Sympathy – May 2017 issue

Posted on: April 29th, 2017 by tgregory

… to the family and friends of Leon Burton Strauss, 89, who died on March 24 at Saint Thomas West surrounded by his loving family. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Charlotte Bernstein Strauss. He is survived by children Myrna Strauss Lee and William Alan Strauss; sister Gloria (Manuel) Sir; grandchildren, Lauren, Tyler, Brandi, and T.K.; great grandchildren Alana, Brantley, Jaxson, Stella, and Brooks; nieces and nephews Debbie Klar, Greg Sir, Stephanie Klar, Jeffery Klar, and Laney Sir. 

Leon was born in Nashville on June 18, 1927 to Esther and William Strauss. He graduated from Vanderbilt University where he later met his wife, Charlotte, the love of his life. They worked side by side at Leon’s Ladies Apparel for over 30 years. Leon’s passion was playing golf and getting together with his friends for lunch every Tuesday.

Funeral services were on March 26 at The Temple (Congregation Ohabai Sholom. Pall bearers were Jeffrey Klar, Steve Klar, Greg Sir, T.K. Wood, Tyler Strauss, and Sam Shober. The family wishes to thank Leon’s caregivers, Jeannie Abro and Lisa Ford, and are grateful for the excellent care given by Dr. Edwin Anderson Jr. and the doctors and staff at Saint Thomas West. Donations in his memory may be made to The Temple or Saint Thomas Health Services.


… to the family and friends of Howard Stringer, who died on March 25 on this 87th birthday. He is survived by his wife, Hope Stringer, of whom he was so proud that he often greeted strangers by saying, “Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Mr. Hope Stringer.” Survivors also include his brothers, James (Bonnie) Friedman and Monte (Trina) Friedman, and children, Bonnie Stringer, Wendy Brooks, Brett Stringer, Gregg Stringer and Holly (Steve) Schmadeke of Denver. Additionally, Howard leaves five grandchildren Noah (Alison) Brooks, Anna Catherine Brooks, Miriam Brooks, Aaron Schmadeke and Grant Schmadeke. Howard was preceded in death by his mother, Kate Friedman, and brother, Edward Stringer. 

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Howard graduated from Fashion Institute of Technology in New York where he majored in industrial engineering and business administration. Later, the school awarded him the Henry C. Ritter Award for outstanding career accomplishments. He rounded out his education by attending Brooklyn College prior to serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.

Howard was a brilliant businessman with a tough shell, pitch-perfect wit and a heart of gold. With keen strategic ability and spontaneous charisma, he had a highly successful business career, serving as president and chairman of Colonial Corporation of America. During his tenure, the apparel manufacturing company located 20 of its 40 factories in Tennessee.

Although he came to Nashville and Middle Tennessee because of work, Howard fell in love with this community and, after retiring, set about to make it better. 

Howard always said of his volunteer efforts that “when people know you will work for free, you are always in demand.” As the lore of his volunteer work spread, he was never without a project or two or three. He shared his time and business expertise with non-profits, including the Nashville Symphony, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the Legal Aid Society, Alive Hospice, Health Assist Tennessee, the Nashville Ballet, Grace M. Eaton Day Care and Early Learning Center, and the Mayor’s Committee on Early Childhood Education. 

Exuberant, intensely curious and always engaged, Howard had a profound interest in people and gained happiness from lighting up the lives of others. He will be missed by the dozens of nonprofits who benefited from his work, his wisdom, and his wit. And his joie de vivre will be forever imprinted on all who knew him.

Services were on March 28 at Congregation Micah, where he was a founding member and former board president. Contributions in his honor may be made to Congregation Micah, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, or Alive Hospice.