In memory of
Benjamin. (Ben) B Stricklan
In memory of
Benjamin. (Ben) B Stricklan
Benjamin (Ben) B. Strickland joined his loving bride in Heaven on 20 June 2020. Ben was born to Charley Strickland and Willie Mae Pickett on 17 May 1935 in Okemah, Oklahoma, where his parents worked on a ranch with their extended families. The historic Dust Bowl forced them all West to California where some made homes in Bakersfield. After a short stint in California, Charley moved his family to Arizona to work at Luke Air Force Base during WWII. Ben had two brothers, Morgan and Chuck, and a sister Jody. As with many families of the day, parents divorced and remarried. Ben gained a step brother Don and a sister Marlene, when his father Charley married Margaret Smith Deatsch. After the war the family moved to Iowa and attempted farming. The family spent five years in Iowa, a brief year in Oklahoma, then returned to Martinez, California. Ben had been shot in the lower leg during a hunting accident while living in Iowa. He spent nearly a year in a full leg cast. His injury was significant but fortunately his doctor was a WWII surgeon who had a lot of experience with gunshot wounds. His step mother (Margaret) was his surgical nurse and bravely assisted the doctor in helping Ben mend. Ben loved baseball and while we do not know if playing ball was his childhood dream before surgery, we know that becoming a pitcher was definitely his dream afterward. To that end, he nailed a five-gallon bucket to the door of his barn as the strike zone and began throwing - throwing repeatedly and throwing fast. He and his step brother Don became a pitching and catching team. Don and Ben were only six weeks apart in age. When the family moved to California the boys were teenagers and attended Alhambra High School in Martinez. Ben was a pitching ace, throwing several no hitters during his school career. After high school, Ben was recruited to join a farm team for a professional baseball club. Unfortunately, he injured his throwing arm, likely needing Tommy John surgery before it was available, ending his pitching career. Ben came to Comptche from Martinez, California. His father owned property in Comptche and Ben loved the area. In the early 1970's Ben purchased some property in Comptche and converted an old barn into a small house. He used this as his home base while attempting to get a foothold on floor covering in Fort Bragg. He would drive up from the Bay Area on the weekends and install carpet and linoleum floors and fix up his barn. He eventually opened Fort Bragg Floors with his brother Don, after proving that the market could sustain another flooring store in Fort Bragg. He later partnered with George Grover to open Strickland and Grover Floor Covering. Ben was a floor covering machine. He could accurately measure a floor in his head. It was always fun to drive around the county and have him tell us "I laid carpet here and there" - seemingly everywhere. This was a constant ringing in our ears since he put down a lot of flooring in this area over the years. Ben Strickland met the love of his life Doris in 1977 and they married three years later, settling down in Comptche where she easily wove into the fabric of the local community. Doris became very popular because of the years she worked at the Redwood Health Club and created walking groups in Fort Bragg and Comptche. In 1978, just before their marriage, Ben drove Doris from Fort Bragg to Fort Gordon, Georgia to meet his son Kurtis. Being the joker he was, he asked the Commander to summon Kurtis to the Battalion Headquarters at a full double-time run. He laughed for years and years about making his son jump through that hoop. Ben will be remembered by some of the local ladies because he used to hand them candy and whisper jokingly, "Don't tell my wife." To them he was the "candy man". Ben could tell great stories and perform as a driving tour guide to friends and family who were first time visitors to the area. Both he and Doris would host great parties in Comptche over the years. One of his most unique talents was his ability to dowse water. Over the years he helped several hundreds of families find water. He was a member of several dowsing societies. Granddaughter's perspective: Grandpa Ben was everything a young girl could ask for in a grandfather. He literally fit the bill of a sweet, loving and kind grandpa. As I look back on our times together, I recall our exciting trips to Mendocino and Glass Beach, my fascination as I watched him dowse for water, and the endless wealth of knowledge he had to share. Some of my fondest memories of him include driving around in his pickup, singing along to the radio, and eating candy we had just purchased from the Comptche store. Grandpa's pockets were always full of candy. He could always be seen passing out sweets to the women we ran into, but he doted on none of them like he did his girls. Grandma Doris of course being his main squeeze. While Grandpa was calm and reserved, Grandma was a feisty spit-fire and always the life of the party. She never failed to make people smile and always knew just how to get them to laugh. I remember her dressing me up in costumes and wigs and parading me around the house in our very own fashion show. I recall dancing