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Theodore Russell “Ted” Strickler

Theodore Russell “Ted” Strickler was born in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania on November 28, 1934, to Kenneth Ralph Strickler and Pearl Irene Russell Strickler Summers.  He went to be with his Lord on March 8, 2023, in Ketchum, Idaho. 

Ted grew up and attended school in White Horse, Pennsylvania in the heart of the Amish country, and worked on various farms.  Four days after graduation, he left for the west and went to work for his father on Eddie Creek and Myers Cove ranches in the Challis area.  He met Myra Jean Mecham during this time and he made many trips from Myers Cove to Challis to date her.  They eloped on March 20, 1953, and married in Salmon, Idaho.  Myra’s mother never forgave him for running off with her daughter.  They honeymooned in the Los Angeles, California area with Ted’s sisters.  Four children were born to this marriage, Kenneth, Nikki, Russell, and Teddy.  Kenneth and Nikki were born in the Challis Hospital.  Ted and Myra moved to the Los Angeles area to work for his father and uncles in a camper/trailer factory.  They lived in Temple City when Russell and Teddy were born, and then Baldwin Park.   The family then moved to Big Bear, California for a year.  On the way home from visiting Myra’s parents in Challis, Nikki kept asking what the lights were that were following them at night.  After pulling over and realizing that the lights were stars in the night sky, Ted decided that his children were going to be raised where they could see stars.  The family moved back to Challis and Ted went to work at the Clayton Sawmill for Clayton Hurless as a carriage operator.  He later managed a gas station for his father.  He was an outfitter and guide for Hidden Valley Ranches in Myers Cove and then landed a job as a driver for Garrett Freight Lines delivering to all the Challis businesses.  During this time, Ted also began his own custom home-building business.  He built numerous homes in the area and he also did remodel jobs.  He purchased a gas station which the family operated for a few years during this time.

Throughout these years Ted enjoyed many activities and made sure his family was in tow.  We all enjoyed fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, skiing at Chipmunk, boating and water skiing, rock hounding and 4-wheeling.  Ted purchased a Cessna airplane and took flying lessons but could not obtain a pilot’s license due to high blood pressure so he sold the plane.  There are many stories of close calls or funny incidents that we all survived somehow.  He attended school sporting events to support his kids.  He loved country music and would sing and yodel with the best of them.  In later years, Ted enjoyed yard sales and meeting friends for coffee.  One great friend, Charlie Henderson, brought him a cup of coffee and a friendly visit nearly every day the last few years.    

Ted was very active in his church and community.  He served on the Challis School Board, the City Council, the Challis Ski Club, and served as a Custer County Commissioner for 13 years.  He was a lifelong Bible-believing Christian.  He was diligent and steadfast in service to his church as a deacon and helped build the Challis Mission Church building.  

His wife, Myra, passed away suddenly on March 11, 2001, just a few days before their 48th anniversary.  He was lost.  He connected with a good friend of his sister Ruth.  They fell in love, and he married Martha Oskin on June 4, 2002, in St. George, Utah.  

Ted believed strongly in his God and the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.  He believed in his right to protect his property, to carry a gun, and to speak his mind, which he did without hesitation.  People knew what he believed and where he stood on issues.  He was a disciplinarian and his children, their friends, nieces and nephews, and anyone else who might be present towed the mark or answered for it.  He would say “My teeth are getting sharp” as a warning, or remove his belt, fold it in half, and snap it loudly several times. He had a loud and awesome whistle and when you heard it you ran to the sound or else!  He was feared but trusted and loved because all were safe under his watch.  He gave great bear hugs and “The Talk” about life choices.  The discipline and advice carried on to all the grandchildren, whom he loved, played with, and laughed with.

Ted was preceded in death by his wife, Myra, his mother and father, one brother, three sisters, and two great-grandchildren.  He is survived by his son Ken (Susan) Strickler, daughter, Nikki (Norman) Doll, son Russ Strickler, son Ted (Wendy) Strickler, fourteen grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, Martha Strickler, one brother, six sisters, and many other family members, including uncle, aunts, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the Challis Community Event Center, 411 Clinic Road, Challis, Idaho.  Internment at the Challis Cemetery under the direction of the Anderson Family Funeral Home of Arco.  

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the North Custer Historical Society for the Challis Museum in Ted’s memory.  Address: P.O. Box 776, Challis, Idaho 83226.  Ted and Myra were very involved in the remodel and development of the museum building.  He felt very strongly about preserving the history of the area.  Otherwise, please feel free to donate to the charity of your choice in Ted’s memory.

4 thoughts on “Theodore Russell “Ted” Strickler”

  1. Angelina Powell

    So many great memories of his Bear hugs and the night he pierced all our ears. You will be missed Uncle Ted.
    Angelina Powell

  2. Uncle Ted was our last uncle living and he’ll be missed. Vinegarade was such a strange concept to us, until we drank it down like the lemonade it almost is. So many wonderful memories of camping, fishing, picnics, hugs and tickle from his “cookie duster”. Many, many more. Love all of you Strickler family! Del Rae and Steve

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A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the Challis Community Event Center, 411 Clinic Road, Challis, Idaho.  Internment at the Challis Cemetery under the direction of the Anderson Family Funeral Home of Arco.