Melba Stratton Strother – Army Spouse

From a contemporary press report:

Melba Stratton Strother, 99, formerly of Winfield, died March 25, 2001, in a Santa Monica, California, nursing home.

Following services in Santa Monica, she will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C.

Strother was born November 18, 1901, in Arkansas City, Kansas, and spent her childhood in Winfield, Kansas, where she graduated from Winfield High School in 1919. The following year, she entered Kansas State College in Manhattan where she was affiliated with Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

In 1924 she married Kenneth Strother, a high school classmate who had recently graduated from West Point and been commissioned in the Army. Embarking on a life as an Army wife that was to last for 30 years, she accompanied her husband to San Antonio, Texas, and established their first home. They were stationed in several locations in the United States, the Philippines and Puerto Rico until her husband was sent overseas in 1943. After World War II, the family lived in the United States and later in Japan during the occupation.

After her husband retired from the Army in 1954, they moved to Santa Monica. Strother became involved in community activities, including the Red Cross, Kappa Kappa alumnae, her church and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Strother Field was named for Strother’s brother-in-law, Donald Root Strother. The youngest of the five Strother sons (her husband was the eldest), he was killed over Java in the first month of World War II.

Survivors include her husband of 76 years, retired U.S. Army Colonel Kenneth C. Strother, since also deceased, of Santa Monica; a daughter, Joanna S. Nicol, Falls Church, Virginia; two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

NOTE: Her brother in law, Dean C. Strother, General, United States Air Force, is also buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

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