together in the kitchen as we cooked and cleaned dishes. One of my favorite nightly routines though, was our post-dinner walks around Comptche, when we would often sing as loudly as we could to the neighbor's dogs. These are just a few of the moments with my grandparents that I will never forget, and some of the memories I will forever cherish. Grandsons Perspectives: Some of our earliest memories of Grandpa are the times he showed my brother and me how to locate water at his property in Comptche and at our place in Oregon. We would find a Y-shaped stick and walk with the pointed end straight ahead like a compass, and watch as it would pull and dive towards the ground to indicate a location. The weight of the pull was like a fish on a hook taking out line, a sudden wild heaviness to us, but Grandpa handled it with an easy natural stride. He developed custom dowsing instruments, metal rods that he shaped himself and used to hone his craft. There was a nonchalant confidence he had in his ability to find water for the people who hired him. "I don't get paid to miss," Grandpa said. He played professional baseball, and we were awestruck by his stories. For two kids growing up as baseball fans in the 1980's, he was a living legend. We kept a magnet of his baseball card on our refrigerator. He taught me how to throw a pitch that he called the slip curve, which had a late breaking motion and came from an arm angle almost identical to a fastball, making it difficult for hitters to recognize, and caused none of the strain associated with other types of curveballs. It was the most effective off-speed pitch I ever threw. We talked baseball strategy and how to approach hitters, mixing location and velocity. Grandpa also told us about ways of intimidating the opposition, like how he would be getting loose on the mound before a game and intentionally throw his last warm-up pitch harder than all the rest right where the leadoff hitter's head was about to be, and have the catcher growl to the batter stepping up to the plate, "He's wild as hell today!" He would call us Tiger or Outlaw, tell us jokes and one-liners that had us in stitches, and as kids just made us feel like one of the guys. He was an exceptional grandfather, gentleman, and comedian; a true one-of-a-kind. He was sharp-witted and knew all about local and world history, sports, and nature; he was even-keeled and focused, full of charisma and able to have a conversation with anyone. On car rides along the coast and winding through redwood forests, he told us about places he had seen, properties where he had worked, notable people that made an appearance along the way, and all the roads and where they led. "Full speed ahead, Tulsa straight ahead," he would say. Ben was renowned as a BBQ master, outspoken about his allegiance to Weber grills and the inferiority of all other brands. As dedicated as Ben was to his work on the Weber, his calling card was his famous chili, carefully guarding the secret recipe in his heart. Ben's chili was a multi-day labor of love, and attention to detail was second to none. Beans were individually sorted and inspected for quality before given the honor of their presence in the pot, and soaked overnight for proper preparation. Whether hosting friends or family at home, or on a road trip with the chili pot riding securely with the lid held in place with sturdy bands, Ben's chili was his signature for any social occasion. Ben's sense of humor was an inseparable part of his personality and one of his most defining characteristics. Ben could break any ice, warm any crowd, or lighten any mood with his smile and a quick joke. The king of the one-liners, Ben would deliver his words with an unbreakable straight face. His only tell was a certain glimmer in his eye that only those in the audience that knew him well could discern, accompanied by an almost imperceptible smirk. Ben was a true character in every way, which is one of the many reasons that he and Doris were quite literally the perfect match for one another. Both had the type of captivating personalities that usually are encountered only once in a lifetime. Taken together, they were the ultimate team, each playing their role perfectly as an inseparable and dynamic duo, always the life of any party. He was our Grandpa, our coach, and our friend, and we love him and miss him. Ben and Doris were inseparable. They were a power couple before the term was popular. This past December they celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. Sadly Ben lost his dear Doris on 30 April 2020. Ben has four sons, Keith, Kurtis, Kraig, and Kent and four step children, William, Rebecca, Timothy, and Angelique, Ben shares with Doris nine grandchildren: Steven (Tina), Jeffrey (Michelle), Travis (Elise), Jacob, Richard, Ashley (Kevin), Dominic, Zachary and Valeria. We will all continue to love and miss the power couple of Ben and Doris Strickland. A Celebration of Life memorial will be held for Ben and Doris in Comptche at a later date. Date and time will be published in the paper separately. Please visit and sign the guest book for Ben and Doris at Legacy.com , thank you. Donations in memory of Ben and Doris can be made to the Alzheimer's Association at alz.org
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In memory of
