Thelma O'Steen Strong

February 21, 1929December 27, 2018

Thelma (Pet) O’Steen Strong, age 89, died peacefully on December 27, 2018 at Haywood Lodge and Retirement Centers in Waynesville, North Carolina. She was born and raised in Maitland, Florida by the late John R. O’Steen and Lou Annie O’Steen. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her husband Kenneth Earl Strong and her youngest child Charles Daniel Strong, as well as her sisters, Stella Reeves, Myrtle Kelly, Jon McDougal, Marie Greene and brother James (Dan) O’Steen. Surviving are her sons, K. Gary Strong and wife Suzanne Strong of Waynesville, NC, Dr. Richard L. Strong and his wife Lorie Strong of Leesburg, FL. and daughter-in-law Joann K. Strong of Bushnell, Fl., as well as 8 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild. Thelma was very active in her community when she lived in Bushnell, Florida. She became a member of Bushnell Presbyterian Church and later became an Ordained Elder of the congregation and was involved in many outreach programs. She was a member of the town’s Garden Club and the Florida Cattleman’s Association, since she owned a cattle ranch. One of the greatest honors in her life was becoming a certified member of the Daughters of the American Revolution in February, 1979. Of note, she was the last living child of John R. O’Steen, former Chief of Police of Winter Park, FL, who is the only officer of that city to die in the line of duty. He was killed before Thelma was one year old in 1930. An interesting fact was that all her sons had careers in the Criminal Justice field, two in law enforcement and one in corrections. Initial arrangements have been made with Garrett-Hillcrest Funerals & Cremations, Waynesville, NC. Final arrangements have been made with Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Home East Altamonte Chapel. A memorial service will be held at their chapel at 994 E. Altamonte Springs, FL, on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., with Rev. Dennis Salmon officiating. The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the chapel. Interment will be at Palm Cemetery in Winter Park, FL, following the service. In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial donations may be made to your local hospice.


  • Visitation Wednesday, January 2, 2019
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, January 2, 2019
  • Committal Service Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Thelma O'Steen Strong

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