Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff John Fitzgerald Strickland

Harnett County Sheriff's Office, North Carolina

End of Watch Wednesday, September 24, 2003

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Reflections for Deputy Sheriff John Fitzgerald Strickland

Hey Baby,
Today is your 40th birthday! The kids and I are all home from school and we have set this day aside for you. Tonight, Mom, Aunt Ardis, Uncle Mike, the kids and I will go out to dinner and toast your life. We would have had a huge celebration for you 40th if you were here today, but you are not forgotten. We love you and miss you! You are forever in our minds and our thoughts. Love your wife and kids. I pray that you have found peace.

November 11, 2004

Hey Orangelo,

You are on my mind every minute of every day. I didn't write you on 9-24-04 because it was too difficult. I had so much to say, but I didn't know where to begin. How has one year already taken place!? I don't understand where the time has gone. Your picture sits centerplace in our new house. This is your house and we all feel your presence here. 2 days before the first year, Josh went to grab a shirt out of his drawer (the one from the week in Washington with your name on it) and it smelled like Copenhagen. One more proof to the kids and I that you are never far away. I don't come to this site everyday like I use to because it is too difficult, but reading it tonight made me cry (like always), except that I read your dad's reflection and I lost it. I can't believe all that has happened to this family since your passing. I know that God has great plans for us all, but why couldn't he have left you here to share it with us!? I question my life and my existence and I believe that there is a reason I was left behind, but I don't like it. I want you by my side again John. We always talked about growing old and enjoying life, yet how do I do that without you!? You were my rock and you kept me sane. Now, it's me and the kids and God to keep me sane. I love you John and I miss you more than ever. Please watch over us and continue to keep your hand upon your children (keeping them safe). I pray for your family in N.C. and WA. I hope that they are all doing well. I would like to pray that we all have peace, but peace won't come. I love you muscleman and I will see you again. Your loving wife

October 20, 2004

My Darlin Son,
I'm sorry I haven't written to your site sooner,but every time I start to write,tears would fill my eyes.
I hope I get through this one. I miss you so much John. Things have not been the same since you left us for your new and better home.
I walk down to the crash site sometimes with Blitz. We sit and I cry and Blitz licks the tears from my eyes. I look up to the sky and pray to the Lord to let you be in peace with him in his kingdom.
I'm trying to write this from my heart so you will know it is me and not something copied from a book.
I miss your family also.Being with the kids for a PD burger. We had some good times John Boy.
Your long time friend Byron, took your Harkey for a ride Sunday. He also misses you so very much.
It's been hard on your mom. You was her pride and joy and her first born. Sometimes she will be sitting and just start crying and I'll leave her alone because I know what those tears are for her beloved son.
I have to tell you this John, I took Blitz Daisey and Fe Fe to your grave site the other day. Parked the car a hundred yards from your grave. Fe Fe and Daisey went off smelling to the left. When I turned to look to see where Blitz was,he was laying on your grave site and when I walked up to him his ears were down.I said,"What are you doing Blitz". He knew his buddy John was there.
I knelt down and hugged him with tears in my eyes and told him it was alright.
I can't begin to tell you all the good things that the Sheriff and the department have done for you and your family. They loved you John and they all miss you so much.
I can't thank them enough for all the kindness,love and concern shown by them.God bless them all.
Your Dad

October 4, 2004


A lot has happened in the year of your passing has you are aware of. September 24th was a very sad day and also a very happy day. Sad because you were taken from so many of us, but happy because we know that you are in Heaven with the big PAPA. I thank God and you for keeping CHRIS safe in his accidents and thank God for not taking him home as yet. I'm glad to know that his work down here on earth is not done. Please keep your LOVING arms around peanut and the kids they truly miss you and love you. Be strong Big brother and let dad know that we will be at the gates later with lots of hugs and kisses.
Love Melissa

Sister-in-law Melissa Wilkerson

October 3, 2004

In loving memory of D.S. John Strickland on the first anniversary of his death:
Thank you for your selfless service and sacrifice. It is a long road to healing that lies ahead, but I know that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will extend His mercy and comfort to all who reach out to Him.
There is none greater than He. We don't get to Heaven based on what we do,but by what He did for us by dying on that cross to pay the penalty for our sins. AMEN! There is now a huge void that cannot be filled. God be with all those who mourn and may His promises lift all those with heavy hearts for many years to come. I found this poem on another's site and wanted to share it.

We may never understand it,
the risks these brave ones take,
but occasionally we see a bit
of the difference their lives make.
Some do it for the action,
others find it a callin'.
All find the satisfaction,
and few become the fallen.
Being an officer is what he loved,
To him as good as it gets.
Law was what he dreamed of,
He would have no regrets.
And though it saddens all of us
to lose him in this way
He knew how an officer must
Live life to the fullest everyday.

