Dr. Edward Wheelden Strother
December 30, 2011
Funeral for Dr. Edward Wheelden Strother, 84, of Hartselle was Tues., Jan. 10, at Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham. Dr. Strother died Dec. 30, 2011, at his residence. He was born Jan. 5, 1927, in Decatur to Clarence W. Strother and Lurline W. Strother. He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Lisa Lauren Strother; his parents; and three brothers, Robert C. Strother, John C. Strother and Kenneth D. Strother.
He is survived by his daughter Jan Strother Newman and husband Michael; a son, Kevin E. Strother and wife Annette; his sister-in-law, Carolyn W. Strother; and nieces and nephews.
Dr. Strother attended
Riverside High School in Decatur and served in World War II as a combat tail gunner flying a B-24 Liberation Bomber for the 15th Air Force in Italy. Following his honorable discharge from the Air Force with the rank of Sergeant, he attended Auburn University where he studied pre-dentistry. He was awarded a Doctorate of Medical Dentistry from the University of Alabama School of Dentistry in 1954. He received a teaching fellowship in UAB’s Department of Oral Medicine and participated in many research projects and helped develop the first fluoride containing toothpaste.
He began his private dental practice in 1956 in Birmingham and was elected by the ADA as a delegate to the Alabama Legislature. He was the first dentist to be admitted to the staff of Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. He became an advocate for safer anesthesia in oral and surgical procedures for children and handicapped young adults.
In 1961, Dr. Strother was awarded a law degree upon graduation from the Jones Law School in Montgomery. He also served as chairman of the board and as capital fund chairman for the Five Points YMCA during 1970-75. From 1965 until his retirement in 1994, he developed and implemented a comprehensive dentistry program within his practice. He was a frequent speaker at dental seminars around the country.
Dr. Strother was an avid airplane enthusiast. He enjoyed sharing his passion and knowledge of flying and car racing with family and friends. In addition to cross country flying trips, he flew bi-wing planes, experimental aircraft, gliders, hot air balloons and even made a number of parachute jumps. He was a close friend of Walter Harkins who raced his Sunbeam Alpine sports car at race courses around the state in the late 50’s and 60’s.
He was an active member of the WWII 464th Bomb Group, 779th Squadron, 15th Air Force. He attended many reunions and hosted the group’s reunion in Huntsville in 2010.
After retiring, Dr. Strother became a master photographer and delighted family and friends by capturing nature, animals and people in beautiful pictures. He was a devoted and loving father and also a generous friend, knowledgeable teacher and an enthusiastic coach to his patients and friends. His presence will be missed by all who knew him.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a contribution to Covenant House, 460 West 41st Street, New York, NY 10036-6801 or at covenanthouse.org or St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude PL, Memphis, TN 38105.