Joseph C. Strasser
September 3, 1940 – June 21, 2019
Rear Admiral Joseph C. Strasser, US Navy (Retired) passed away from this life on Friday, June 21 in Voorhees, NJ. He was 78 years of age.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Barbara Anne (Wagner), and three children, Joseph Charles Jr.(Shellaine Corwel), Andrew Blake (Amy Steiner), Mary Kathryn (Matthew Long), and eight grandchildren. Daughter, Patricia Jean (Greg Jimenez) predeceased him. Also surviving are Joe’s sister, Margaret Strasser Ricci (Louis), sister-in-law Anne Campo Strasser (Edward J. “Jack” Strasser, Jr., predeceased) and many nieces and nephews. A younger brother, Peter, also pre- deceased him. He was the son of the late Edward J. and Mary Blake Strasser.
Born in Camden NJ, he grew up in Collingswood, and graduated from Camden Catholic High school in 1958. In 1995 Joe was named a Distinguished Graduate of CCHS and was inducted in 2009 to the Hall of Fame.
Joe entered the US Naval Academy, graduating in 1963. He also participated in an exchange program with the Chilean Navy and after graduation was assigned to the Argentine Tall Ship LIBERTAD, for a six month maiden voyage around the world. Thus began life-long relationships with these two Navies.
As a surface warfare officer, Joe served aboard destroyers and frigates and he made four deployments to the Vietnam area between 1965-1967. He commanded the USS O’CALLAHAN (FF-1051), Destroyer Squadron 35, Cruiser Destroyer Group 3 and the USS ENTERPRISE (CVN-65) aircraft battle group, all in the Pacific.
Ashore he served in the Pentagon, at the Naval Academy as 5th Battalion Officer and Officer in Charge of the Fourth Class Regiment for the classes of 1986 and 1987, as Executive Assistant to Admiral William J. Crowe, Jr., when the Admiral was Commander-in-Chief-Pacific, and later when Crowe served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Joe’s final tour of duty was as President of the Naval War College, Newport RI for five years, and was named President Emeritus upon retirement, having been the longest consecutive serving President.
His decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit (3 awards), The Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards) the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal (with combat V), a number of campaign medals and decorations from south Korea, Bahrain, Chile and Argentina.
Joe graduated from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy,Tufts University, where he earned a Master’s Degree in International Relations, another in International Law and Diplomacy and a doctorate in Political Science.
Upon retirement from the Navy in 1995, Joe spent 5 years at Penn State University, first as the DuBois Campus CEO, and then as inaugural Dean of the Commonwealth College. He returned to the Naval War College serving as Foundation Director, until 2006.
Joe remained active in retirement, volunteering for many boards and committees in his community and church. He was also on the Board of Directors of USAA (United Services Automobile Association) for 14 years.
Throughout his entire career, Joe felt blest with the love and support of his wonderful wife, Barbara. During numerous long deployments, she alone cared for children and home, and at the War College entertained literally thousands of guests. Joe said that he owed his success to Barbara and their wonderful children.
Joe was always active in his Church first as young alter boy, then lector, Eucharistic Minister, religious education instructor and a member of a marriage prep team. He was an active member of the St. Vincent dePaul Society of St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church, in Newark, DE, where he and Barbara resided at the Village of Long Creek after leaving RI. A final move was made back to NJ to be near family, with residence at Brightview at Greentree in Marlton, earlier this year.
Family and friends are invited to the viewing at BLAKE-DOYLE Funeral Home, 226 W. Collings Ave., Collingswood, NJ 08108 on Monday July 1, 2019 from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish, St. John Church, 809 Park Ave. Collingswood NJ on Tuesday, July 2, at 10:30 am. Burial will take place at a later date. Please leave your remembrances of Joseph on BLAKE-DOYLE.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any donations be made to Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School, 5218 North Broad St. Philadelphia, PA 19141, or the US Naval War College, 686 Cushing Rd., Newport, RI 02841, or the US Naval Academy Foundation, 274 Wood Rd., Annapolis, MD 21402.
