Richard Lee Strickland, son of late Harold Lee Strickland and Marie Kennedy Strickland, was born on Tuesday, May 19,1959, in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the only son and the younger brother to his sister, Linda Gail Rayner. From his childhood, Richard was an ambitious entrepreneur and followed his passion to run his own company. His career spans from carpentry, to mining, to Director in the District of Columbia Government, to the Vice President of his company.
As his son, nephews, and nieces sat around to hear stories of his life, one story stands out that defines Rich's tenacity and spunk. When Rich was around 13 years old, he worked in a saw mill that had two shifts of workers, the older men and the teenagers who worked over the weekend. The teenagers always were paid less wages than the older men, which was a point of tension for the teenagers. Rich decided to talk with the manager and challenge the older workers to compare the productivity of the different groups so that more equity was established for the wages between the different groups. The teenagers ended up 50% more productive than the older workers and the owner of the mill decided that Rich should become the mill foreman.
Rich's true passion was always carpentry. He founded his first company that contracted work for roofing, building cabinets, and constructing homes. He continued to grow his company and constructed several buildings and homes for the local community. He followed the footsteps of his father, who was a mason and continued to work in the blue-collar industry. Rich's unfortunate injury during a roofing project caused him to leave this industry and pursue a career in Information Technology.
Rich was persistent in his goal to establish a rewarding career and sought a different type of education and knowledge in the IT field. He started working for the Washington, DC Government as a System Analyst and eventually climbed the proverbial ladder to become the Director of his department. He met Suja, who was also an employee for the DC Government.
Eventually Rich founded an IT firm that bid and won several contracts with the DC Government, specifically for the Office of Pay and Retirement Services (OPRS). As the Vice President of his company, Rich continued to grow his company by creating winning responses to several proposal for local and federal government. His courage and determination helped him to realize his aspirations.
Rich and Suja were married on December 1, 1991, and shared 30 years together and celebrated their 30th year Vow Renewal on August 7, 2021. They lived a happy life together.
Rich was surrounded by his family in his house, as he passed on Thursday, August 26th, at 8:15pm. He leaves behind his wife Suja, mother Marie, son Jesse, daughter-in-law Pam, his grandchildren Caitlyn and Kelsey, and sister Linda. He also leaves behind his mother-in-law Achamma Samuel, in-laws Saley Samuel, Suma Cherian, Mathew Cherian, Reji Samuel, Lucky Samuel, Sunil Samuel, and Sibi Samuel. His loving nieces and nephews include Lisa and John, Lara and David, Joemon and Roxanna, Jacob and Sabrina, Jasmine and Ashish, Joshua, Jeremiah, Jocelyn, Jonathan, Joel, Josiah, Jake, Julia, Jayden, and Jathniel, who were by his side during the months of his passing.