ANCESTRY: My Heritage

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My name is Joshua. I was born August 30th, 1979.

I am the son of James who is the son of Gerald, who is the son of Howard, who is the son of Joseph, who is the son of Stephen.

Joseph died in 1942 of heart disease.

Howard took his own life in 1953 following a fatal train crash that he may have been viewed as responsible for causing.

Gerald's name may actually be Joe. Everyone calls him Jerry. His twin brother Larry died as the result of a motorcycle crash.

My father, James, passed away of a suspected heart attack early on June 27th, 2015, the date of my daughter's 8th birthday party, of which he was to be a guest. Madison, my oldest child, was born June 29th, 2007.

Joseph was the last child born to his mother, Theresa, whose name may have actually been Therina. He had a twin sister, Josephina.

Howard had a brother named Theodore that was killed by a train at 13 years old.

Howard married Alice, my great-grandmother, on June 29th, 1929. The train crash happened on June 29th, 1952.

Howard and Alice had a son, Howard Jr., born on either August 1st or August 31st, 1929.

He died at 5 years old of Bright's Disease.

Howard attached a hose to the exhaust of his car on April 30th, 1953. As many as 4 days may have passed before he was found.

Joshua Strickland, born 1771, is documented, but I do not have much more information...yet.  

Could he have been the father of Stephen?

Stephen is my brother. Benjamin Joseph is also my brother.

Sarah Almeta of Evansville Indiana -- where we met -- is my wife. We met January 21st, 2006 and married January 20th, 2009. We have three children; Madison Almeta, a son, Brennan Nathaniel, born December 7th, 2008, and Sofia Violet, born December 14th, 2011.

My grandfather Gerald, grandmother Sidney, father James and aunt Aurilee
Me, Sarah, Madison, Brennan, Sofia and Kyan, the beagle we adopted in 2006, before any of the kids came along


James Lee Strickland age 63 of Durand passed away Saturday, June 27, 2015 at his home. Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Friday, July 3, 2015 at Faith Baptist Church in Durand. Pastor John Nyhof will be officiating. Burial to follow at Lovejoy Cemetery. Family will receive friends on Thursday, from 2-4 and 6-8 PM at Watkins Brothers Funeral Home in Durand and one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday.

James was born August 19, 1951 in Owosso, a son of Gerald and Sidney (Hemenway) Strickland. He enjoyed helping as a Sunday School Teacher and Worship Leader at Faith Baptist Church. James also ministered at the Durand Senior Care and Rehab Center. Prior to his retirement in 2007, he had been employed by Durand Public Schools as a Custodian for many years.

James is survived by his wife, Geraldine Strickland; children, Joshua (Sarah) Strickland, Benjamin (Trisha) Strickland and Stephen (Christina) Strickland; parents, Gerald (Clover) Strickland; 8 grandchildren; brother, Gerald; sisters, Aurilee, Sue and Gayla. He was preceded in death by his mother, Sidney. Memorial Contributions in James's name are suggested to the Faith Baptist Church.

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Violet Belle BeDen (Mack) went to be home with her Lord March 10, 2012. Age 89 years. She was born March 2, 1923 to the late Blanche and Sanford Mack. On March 9, 1946, in the parlor of her parent’s home, she married George BeDen. She was a long time member of Durand First Baptist Church where she loved to work with Children’s Ministries & the Women’s Missionary group. Her favorite saying was “To God be the Glory!” She loved spending time with her family.  

She is survived by her 4 children Carla Valley, Gerald (Pam) BeDen , Greg BeDen, and Carleen (Jim) Richardson; 11 grandchildren; and 24 great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her infant son George Harold, 2 sisters and 6 brothers.

A Memorial Service & Life Celebration will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday, March 17, 2012 at The First Baptist Church, 804 W. Main St. Durand, MI 48429. The family will receive friends at church on Friday March 16, 2012 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and on Saturday, March 17, 2012 from 9:00 am until service time. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider memorial contributions to First Baptist Church or Reformers Unanimous Ministry ( Arrangements made with Hyatt Ewald Funeral Home Inc., Bay City, MI.