- Barbara Anne Strasser, Wife
- Joseph Charles Jr., Son
- Shellaine Corwel, Daughter-in-law
- Andrew Blake, Son
- Amy Steiner, Daughter-in-law
- Mary Kathryn, Daughter
- Matthew Long, Son-in-law
- Patricia Jean, Daughter
- Greg Jimenez, Son-in-law
- Margaret Strasser Ricci, Sister
- Louis Ricci, Brother-in-law
- Edward J. "Jack" Strasser Jr., Brother
- Anne Campo Strasser, Sister-in-law
- Peter Strasser, Brother
- Edward J. Strasser, Father
- Mary Blake Strasser, Mother
- Eight grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Cristo Rey Philadelphia High School
5218 North Broad St. , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19141
US Naval War College
686 Cushing Rd.., Newport, Rhode Island 02841
US Naval Academy Foundation
274 Wood Rd., Annapolis, Maryland 21402
- Viewing Monday, July 1, 2019
- Funeral Mass Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Joseph C. Strasser
July 22, 2019
Barbara and Joe....beautiful family....beautiful life and loved by their friends. Turn the glass, strike the bell....all is well, all is well. With much love and fondest memories, Gwen Wyttenbach
July 4, 2019
He was a wonderful man... kind, gentle and a great man to work with and for. Never a harsh word, but lead by example. I am blessed to have known him and to have called him my friend.
July 3, 2019
Joe will be missed by many. He was a great man & we are proud to of been his friends. Ron & I send our love & prayers to Barbara & his family.
Suresh K GREWAL
July 3, 2019
It was a lifetime experience of interacting with the Admiral Strasser during my stay at USNWC (51st NCC) from July 2006 to June 2007. He was a man of few words, but those were really encouraging and enriching.
He is one of the senior officers, I still remember when I am interacting with my juniors and peers.
May his soul rest in peace and his memories live among generations of international officers, who have been lucky to interact with him.
June 28, 2019
In retirement, Joe Strasser actively participated in our community here in Newport RI. Our organization, Concerned Citizens Against Casino Gambling (CCACG), gained the benefit of his voice, leadership and reputation as we, with his considerable help and guidance, successfully defeated an attempt to expand a full casino within walking distance of the main gate of the U.S. Naval Base. Joe was incensed that the young sailors and their families would be preyed on by a casino and would thereby suffer severely as a result. For those of us in CCACG, it was just another selfless example of Joe's ethical and moral compass at work....Newport and the Navy are in his debt. God Bless Joe and Thanks!
June 27, 2019
Surely an exemplary Officer and the Classiest Gentleman.
A Patriot, SECOND TO NONE
Truly, a great man who blessed us with his leadership and kindly deeds.
Already named to God’s Hall of Fame
By now , I imagine appointed the Lord’s Executive Officer
MAY THE LORD GREET THIS WONDERFUL SOUL AND SURELY BLESS HIM FOR HIS EXCEPTIONAL LIFE TO FAMILY, GOD AND COUNTRY.
To Mrs Strasser and the entire family...Peace be With you.
Bill Vieira, Naval War College (Retired)
June 27, 2019
Admiral Strasser was a leader who devoted extraordinary effort to lift up both his organization and subordinates. One small but telling example reoccurred regularly during his tenure at the Naval War College (NWC). Roughly 350 students enter NWC annually, and most have some sort of decoration from their previous duty station awaiting formal presentation. These ceremonies have the great potential to become perfunctory time consumers of little value. Admiral Strasser made every event seem a very special honor to each awardee with a personal rendering of the details of the decoration from memory (we all were stunned by the effort and could only imagine the time and effort he put into each event). He was truly the leader all his subordinates wanted to follow and NWC was blessed to have him for five years.