Benjamin. (Ben) B Stricklan
Benjamin (Ben) B. Strickland joined his loving bride in Heaven on 20 June 2020. Ben was born to Charley Strickland and Willie Mae Pickett on 17 May 1935 in Okemah, Oklahoma, where his parents worked on a ranch with their extended families. The historic Dust Bowl forced them all West to California where some made homes in Bakersfield. After a short stint in California, Charley moved his family to Arizona to work at Luke Air Force Base during WWII. Ben had two brothers, Morgan and Chuck, and a sister Jody. As with many families of the day, parents divorced and remarried. Ben gained a step brother Don and a sister Marlene, when his father Charley married Margaret Smith Deatsch. After the war the family moved to Iowa and attempted farming. The family spent five years in Iowa, a brief year in Oklahoma, then returned to Martinez, California. Ben had been shot in the lower leg during a hunting accident while living in Iowa. He spent nearly a year in a full leg cast. His injury was significant but fortunately his doctor was a WWII surgeon who had a lot of experience with gunshot wounds. His step mother (Margaret) was his surgical nurse and bravely assisted the doctor in helping Ben mend. Ben loved baseball and while we do not know if playing ball was his childhood dream before surgery, we know that becoming a pitcher was definitely his dream afterward. To that end, he nailed a five-gallon bucket to the door of his barn as the strike zone and began throwing - throwing repeatedly and throwing fast. He and his step brother Don became a pitching and catching team. Don and Ben were only six weeks apart in age. When the family moved to California the boys were teenagers and attended Alhambra High School in Martinez. Ben was a pitching ace, throwing several no hitters during his school career. After high school, Ben was recruited to join a farm team for a professional baseball club. Unfortunately, he injured his throwing arm, likely needing Tommy John surgery before it was available, ending his pitching career. Ben came to Comptche from Martinez, California. His father owned property in Comptche and Ben loved the area. In the early 1970's Ben purchased some property in Comptche and converted an old barn into a small house. He used this as his home base while attempting to get a foothold on floor covering in Fort Bragg. He would drive up from the Bay Area on the weekends and install carpet and linoleum floors and fix up his barn. He eventually opened Fort Bragg Floors with his brother Don, after proving that the market could sustain another flooring store in Fort Bragg. He later partnered with George Grover to open Strickland and Grover Floor Covering. Ben was a floor covering machine. He could accurately measure a floor in his head. It was always fun to drive around the county and have him tell us "I laid carpet here and there" - seemingly everywhere. This was a constant ringing in our ears since he put down a lot of flooring in this area over the years. Ben Strickland met the love of his life Doris in 1977 and they married three years later, settling down in Comptche where she easily wove into the fabric of the local community. Doris became very popular because of the years she worked at the Redwood Health Club and created walking groups in Fort Bragg and Comptche. In 1978, just before their marriage, Ben drove Doris from Fort Bragg to Fort Gordon, Georgia to meet his son Kurtis. Being the joker he was, he asked the Commander to summon Kurtis to the Battalion Headquarters at a full double-time run. He laughed for years and years about making his son jump through that hoop. Ben will be remembered by some of the local ladies because he used to hand them candy and whisper jokingly, "Don't tell my wife." To them he was the "candy man". Ben could tell great stories and perform as a driving tour guide to friends and family who were first time visitors to the area. Both he and Doris would host great parties in Comptche over the years. One of his most unique talents was his ability to dowse water. Over the years he helped several hundreds of families find water. He was a member of several dowsing societies. Granddaughter's perspective: Grandpa Ben was everything a young girl could ask for in a grandfather. He literally fit the bill of a sweet, loving and kind grandpa. As I look back on our times together, I recall our exciting trips to Mendocino and Glass Beach, my fascination as I watched him dowse for water, and the endless wealth of knowledge he had to share. Some of my fondest memories of him include driving around in his pickup, singing along to the radio, and eating candy we had just purchased from the Comptche store. Grandpa's pockets were always full of candy. He could always be seen passing out sweets to the women we ran into, but he doted on none of them like he did his girls. Grandma Doris of course being his main squeeze. While Grandpa was calm and reserved, Grandma was a feisty spit-fire and always the life of the party. She never failed to make people smile and always knew just how to get them to laugh. I remember her dressing me up in costumes and wigs and parading me around the house in our very own fashion show. I recall dancing together in the kitchen