This reminds me so much of the tragedy that happened to D.S. Matt Herzog just minutes from my home. I didn't know him, but he was a neighbor & was loved by so many.
Maybe they have met by now. May
his family and co-workers find the
peace that only Jesus can give and
I wish the best of everything to his
wife and children as they begin their
new life in Arizona, one day at a time
walking side by side with Jesus.
God bless you all.

Lynn Kole
Washington State

September 24, 2004

One year ago tomorrow you were taken from us.When I tell other people and friends thats it's been a year they just can't believe it's been that long.They say when a person passes that you think of them every day all the time.Well that is very true.When I talk about you with my patient's I always say how funny you were.You had what they call is Northern Dry Humor.You never caused us any heartache and you was such a good person.Your father and I miss you so very much and our hearts will always be broken.
There's an emptiness in my heart that will never go away.

September 21, 2004

We are coming up on 1 year without you and I can't believe it. Not a day goes by that you are not in our thoughts. WE MISS YOU!! I miss my best friend. We were supposed to grow old together and watching our grandbabies being born. Who will do that with me now? Who will walk our daughter down the aisle? There is so much happening in their lives that I wish you could share with us. I know that you are always near, even though we don't see you. You are in my heart forever and I pray that you have found peace. I love you John.

September 2, 2004

Rebecca and children, I hope the move and new home have beem\n an easy adjuctment for y'all. It is now almost Sept and I am sure you have started your new career as well as the children a new school. I hope the transition without John has not beentoo stressful on any of you. You all ahve been in my thoughts and prayers since I met you at her NLEOM in May. Please let keep in touch with me,April, and Anitra. We do so care about you and your family. X's& O's Patricia Tucker

Patricia Tucker- survivor

August 26, 2004

Dear John,
As you may know BJ as followed in your footsteps, the advise you gave him growing up stuck with him. He is a Pvt. with the US Army and like most Mothers I am worried for his safety and his life. He will be leaving for Iraq soon and will not only be leaving behind me and his dad, but now a wife and new baby. Please keep a hand on his shoulders as Jesus keeps him wrapped in his hands. As I get pictures together I see lots of them with you and your family (my sister and the children) and many pictures of you with my Pop whom I'm sure your sharing story's with. Just know that not a day, week, month go by that you are not thought of. We all miss you very much.

Melissa Wilkerson

August 22, 2004

To John and family,
I've been friends with your mom since we were 9 years old, when we were 17 we both got married two weeks apart. Soon after the wedding I wrote to your mom telling her some good news of my pregnancy. To my surprise she wrote back telling me of her good news,she was pregnant with you. You were born two months after my daughter Kim. For many years we kept in close contact, sometimes it seems time and distance can get between people and make that contact harder. I just now found out about this horrible tradegy, and my heart feels heavy with pain. We are not suppose to lose our babies. I read all of the reflections and cried through most. You were a good son, husband, father, brother and friend. As long as there are thoughts of you and memories, you will always be alive in our hearts.

Aileen Daniels your mom's childhood fri

August 15, 2004

Today is the 1st of Aug. 2004. The kids and I are getting ready to go to a new church (in our new home in AZ.). We miss you and we think about you everday. You are never far from my thoughts. I know that I will see you again soon my love. I know that you are at peace for I see your smiling face when I need you most. Thank you for loving me and for always (and still) being there for me.
Loving you forever,
Your peanut

(wife) Rebecca Strickland

August 1, 2004

It's taken me a while to post this message. Your family was so proud of you when I spoke to them at your viewing and had every right to. I lost my brother in law around the same time and he was in law enforcement and military. It was hard to understand what happened that day of your accident, but he passed as well in an accident also. My prayers and thoughts have stayed with your family. I ask that you look over all of us in the area and in hopes we can all work together once again. God bless you brother.


June 18, 2004

Two days ago I had the honor and privilage of meeting the family and serving as an escort for them at the National Law Enforcement Officer's memorial service in Washington, D.C., Rest assured you are not forgotten and will be always in my thoughts. To the family: stay strong and never hesitate to ask for assistance from your police family.

Sgt. Ken Clark
Charlotte- Mecklenburg Police Dept., Charlotte, NC

May 17, 2004

In Memory of our beloved son,John

I thought of you with love today, but that is nothing new
I thought about you yesterday and days before that too.
I think of you in silence, but I often speak your name.
Now all I have is memories and your picture in a frame.
Your memory is my keepsake, from which I will never part,
God has you in his keeping,
I have you in my heart
Rest my son, you have no more worries here.

