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Bertha Mae Causey Strickland: Tabor City

1931 – 2019

     Bertha Mae Causey Strickland, a resident of her home in the Cherry Grove Community, Tabor City, died on Tuesday, Dec. 31. She was 88.

     She was the youngest daughter of the late Mayberry and Bertha Elliott Causey of Duford and was preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, her best friend and the love of her life, Beasley Strickland.

     She was also preceded in death by her sisters, Essie McCracken and husband Carl of Duford, Christine Collins and husband, Lavern, of Pleasant View, and Reba Strickland and husband, Rhonoke, of Tabor City; one brother, Claudus Causey and his wife Sadie, of Duford; a brother-in-law, J.D. Williams of Finklea; a sister-in-law, Gloria Causey of Mullins; in-laws Darewood and Evelle Strickland of Green Sea, Lascoe and Virginia Strickland of Tabor City, Wilton and Pheatress Thigpen, Sr. of Fair Bluff, Bob and Florine Winbon of Orlando, Florida, and Numan Strickland and Bob Richardson of Cerro Gordo.

     Bertha is survived by a sister, Pauline Williams of Finklea; a brother, Frank Causey of Myrtle Beach; two sons, Dr. Dan Strickland and wife Gay and Berry Strickland and wife Charmin of Tabor City; a daughter, Rose Strickland Slack and husband Dr. G. Dana Slack of Lexington; grandchildren Dr. Paige Strickland-Smith and husband, Justin, of Morehead City, Elizabeth Strickland-Blackmon and husband, Chris, of Lake Waccamaw, Adam Slack of Wilmington, Walt Strickland and wife Chassie of Tabor City, Ashlynn McKeithan and husband Drew of Lake Waccamaw, Cole Faircloth of Buies Creek, Bryce Faircloth of Tabor City, and Andrew Birkenstock of Frisco, Texas; two great grandchildren, Chatham Strickland Smith of Morehead City and Layson Walt Strickland of Tabor City; a sister-in-law and best friend throughout her life, Nellie Mae Strickland Richardson of Cerro Gordo; many loving nieces and nephews and numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews; and a special friend and caregiver, Willa Dean Billings, and Mary Jo Strickland, both remembered for their love, care and companionship.

     Mrs. Strickland was a member of Cherry Grove Baptist Church located in the Cherry Grove Community between Fair Bluff and Tabor City. During her membership and tenure at Cherry Grove, she served many roles including, Pre-School Sunday School and Vacation Bible School Teacher, on the Hospitality Committee and Pastor Search Committee. She also served on the first Live Nativity Drama Committee with other seamstresses in the church, to design, create and sew the first original costumes for the outdoor drama “Unto Us a Child is Born” sponsored by the church that has become a tradition for more than 50 years.

     She was a founding member of the Cherry Grove Community Home Demonstration Club in the 1950’s which was organized and sponsored by the Columbus County Agriculture Extension Office. Her organization sponsored meetings, seminars, and workshops for women in the community to enhance home life through teaching skills and sponsoring community events. The club raised funds to build the first Community Center in the community, one of the first centers in Columbus County, which hosted community and church events.

     Bertha Mae grew up in Duford where she learned the value of hard work. Her father and mother were farmers. In the early years of her marriage, she farmed with her husband and family where she was an avid gardener. Her biggest desire was to be a wife and mother. She was a homemaker who exceeded the boundaries of her own family. She was a wonderful seamstress and sewed clothes for herself and her daughter. Later in life she managed and then became the owner of Grant Jewelers in Fair Bluff for over three decades where she was an active member of the Fair Bluff Chamber of Commerce.

     In her later years Bertha Mae loved flower gardening, especially her rose garden. Her greatest joy was her Sunday School Class, “The Sunshine Class” and its members which she cherished.

     Family planned to receive friends at the family home, 28 Fronis Strickland Road, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. each day through Thursday, Jan. 2.

     Visitation was planned from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, at Cherry Grove Baptist Church.

     Funeral services were planned for 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 3, at Cherry Grove Baptist Church led by Dr. G. Dana Slack and Rev. Rusty Davis, a graveside ceremony and burial following in the Cherry Grove Cemetery.

     For those who wish, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Beasley and Bertha Mae Strickland Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of Cherry Grove Baptist Church, 9833 Swamp Fox Hwy West, Cerro Gordo, NC. 28430.

     Guest may sign the guestbook at the family home, church here.