Obituary: Elizabeth Stragnell
Elizabeth Stragnell was born September 1, 1925 to Kathryn (Burrows) and Charles H. Toll, Jr. in Los Angeles, Calif., as were her parents and maternal grandmother. They lived in Hermosa Beach, where she learned to love the shore and ocean visible from the living room of the family home. In the mid-thirties her father moved his family to San Marino, a suburb of Pasadena, as well as LA, where he left them. Even at that, she and her three younger siblings, all now deceased, considered their childhood richly blessed and populated with folks who loved and watched over them. She acquired the nickname, Libby, while attending Henry Huntington Middle School and South Pasadena High School. She graduated from Pomona College with none of the honors she sought and always wished that she had worked harder. She trained at the Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena as a Medical Technologist, a job she enjoyed. It was here that she found the love of her life, intern Bob Stragnell. They married in 1948 and set up their first home in Sherman Oaks, a short drive from his residency at Wadsworth Hospital, the Old Soldiers’ Home, at Sawtelle in West Los Angeles. Their first child, Sallie Kathryn was born during this time so Libby exchanged the title of ‘Med Tech’ for that of ‘Mother’ and never looked back.
After a stint in the Army at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., Bob brought the family, now including two more children (with three more to follow), back to Arcadia, Calif. While he practiced medicine and took part in medical and community activities, Libby became involved in church and school, primarily those things concerned with children and family. Though a Girl Scout in her own youth, Libby served for 12 years as a Camp Fire Girl leader while her daughters were involved, as well as on the local Camp Fire and Unity Way boards. She was also an active member of the Arcadia Presbyterian Church, where she was a Sunday school teacher, adult study leader and Volunteer Director. The Stragnell home was always open and full of friends of all ages.
As Bob moved toward retirement, he and Libby turned their attention to building their ‘dream home’ in Prescott, Ariz. They lived there for eighteen years, staying busy with church, local history and politics; it was a very happy time. While visiting their son Steph and his family in Hanover, Bob and Libby were introduced to Kendal…and signed up the same day. Though she missed the West as long as she lived, she learned to love New Hampshire and especially Kendal.
She is survived by Sallie Stragnell Rinderknecht (Heini Robin, Elisabeth, Karin and Karl), Charles Gregory Stragnell (Penelope Ruth, Benjamin, Nicholas and Adam), Susan Leeming Stragnell (Emily and Dana Keeler), Robert Sanford Stragnell (Pamela, Carol Anne and Robert), Stephen Toll Stragnell (Hope, Amanda and Gregory) and Sarah Ann Stragnell Foster, as well as twelve beloved great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, please make a “Gift from the heart” to Habitat for Humanity in her name. Address: 322 W. Lamar Street. Americus GA 31709.
Information provided by survivors.