Joseph Willis Strother
Dr. Joseph Willis Strother, 82, of Clayton, died Nov. 25, 2016.
He was born Dec. 14, 1933, in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Southern Baptist missionaries Dr. Greene W. and Mrs. Martha Krause Strother. From 1934-40 and 1947-49, he lived with his family in Anhui, Henan, and Jiangsu provinces of China. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Louisiana College in 1955. On June 1, 1955, he was married to Earlene Richards in St. Landry, Louisiana.
After having served four years in the Louisiana National Guard while in college, he then served as a staff sergeant in the U. S. Army from 1955-57. Upon completion of his military service, Dr. Strother was employed as an art educator from 1958-66 in Marietta, Montgomery County, Maryland, and University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
In 1966, Dr. Strother entered the University of Georgia as a doctoral student and as a Carnegie Grant recipient. He received his Educationis Doctor in 1969 and remained on the faculty of the University of Georgia Art Department until 1976. During his years at UGA, he also served as the co-director of the UGA-Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy.
In 1976, Dr. Strother was named Director of Louisiana Tech University’s School of Art and Architecture, retiring in 1996 as Professor Emeritus. While at Louisiana Tech, he was director of tech’s first exchange program with Xian Jiao Tong University in Xian, China, living and teaching there in 1986-87. He and his wife, Earlene, subsequently returned to China in 1998-99 and 2001-02 to teach English at Xian Jiao Tong University in Xian and Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. In 2002, Dr. and Mrs. Strother were selected as Louisiana College Distinguished Alumni.
As an artist, Dr. Strother had his works exhibited in 50 national juried shows with numerous awards along with 12 one-man shows. He is represented in 11 public collections, including the Georgia Museum of Art. Dr. Strother was also a published poet.
A committed Christian, Dr. Strother was a deacon and adult Sunday School teacher at Clayton Baptist Church.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Earlene and was predeceased by their son, Joseph Willis Strother Jr. He is also survived by his brother, the Rev. G. W. Strother of Brazoria, Texas, and two sisters, Mrs. Joyce Carpenter of Jacksonville, Florida, and Mrs. Miriam Gordon of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A memorial service will be held at Clayton Baptist Church on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Joey Thompson officiating. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until the service. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Clayton Baptist Church Foreign Missions.
The Clayton Tribune, Dec. 1, 2016