Saturday, April 19, 2014
2:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT
Turowski Life Story Funeral Homes
Livonia, West of Middlebelt
30200 Five Mile Rd.
Livonia, MI 48154
Monday, April 21, 2014
10:30 AM EDT
St. Valentine Catholic Church
14841 Beech Daly Rd
Redford, MI 48239
(In State 10:00am at church)
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Capuchin Soup Kitchen
4390 Conner St.
Detroit, MI 48215
Society of St. Vincent de Paul - Detroit
3000 Gratiot Avenue
Detroit, MI 48207
Life Story / Obituary
DR. TRUMAN A. STRONG—LOVING HUSBAND, FATHER, GRANDFATHER, UNCLE, NEIGHBOR, AND FRIEND
Truman Strong was dedicated to his family, friends, and community. Surrounded by his family, Truman died peacefully at his home on April 16, 2014.
Truman was born in Detroit on April 8, 1927. A proud Detroiter, he was raised on the city’s west side along with his two sisters, Barbara (O’Brien) and Dorothy (Timmis). He was attending St. Mary’s High School when his country called him into service in 1945. Until Truman began his service in the Navy, he had never travelled beyond the borders of his beloved hometown. While Truman’s military service occurred after the war had ended, he was nonetheless involved in perilous missions in the South Pacific. Truman was assigned to a patrol boat with the task of extracting and disarming deadly mines planted by the Germans and Japanese. The mission was interrupted when the boat was stuck in a treacherous Typhoon that washed several of Truman’s fellow sailors overboard.
Truman returned home and enrolled at the University of Detroit, where he studied accounting. While he excelled with numbers, Truman decided that his skills were best applied as a dentist. He enrolled at the University of Detroit School of Dentistry, and graduated in 1953. Truman remained involved with the school’s affairs for the rest of his life, eventually becoming President of its Alumni Association in 1967. Truman also met many close friends and colleagues during dental school. Most importantly, Truman’s sister Dorothy introduced him to his future wife, Elizabeth “Betsy” Peters. The couple married at St. Mary of Redford on July 11, 1953 with a grand reception held at Western Golf & Country Club.
Truman’s wedding reception would not be his first visit to Western. He and Betsy built a house in the surrounding Redford neighborhood, and raised six children. Along with many of their close friends and neighbors, the Strong’s became loyal parishioners at St. Valentine Church. Truman sent all six of his children through Catholic grade school and high school. Truman eventually joined Western, and recently became a Life Member. He could often be spotted walking to the golf course on his days off to play a round of golf with fellow members.
Truman established his dental practice in the neighboring suburbs of Inkster and Livonia. At its peak, Truman oversaw one of the most thriving dental practices in the State of Michigan. Despite having many patients of his own, Truman never hesitated to offer free dental care to those less fortunate. He could also be found working at the Capuchin Soup Kitchen and delivering food in conjunction with Meals on Wheels. Truman’s charitable spirit was felt and appreciated by many. Most notably, Truman began providing dental care for a disabled Vietnam War Veteran. When the Veteran passed away, it was readily apparent that his untimely death was caused by his disabling injuries suffered during the war. Truman aggressively lobbied his leaders in Washington to place the Veteran’s name on the newly constructed Vietnam War Memorial. After carving through the red tape, Truman succeeded in his request, and the veteran’s name now rests on the wall.
As his children grew up, Truman began taking his family on vacation to northern Michigan. The Strong family eventually landed on the shores of beautiful Glen Lake, located on the pristine Leelanau Peninsula. Truman could often be spotted casting a fishing line off the side of his boat during the summer, donning hunting gear in the fall, or hitting the slopes during the winter. The Strong’s were eventually joined at the lake by their cousins, and also became remarkably close friends with other families vacationing in the same spot. Truman and his wife Betsy hosted a family reunion every Fourth of July, a tradition that lasts today.
In 1983, while on vacation in Puerto Vallarta with a group of friends, Truman was returning to the hotel after a round of golf when he stumbled upon a new condo development on a dirt road several miles north of town. Unbeknownst to his loving wife, Truman decided to purchase a unit with two of his friends. The decision came as a bit of a surprise, but it started an unforgettable chapter in Truman’s life. As he began winding down his dental practice, Truman was able to take extended trips to Puerto Vallarta, and was almost always accompanied by family and friends. So many friends often joined Truman in Mexico that he purchased an eleven passenger Ram cargo van to accommodate his good company. As his friends and family piled in the van, Truman would take the helm and navigate the pothole-ridden streets of Mexico in search of new and adventurous dining experiences.
Although he was very humble, Truman was a true competitor. Whether it was a round of golf or a friendly card game, Truman always enjoyed a challenge. Even in his later years, his courage and tenacity remained inspirational. He will be truly missed.
Dr. Truman A. Strong, age 87, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on April 16, 2014. Beloved husband of 60 years to Elizabeth. Devoted father of Linda (Dan) Silvasi, Mary Beth (John) Balardo, Dorothy (Rich) Sagante, Millie (John) Dahmer, John Strong, and Susan (Kent) Lassen. Cherished grandfather of 15. Loving brother of Barbara O’Brien and the late Dorothy Timmis.
Family will receive friends SATURDAY 2-9p.m. with a 7p.m. Rosary, at our Neely-Turowski Funeral Home 30200 Five Mile (btn Merriman and Middlebelt).
A funeral Mass will be held MONDAY 10:30a.m. (in state 10:00a.m.) at St. Valentine Catholic Church, 14841 Beech Daly Rd (south of Five Mile).
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Capuchin Soup Kitchen or St. Vincent DePaul.
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