May 7, 2004

John my love,
It is hard to believe that 6 months have gone by since I last saw you. It seems like only yesterday you walked out the door for the last time on your way to do what you did best, take care of others. I think about you everyday and still drive by the crash site. They have taken most of everything away, but left the cross made by Kelly's son. It breaks my heart to know that is the place where you took your last breath, yet it comforts me some to know that Jesus was with you when you left your earthly body. The kids are growing up fast and I thank you for helping to raise them into the remarkable people they are today. I wish you could be here with me to see them grow and to laugh with them when they laugh and to cry with them with they cry. I'm sure you were looking down from heaven when Chris went to the military ball. He was so handsome! That was a difficult day for me, I wish you had been there with your arm around me. Our boy is growing up. I miss you John! and I will forever. You will always be in my heart, my soul and my life. Until we meet again, I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Rebecca Strickland

April 8, 2004

I stop by this website often after the death of two dear friends with the NCSHP (Troopers Calvin Taylor E.O.W. October 3, 2001 and Anthony Cogdill E.O.W. May 30, 2003).

We all grieve over the lives lost in the line of duty. I hope you can find some comfort knowing that there are countless prayers that go out for your family.

These are senseless tragedies that never seem to stop. God Bless the men and women who continue to serve their communities in our great Nation.

...Gone, but never Forgotten....

Marti (EMT-Paramedic)
Haywood Co EMS (NC)

April 5, 2004

Although we never met, Cousin, I am saddened by the informaton I have recieved. I feel awkward leaving a reflection now - 5 months past, but I just came across this information. You are now with your Uncle Bob, may you both rest in peace.

To your friends and family I send my condolences.

To Uncle Bill, Auntie Sylvia, and Cousin Candee - I miss you all and I am sorry to hear of your loss. I Love you all.

Robert N. Simmons Jr.

Robert N. Simmons Jr.

February 1, 2004

Although some time has passed since John left us, his life and his sacrifice are far from forgotten. To John's family, friends and co-workers: know that you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. I wish you God's peace and comfort.


January 31, 2004

Merry Christmas Big Brother 12/25/03

David F. Strickland

December 25, 2003

I knew your Mom since we were very young. I remember your birth announcement. I have pictures of you as a child that she sent me. My dearest friend has sadness that I cannot pretend to understand. Therefore, knowing you are in a much more powerful place, I ask you to help her at this time, if you can. May God watch over your family for you, and find a way to bring them some peace of mind.

Vivian Gionti

Mom's childhood friend, Vivian

December 14, 2003

Time has passed and I still can't find the right words. John was my friend and I miss him. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him and the sacrifice he made and I hope that never changes.

Deputy BG Strickland #154
Harnett County Sheriff's Office

December 5, 2003

Today is Nov 11- 03. Today is your birthday. I would call you every year to say those words, and check and see how you and the family were doing. Wanted to let you know, still did the same this year also. Heard your voice still on the machine, brings a tear to my eyes if you know what I mean. A couple of months have passed and we are all trying to cope with you not being around. Miss you Bro not forgotten even though you aren't around on this earth with us. Happy Birthday John Love your Brother David F Strickland

David F. Strickland

November 11, 2003

I was proud to call you friend, but more than that you were and always will be a brother. You and I only knew each other a few short months but we made fast friends. I remember your dad well from my time at the SO. He is, I am sure, proud of you and all that you have done. Rest well my friend in the knowledge that you will always be remembered as you were, kind, good hearted and honest. A man anyone would be proud to call friend.

T. Dale Pope, Erwin 406

Captain Bill,
I wish you and all of John's family peace in this time of despair. Know that John is with the Angels and that he will never be forgotten by those of you that loved him and us that called him friend.


How do we count the lives he touched,
The light he shed for years?
How do we see the difference he made,
When we are looking through our tears?

How do we know the things that are,
that never would have been?
Without his valiant heart that dared
to fight and fight again?

How do we know what flowers will bloom
from seeds of yesterday,
What songs are sung and dreams begun
Because he passed this way?

How do we measure the shining place
that time can never pale,
In all the hearts that cheered him on,
and willed him to prevail?

How did his spirit sore beyond
The suffering and the scars,
With one hand clutching hope,
and the other on the stars?

We may not know what he left behind
on the difficult path he trod...
But we know this much,
His Life's Brief Touch Was From The Hand Of GOD.

Senior Officer T. Dale Pope
Erwin Police, Harnett Co, NC

October 16, 2003

We are truly saddened at John's loss.
We all recall you gave your best.
You did your job, now you can rest.
Your comrades now can cover your post
as you take your place with the Heavenly Host.

God Bless Our Fallen Brothers & Sisters.
Our prayers will be with you, your family, and co-workers!

Ptlm P.K. Harding
Binghamton (NY) PD

October 15, 2003



October 12, 2003

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