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3/7/07

Death of Tom Strader 24

STRADER James Thomas Strader was born on July 11, 1932 in St. Joseph, MO and died of heart failure at home in Slidell, LA on Friday, March 2, 2007. He was loved and is survived by his wife Bonnie Linn Strader, his sister Kay Jensen and her husband Gaylord, his sons James T. Strader Jr and wife Barbara, David Strader and wife Sharon, and John Etchemendy, his daughters Michelle Strader Sabbah and husband Fouad, Nicole Strader Muckridge, Danielle Strader Helms, and Crystal Batcabe and her husband John. He is also survived by his eleven beloved grandchildren, James T Strader, III, Griffin, Samuel, Lindsey, Jesse, Megan, Ginger, Samantha, Emily, Ibaia and Maite.

Tom attended Wentworth Military Academy and graduated from the US Naval Academy, Class of 54 with a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering. He also attended the USAF Institute of Technology, earning a Masters degree in Materials Engineering, and the Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards AFB, CA where he was a test pilot and Astronaut Candidate. He served 20 years in the USAF, including two tours of duty in Viet Nam where he flew as a SAC pilot and Aircraft Commander, earning several medals including the Bronze Star.

He retired as a Lt. Col. in 1974 and his many enterprises since included condominium development in Destin, FL, motel/restaurant ownerships, development of a subdivision, and partnership in offshore crew boats in Morgan City, LA, management of The Abita Water Company in Abita, LA, and ownership of American Performance Marine in Kentwood, LA. He was a Financial Planner and Independent Insurance Agent and was also active in commercial Real Estate sales.

He was proud to be a member of The Episcopal Church, various Masonic Organizations, Rotary International, Mensa, Quiet Birdmen, Sons of the American Revolution, and the USNA Alumni Association.

Visitation will be held Thursday, March 8 at All Saint’s Episcopal Church, 100 Rex Drive, River Ridge from 4-7 PM followed immediately by a memorial service. The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorials be made to the Shriner’s Hospital in Sheveport, LA.

Tom will be proudly interned at Arlington National Cemetery among America’s Heroes.

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