Cover photo for Calvin L. Strickland's Obituary
Calvin L. Strickland Profile Photo

Calvin L. Strickland

November 5, 1924 — September 10, 2021

Calvin L. Strickland

Calvin L. Strickland, 96, of Carlsbad, NM passed away on Friday, September 10, 2021, at Lakeview Christian Home. Services will be held at Fox and Lake Church of Christ on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at 3:00 PM with Dr. James Jones officiating. Burial will follow at the Carlsbad Cemetery in Carlsbad, NM. Denton-Wood Funeral Home is in charge of arrangments.

Livestream of Service:

Calvin Strickland, the eighth child of nine children (2 sisters and 6 brothers) was born to Julius Gamaliel and Sarah Iola (Newsome) Strickland on November 5, 1924. He is preceded in death by all but his youngest brother Odell. Calvin's parents and siblings were faithful believers and followers of Jesus Christ. Calvin was an active member at Fox and Lake Church of Christ for 54 years.

Calvin and his family knew hard work having grown up on a farm raising cotton, oats, and corn. They also had chickens, a milk cow, a donkey, dogs and cats.

Even though Calvin and his siblings were busy on the farm, they were excellent students. Calvin graduated high school in 1942 and then joined the Navy in 1943.

On joining the Navy, Calvin was required to get a birth certificate because until then he did not have one. It was not uncommon to not have a birth certificate when born at home back in those times. After receiving specialty training as an electrician and Gyrocompass technician, Calvin was assigned to the USS Lander APA 178 on December 24, 1943.

During WWII, the USS Lander APA 178 was involved in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa. After the war, it was also used to land troops in Japan. Calvin was on this ship when it was commissioned in Seattle, WA and when it was decommissioned in Norfolk, VA.

After the war, Calvin attended John Tarleton College in Stephenville, TX. While attending John Tarleton, he married Margie Lou Payne from Morgan, TX. Their first child, Barry Lee, only lived 10 hours.

After graduating John Tarleton College, Calvin attended Abilene Christian College and graduated in 1950 with a B.S. in Mathematics. He graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Calvin then taught school in Olton, TX for two years and while there, they adopted 3 year old Wanda Faye. Calvin and his family moved to White Deer, TX in 1952 to teach math, and while there they adopted 2 year old Lonnie Ray, Wanda’s brother. Then in 1954, Gary Dean was born and in 1958 John Calvin was born.

In 1958 Calvin received a National Science Foundation Grant to study mathematics at the University of Illinois where he earned his Masters Degree in Mathematics. He moved from there to Carlsbad, NM to teach mathematics for 30 more years at Carlsbad High School. He also taught mathematics at night at New Mexico State University of Carlsbad. He also worked at the Carlsbad Caverns National Park during the summer season as a guide.
Calvin did summer studies at the University of Iowa, the University of Illinois, and Arizona State University. He retired from teaching in 1989.

In 1966 Margie and Calvin were divorced. Calvin married Audrey Retzer Boston on June 4, 1970. She had two grown children, Judith Ann Boston and William “Bill” Boston. Audrey passed on December 21, 2002.

Calvin married Helen McKay Nelson Rowan in 2006. Together they lived happily together until his passing.

Calvin was preceded in death by his father, Julius Strickland; mother, Sarah Strickland; first wife, Margie Payne; second wife, Audrey Retzer; daughters: Ann Boston and Wanda Kinsley; son, Barry Strickland; five brothers: Flavil Strickland, Clyde Strickland, Omar Strickland, Clay Strickland, and Warren Strickland; and two sisters: Flo Davis and Gladys Peterson.

Calvin is survived by his third wife, Helen Strickland of Carlsbad, NM; son, William “Bill” Boston and wife, Jean of Oceanside, CA; son Lonnie Strickland and wife, Bobbie Sue of Garland, TX; son, Dean Strickland and wife, Denise of Oklahoma City, OK; son, John Strickland of Dallas, TX; fifteen grandchildren; thirteen great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; brother, Odell Strickland and wife, Mary of Whitehouse, TX; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Condolences may be expressed online at

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Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Starts at 3:00 pm (Mountain time)

Fox and Lake Church of Christ

708 W. Fox St., Carlsbad, NM 88220

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