James Nelson ‘Jim’ Strickland

James Nelson “Jim” Strickland, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle, died peacefully, May 21, 2019, at his home. 

Born September 12, 1933 in Blackshear, he lived most of his 85 years in Huntsville, AL, but always kept his cherished Blackshear home in his heart.

He graduated from Blackshear High School in 1952. He graduated from Brewton-Parker Junior College in 1954. While at Brewton-Parker, he met his dearest wife, Margaret Peterson, and he lettered in basketball and baseball. He went on to Auburn University (known then as Alabama Polytechnic Institute) and graduated in 1957 with a Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering. He had a distinguished 34-year career at NASA, beginning in 1963. He held responsible positions in the Saturn/Apollo, Skylab, and Space Shuttle project offices, culminating as Director of Systems Analysis and Integration Lab. He received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1974 and 1981. 

Alongside his work life, he freely gave of his time, volunteering at Trinity and Owens Cross Roads United Methodist Churches, as Scout Leader of Boy Scounts of America and YMCA basketball coach.

After retiring from NASA in 1997, he enjoyed country living at the base of Green Mountain, spending time with his grandchildren, and travels by train.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Margaret P. Strickland; his children, Tina Worcester, Melanie Hack and husband, Armin, Jim Strickland Jr. and wife, Glenda Gillaspy, Blacksburg, VA, Lisa Prendergast and husband, Maurice; eight grandchildren, Will Worcester and wife, Lori, Lesley Worcester, Isaac VanDiest, Theo VanDiest, Gabriel Hack, Juliana Hack, Emma Strickland and Kate Strickland; three great-grandchildren, Mya-Marie Tipton and Macon Worcester and Campbell Worcester and a brother, Robert Strickland, Bennington, VT.

Visitation will be held from 4-5 p.m. Saturday, May 25 at Owens Cross Roads United Methodist Church.

A celebration of life will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25, at Owens Cross Roads United Methodist Church.

In his memory, donations made to Alabama Public Television, Alabama Rivers Alliance or the National Children’s Advocacy Center would support the passions that Jim held throughout his life.

An online registry is available at www.laughlinservice.com.

Laughlin Funeral Service of Huntsville, AL, is in charge of arrangements.

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