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Kenny Brothers Funeral Directors

3600 West 95th Street, Evergreen Park, IL

OBITUARY

Joseph Stratton

December 17, 1935February 12, 2020
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Joseph "Papa Joe" Stratton, US Army Veteran, age 84, passed away Wednesday, February 12, 2020 having lived a life well celebrated.

Beloved son of the late Clifford and the late Ludie Stratton (nee Boynton). He was the eighth born of thirteen children. Papa Joe’s memory will be cherished by his surviving siblings Zelda, Nellie, Artry and Isaac as well as many nieces, nephews, countless cousins and friends. A visitation will be held on Sunday, February 23rd from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM at Kenny Brothers Funeral Directors 3600 W. 95th Street, Evergreen Park, Illinois until the start of the Celebration of Life at 3:00 PM. Interment Monday, February 24th at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, Elwood, Illinois. Departing Kenny Brothers Funeral Directors at 10:30 AM for Honors Service at 12:00 PM.

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, February 23, 2020
  • Celebration of Life Sunday, February 23, 2020
  • Interment Monday, February 24, 2020

Memories

Joseph Stratton

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Jeffery Briggs

February 27, 2020

A photo of Ludie Stratton Briggs with her husband the Rock Clifford L Briggs sr.

Martin Stratton Jr

February 23, 2020

Uncle Joe doing one of the things he was most know for, filming sports figures. Like my dad, he loved sports.

Martin Stratton Jr

February 23, 2020

The 2 most recent losses to the Stratton Clan, Uncle Joe and Uncle Wilco.

Brenda Johnson

February 21, 2020

Brenda Johnson

February 21, 2020

Brenda Johnson

February 21, 2020

Brenda Johnson

February 21, 2020

La Vonne Mitchell

February 20, 2020

Brenda Johnson

February 19, 2020

Brenda Johnson

February 19, 2020

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

1st Black 16" Softball National Championship 1974

3rd Place Victory

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Legacy

Joseph Stratton born December 17, 1935 to Clifford and Ludie “Babe” Stratton (nee Boynton). He was the 8th of thirteen children his parents graced this world with.

Joe was raised on 31st and Rhodes and attended Douglas Elementary School and graduated from Englewood High School before he was drafted into the United States Army. While with the US Army he spent time in Anchorage, Alaska, Berlin, Germany and a few Army bases here in the US.

Always fond of sports growing up, he met his friend Andrew Brown (Rookie Joe) as a youngster in the late 1940’s playing basketball and softball behind Olivet Baptist Church on 31st and King Drive. When the family moved to 49th and Princeton he would make his way to Fuller Park where he met Ronn Pitts (Dee-Dee) the founder of the Flamingos 16” softball team. The team became a force to be reckoned with. They were know throughout the city. In 1973 the Flamingos went on to play in the 16” World Series Softball Championship in Dolton, Georgia. They were the first Black team to ever place in the Series, coming in at 3rd. The Flamingos entered the Hall of Fame Yes, they were robbed! Papa, Dee-Dee and Rookie retired the following year.

In the midst of all the sports he did have a job or two. He worked downtown with a well known jeweler that had a large clientele consisting of many Chicago Blackhawk players. He would soon attend many of their games telling them of how his mother was on the edge of her seat cheering them on and yelling at anyone that came after “her” Bobby Hull. The team autographed a hockey stick and puck and sent it to her. Papa managed to retire from the US Postal Service having been a letter carrier for many years on the West side of Chicago.

Papa and Dee-Dee were rarely without each other. Dee-Dee’s chosen path was that of a photography, film making and an instructor at Columbia College-Chicago. He shared his talents with Papa and the two became the first Black videographers in the NFL during the 1960’s, filming all the Chicago Bears football games. Papa worked on many film sets and projects with Dee-Dee through the years. One of their adventures lead them to the training camp of Muhammad Ali in Philadelphia as he was training for the “Thrilla in Manila” against Joe Frazier in 1975. The duo headed to the airport to get more footage when Ali snatched them onboard the plane and took them on an experience of a lifetime.

Being born into a family with so many siblings there was never a dull moment. There was always something to do or someone to hang out with. To pass the time Joe loved playing cards, checkers, dominoes and chess. The family would always gather on weekends at Babe’s and play cards nonstop; Friday evening until Monday morning. Rise and fly!

A lover of all things beautiful…yes the ladies!! He excelled in that sport as well! He was always a gentleman and made the ladies think they were the only one. Nobody but you!

Papa loved and enjoyed his family, friends and life itself. It’s different now, knowing that he has moved on to his next great adventure. On Wednesday, February 12, 2020 4:40 a.m. he rejoined his Heavenly Father.

He was preceded in death by both parents, siblings Esther, Clifford, Ernest, Martin, Bernard, Ludie "Lena", John and William.

Papa Joe’s memory will be cherished by his surviving siblings Zelda, Nellie (Leonard) DuFauchard, Artry and Isaac (Thelma) sister in law Gwendolyn as well as many nieces, nephews, countless cousins, Ida and Charles Robinson that he helped special companion Darlene raise and an endless supply of really good and loyal friends.