AKRON – Florence E. Strong, 86, of rural Akron, passed at 9:15 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2019, at Miller’s Merry Manor of Warsaw.

She was born on Jan. 20, 1933, in Chicago, Ill., and adopted as an infant by Aaron S. and E. Reath Fike.

She was married July 3, 1950, in Fulton County, Salem, Ark., to the only love of her life, L. Merle Strong. He preceded on May 5, 2011.

Florence was a homemaker and a farmer’s wife as well as a rural mail carrier for nearly 10 years, retiring in 1995. She also was a former co-owner, with her daughter Charlotte, of the Lantern Café of Silver Lake and worked at several nursing homes which included Canterbury Manor of Rochester and Timbercrest Retirement Community of North Manchester.

She was a graduate of West Plains High School in 1949.  She then attended Manchester College. She gave her heart to the Lord at the age of 8 in the Peace Valley Church of the Brethren and a later was a member of the Silver Creek Church of God for many years.

Survivors include two daughters, Carmen (and husband Dr. Stephen) Reed, Fort Wayne, and Charlotte (and husband Charles) Gerdeman, Akron; two sons, John (and wife Cathy) Strong, Akron, and Charles (and wife Joy) Strong, Monticello; grandchildren: Kimberly (Reed) and husband Scott Heisler, Christopher Reed, Marlayna and husband Jamie Gagnon, Madison Strong, Levi Strong, Steven and wife Steph Tackett, Brittany Plunkett, Brian and Alana Stutsman, and Jake and Cayla Stutsman; great-grandchildren: Isabella Heisler, Braden Tackett, Chloe Tackett, Kaia Plunkett, Marina Gagnon, Paisley Plunkett, Audrey Stutsman and James Stutsman; and a sister, Elverda Oellig, West Plains, Mo.

She was preceded in death by her husband, L. Merle Strong; sister and brother-in-law, Viola and Richard Harlan; and brother-in-law, Byron Oellig.

Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 10, in Hartzler Funeral Home, 305 W. Rochester St., Akron. Pastor Thomas Craig will officiate. Burial will be in Akron Cemetery, Akron.

Visitation is from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 9, at Hartzler Funeral Home, Akron.


Memorials to American Heart Association or the Cardinal Center.

Visit www.hartzlerfuneralservices.com to share a memory or send condolences.