as we cooked and cleaned dishes. One of my favorite nightly routines though, was our post-dinner walks around Comptche, when we would often sing as loudly as we could to the neighbor's dogs. These are just a few of the moments with my grandparents that I will never forget, and some of the memories I will forever cherish. Grandsons Perspectives: Some of our earliest memories of Grandpa are the times he showed my brother and me how to locate water at his property in Comptche and at our place in Oregon. We would find a Y-shaped stick and walk with the pointed end straight ahead like a compass, and watch as it would pull and dive towards the ground to indicate a location. The weight of the pull was like a fish on a hook taking out line, a sudden wild heaviness to us, but Grandpa handled it with an easy natural stride. He developed custom dowsing instruments, metal rods that he shaped himself and used to hone his craft. There was a nonchalant confidence he had in his ability to find water for the people who hired him. "I don't get paid to miss," Grandpa said. He played professional baseball, and we were awestruck by his stories. For two kids growing up as baseball fans in the 1980's, he was a living legend. We kept a magnet of his baseball card on our refrigerator. He taught me how to throw a pitch that he called the slip curve, which had a late breaking motion and came from an arm angle almost identical to a fastball, making it difficult for hitters to recognize, and caused none of the strain associated with other types of curveballs. It was the most effective off-speed pitch I ever threw. We talked baseball strategy and how to approach hitters, mixing location and velocity. Grandpa also told us about ways of intimidating the opposition, like how he would be getting loose on the mound before a game and intentionally throw his last warm-up pitch harder than all the rest right where the leadoff hitter's head was about to be, and have the catcher growl to the batter stepping up to the plate, "He's wild as hell today!" He would call us Tiger or Outlaw, tell us jokes and one-liners that had us in stitches, and as kids just made us feel like one of the guys. He was an exceptional grandfather, gentleman, and comedian; a true one-of-a-kind. He was sharp-witted and knew all about local and world history, sports, and nature; he was even-keeled and focused, full of charisma and able to have a conversation with anyone. On car rides along the coast and winding through redwood forests, he told us about places he had seen, properties where he had worked, notable people that made an appearance along the way, and all the roads and where they led. "Full speed ahead, Tulsa straight ahead," he would say. Ben was renowned as a BBQ master, outspoken about his allegiance to Weber grills and the inferiority of all other brands. As dedicated as Ben was to his work on the Weber, his calling card was his famous chili, carefully guarding the secret recipe in his heart. Ben's chili was a multi-day labor of love, and attention to detail was second to none. Beans were individually sorted and inspected for quality before given the honor of their presence in the pot, and soaked overnight for proper preparation. Whether hosting friends or family at home, or on a road trip with the chili pot riding securely with the lid held in place with sturdy bands, Ben's chili was his signature for any social occasion. Ben's sense of humor was an inseparable part of his personality and one of his most defining characteristics. Ben could break any ice, warm any crowd, or lighten any mood with his smile and a quick joke. The king of the one-liners, Ben would deliver his words with an unbreakable straight face. His only tell was a certain glimmer in his eye that only those in the audience that knew him well could discern, accompanied by an almost imperceptible smirk. Ben was a true character in every way, which is one of the many reasons that he and Doris were quite literally the perfect match for one another. Both had the type of captivating personalities that usually are encountered only once in a lifetime. Taken together, they were the ultimate team, each playing their role perfectly as an inseparable and dynamic duo, always the life of any party. He was our Grandpa, our coach, and our friend, and we love him and miss him. Ben and Doris were inseparable. They were a power couple before the term was popular. This past December they celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary. Sadly Ben lost his dear Doris on 30 April 2020. Ben has four sons, Keith, Kurtis, Kraig, and Kent and four step children, William, Rebecca, Timothy, and Angelique, Ben shares with Doris nine grandchildren: Steven (Tina), Jeffrey (Michelle), Travis (Elise), Jacob, Richard, Ashley (Kevin), Dominic, Zachary and Valeria. We will all continue to love and miss the power couple of Ben and Doris Strickland. A Celebration of Life memorial will be held for Ben and Doris in Comptche at a later date. Date and time will be published in the paper separately. Please visit and sign the guest book for Ben and Doris at Legacy.com , thank you. Donations in memory of Ben and Doris can be made to the Alzheimer's Association at alz.org
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