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Pansy Pearl Pierce (Mack), age 100 of Durand, passed away on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at her home. Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 at Watkins Brothers Funeral Homes, Durand Chapel. Ron Grindling will be officiating with burial to follow in Greenwood Cemetery, Vernon. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday from 2-4 & 6-8 p.m. with a Order of Eastern Star service at 7:00 p.m.

Pansy was born in Gratiot County to Sanford and Blanche Mack on January 8, 1912. She is the oldest of 13 children. Sisters Violet BeDen, Fern Carpenter, Mary Bohman and Clover (Jerry) Strickland, along with brother Marvin (Shirley) Mack all live in the area. Pansy is a graduate of Byron High School, graduating in 1930. She married Lee Pierce on December 2, 1933. They had one son, Robert Lee Pierce.

Pansy and Lee worked together in the Durand Ford dealership until selling it in 1962 to her brother L.C. In her 60's she was the hostess for a travel club, and traveled extensively to many countries in Europe, Africa, South Amaerica, India, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, and many islands as well as Alaska. She liked to relate her experiences while traveling and when asked where she would like to revisit, she would reply "perhaps Australia." Pansy was a teacher for 14 years. She taught at the Holmes school and the Mikan and Cole schools. She had some of her brothers and sisters as students. She was also a substitute teacher at Southside school in Durand. She always took a special interest in her family and many nieces and nephews, teaching them by her examples. Pansy was a member of the Durand Methodist Church and a life member of the Order of Eastern Star, Fenton Chapter 248.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lee in 1962; son, Robert in 2007; 1 sister and 6 brothers. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Durand Senior Care and Rehab Center.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by going to

Jennie Alice Strickland (Prowant), age 103, passed away Thursday, February 7, 2008. Funeral services will be 11 AM Monday, February 11, 2008 at Sharp Funeral Homes, Miller Road Chapel, 8138 Miller Road, Swartz Creek. Interment will be in Lovejoy Cemetery, Durand. Visitation will be Sunday from 4-8 PM at the funeral home.

Alice was born March 1, 1904 in Paulding County, Ohio the daughter of Lawrence and Mary (Senger) Prowant. Survivors include her son Jerry Strickland and wife Clover of Durand, a daughter Rosemary Carpenter and husband Gary of Morrice, a daughter-in-law Rose Strickland of Bancroft, many grandchildren,great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren. Alice was preceded in death by her husband Howard, sons Larry, Howard Jr., Robert, a daughter Doris Grow, brothers Harvey and Ernest Prowant and sisters Elsie Hobaugh, Katie Warstler, and Verna Jensen.

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Jean Bundy, age 59, of Owosso, died this morning Sept. 15, 1995, at Hurley Medical Center, Flint. Arrangements will be announced later by Nelson-House Funeral Homes, Durand.

Robert J. Strickland, age 60, of 8415 Miller Rd., Durand, passed away Saturday, Feb. 21, 1987, at Flint Osteopathic Hospital, following a short illness.

Mr. Strickland worked for Simplicity Engineering in Durand for 32 years retiring in 1984.

Memorial services will be held at Bellow-Rinker Funeral HOme, Durand, Tuesday at 11 a.m. Pastor Steve Gervasi of Calvary Baptist Church, Gaines, will officiate. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Tuesday from 9 a.m. until time of service.

Mr. Strickland was born in Durand, Jan. 13, 1927, the son of Howard E. and Alice J. (Prowant) Strickland. He attended schools in Durand and lived in the Durand area most of his life. He and Rose Merrell were united in marriage in Durand, Oct. 19, 1960. He attended St. Mary's Church in Morrice.

He was a veteran of World War II serving with the U.S. Army, a member of V.F.W. Reed Raymond Post of Durand. He enjoyed restoring automobiles and motorcycles.  

Survivors include his wife Rose, four children: Randy, Tony, Julie and Kathy; three grandchildren, his mother, Alice; a brother, Gerald; a sister Rosemary; several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father, a sister, two brothers and a son.