has left this life but take solace in the fact that she is now in heaven with God; and if you are a Christian we are promised to be reunited with family, friends, even our beloved pets we have had throughout the years. My prayers are with your family in your tremendous loss but don’t cry for yourselves, cry for the happiness she now has in her final reward with the Lord.