Chief Master Sergeant Francis J. “Fran” Strab (Ret.), age 78, of Newark, formerly of Wilmington Manor Gardens, New Castle, died from mesothelioma on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Christiana Hospital.


Chief Master Sergeant Francis J. “Fran” Strab (Ret.), age 78, of Newark, formerly of Wilmington Manor Gardens, New Castle, died from mesothelioma on Friday, August 22, 2008 at Christiana Hospital.

Born in Wilmington on July 6, 1930, the son of the late Frank Strab and Mary  Miedzianowski Strab, Mr. Strab attended St. Paul’s Elementary School and was a graduate of Wilmington High School. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army and would go on to enlist in the Delaware Air National Guard, where he made his career. Chief Master Sergeant Strab was a part of the 166th Logistics Squadron and also served as a member of the Air Guard’s “Crash Crew.” He retired in 1990 after over 40 years of service.

A devout Catholic, Mr. Strab was a member of Holy Angels Parish and a former member of St. Peter the Apostle Parish. He was a talented handyman and was well known by family and friends for his ability to fix anything. In his leisure hours, he greatly enjoyed fishing.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by wife of 47 years, Eunice M. Daugherty Strab, in 1998. 

He is survived by his second wife of over five years, Joan McNatt Simmons-Strab, formerly of Smyrna; four children, Lorraine J. Weiner and husband, Jeffrey, of Newark, Diane M. Gambill of Rising Sun, Maryland, James F. Strab and wife, Susan, of Bear, and Francis J. Strab III of Newark; five stepchildren, Katie Gearinger and husband, Mitch, of Middletown; Sherri Leslie and husband, Roger, of Middletown; Laurie Logan and husband, Mike, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Douglas Harris Jr. of Kerrville, Texas, and John “Willie” Simmons of Newark; two sisters, Anna Maguire of Wilmington, and Lois  Cannatelli of New Castle; six grandchildren, Matthew, Nikki, Jennifer, Ryan, Frankie, and Julie; a great-granddaughter, Sydnie; eight step-grandchildren, Crystal, Marina, Christina, Jenn, Ashley, Rob, Samantha, and Kaitlynn; and eight step-great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m., on Wednesday, August 27, at the Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Home, 1000 N. DuPont Parkway, New Castle.  Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. on Thursday, August 28, at Holy Angels R.C. Church, 82 Possum Park Road, Newark, where a second visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to 10:45 am.  Interment with military honors will be in Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2465 Chesapeake City Road, Bear.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Holy Angels Building Fund, 82 Possum Park Road, Newark, DE 19711; or to the American Cancer Society, 92 Read’s Way, Ste. 205, New Castle, DE 19720.

Services are by Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory. To sign the guest register, visit spicer-mullikinfuneralhomes.com.