Richard Alvin Strand

July 30, 1926January 6, 2021

Richard A. Strand passed away peacefully on January 6, 2021 in Lakeland, FL. Dick was born July 30, 1926 the son of Alvin and Josephine Strand in Ridgway, Pennsylvania. He is the surviving member of his family which included his brother Robert and two sisters, Ruth and Connie. He attended the Ridgway public school system and graduated from high school in 1945. Despite the loss of his brother in WWII, Dick was inducted into the US Navy in March of his senior year in 1945. In the service, he attended radar and sonar school and completed the program as an electronic technician mate 3/c in May 1946. Discharged in August 1946 after 18 months of naval service, he immediately enrolled at Penn State University, where he met and married Grace E. Young in 1948. Richard graduated in 1950 with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, followed by a master’s degree in 1951, also in electrical engineering. His post-grad working career began at the Elliott Company in Ridgway as a design engineer of induction motors. In 1956, he returned to Penn State as an instructor in the electrical engineering department. Back at Penn State, he earned his PhD in electrical engineering in 1963 and was subsequently offered the opportunity to become chairman of the electrical engineering department at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut, where he remained for over 25 years, retiring in 1990 as the University’s associate dean of Science and Engineering. During that time, he and Grace raised three children, all of whom graduated from college and have followed successful careers while raising their own families. Richard and Grace were so-called “snow birds” from 1990 until 2010, maintaining residences in Connecticut and Florida. In 2010, they moved permanently into the Florida Presbyterian Homes in Lakeland, Florida. They were married for 67 years when Grace passed away in 2016. Dick was known for his dedication to his family, his respect for education, and his enjoyment of music and a number of sports. Basketball, golf, tennis, volleyball, Frisbee and fishing were pastimes for many years. He participated in Barbershop Singing groups and church choirs for several decades, even well into this century. Long before the advent of social media, he retained close ties with folks who crossed his path throughout his life and was an easy conversationalist. His life is well documented by his ever-present camera starting in the 50s and later on, through video. He embraced the world-wide web, email and Skype, as well as using his GrandPad up until very recently. Richard is survived by two daughters, Kathy Pancoast in Stratford, CT and her husband Richard; Vickie Duprey in Oro Valley, AZ and her husband, James; and his son Gary in Derwood, MD and his wife, Donna. In addition, Dick leaves six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. Arrangements will all be private with a memorial service to be announced when public health guidelines make it possible. To leave an online condolence, please visit The family would like to extend much gratitude to the administration, staff and residents at FPH who provided the best possible care, especially during these challenging times. Memorial gifts may be directed to: Florida Presbyterian Homes, Attn: Development, 16 Lake Hunter Dr., Lakeland, FL 33803. Please specify Loving Care Fund.


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Richard Alvin Strand

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jason Mattair

January 22, 2021


Sharon Booth

January 18, 2021

Such a gentle and loving man. So proud to have known him.

Ellen Klinger

January 17, 2021

Deepest condolences. Dick was a barbershop mentor to my husband Roger and sung in quartet three dads and a lad. For many years we always exchanged holiday cards with Dick and Grace. I have many fond memories

Ronald James

January 12, 2021

As Chorus Director for the Citrus Lakes Barbershop Chorus, here in Lakeland, I feel blessed to have had Dick singing bass in our chorus for many years. Even though the chorus no longer meets, he will be truly missed. Everyone in the Chorus always enjoyed and benefitted from his input into the improvement of our singing.

Jeanne Carr/Sheetz

January 10, 2021

To this day I am amazed at how he could throw a Frisbee and make it come back to him

Craig Tutton

January 10, 2021

Though we never met, Brother Strand and I corresponded over the years. He insisted on maintaining his membership with the Ridgway Odd Fellows Lodge. He was a Past Noble Grand and received his 65 year Jewel in 2019. Thank you for your service to country and lodge