Preston Edward Lee Strand, Jr., the eldest son of the late Preston Edward Lee Strand, Sr. and Rosa Mae Dickerson Strand, was born in Accomac, Virginia on April 7, 1939. He went home to be with Jesus on September 24, 2019.
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While still a youngster, Preston realized that heaven is real, and that a belief in Jesus Christ is the only way to get there. He therefore, placed his belief in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at Macedonia AME Church in Accomac, Virginia.
Always a hard worker, as a youngster Preston shined shoes at Cliff Humbles’s barber shop. As a teenager and young adult, he worked as a funeral attendant at the J. E. Thomas Funeral Home.
In 1958, Preston graduated from Mary N. Smith High School, as a member of the first class to complete the twelfth grade.
Seeking to improve his economic position, Preston made a major decision to move to Washington, DC in May 1963. He initially took a job as a helper at the Washington Star Newspaper. He quickly progressed to Relief Manager and ultimately, Route Manager. He was employed at the Star until the business closed in 1981. Because of his incredible work ethic, the newly-formed Washington Times Newspaper aggressively pursued Preston to join them as a District Sales Manager. Just as he had done at the Washington Star, Preston thrived in this position. He was named District Sales Manager of the month many times and received several other awards for his outstanding contributions to the company’s profits. He wrapped up his stellar career at the Times and retired in the fall of 2007.
In addition to deciding to move to Washington, DC, Preston made another major decision. He asked Bessie M. Budd to be his wife; she said “Yes” and they were married in August, 1965. For more than fifty-four years they were best friends, companions, confidants, and partners. Preston’s greatest joy was spending time with Bessie, whether it was in Virginia Beach, Chincoteague, or simply watching the 6 o’clock news featuring Jim Vance and Doreen Gentzler.
In addition to spending time with Bessie, Preston’s other hobbies included detailing his cars, maintaining a perfectly manicured lawn, watching the Washington Redskins, listening to music (his favorite being Jazz), and getting together with his siblings to reminisce and laugh about events from their childhood.
As Preston’s health declined during the past year, Bessie dedicated herself to being his advocate and around-the-clock caregiver, ensuring that he had the best possible quality of life.
Cherishing fond memories of Preston are: his loving wife, Bessie B. Strand; seven brothers, Charles (Bertie), Herbert, Carey (Sophronia), David (Kada), Lawrence (Cassandra), Tyrone (Virginia), and Derwin; two sisters, Barbara (Thomas) and Raenelle Humbles Zapata; aunt, Martinia W. Beckett; sister-in-law, Barbara Strand; brother-in-law, Vernon “Duke” Williams; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Submitted with great love and dedication,
Bessie B. Strand