WILMINGTON — Verne Strickland passed peacefully into eternity on Saturday, November 12, 2016, He was 79 years old.
Verne was born March 11, 1937, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and spent his youth in neighboring Battleboro. He was a proud graduate of East Carolina University and the recipient of the school’s Outstanding Alumni Award.
Upon graduation, he launched a successful career in news and served as an anchor at WRAL-TV in Raleigh for 16 years. His voice was heard daily on the N.C. News Network and Capitol Agribusiness Network.
In 1982, Verne left television to serve as media consultant for North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms’s successful reelection campaign. During this time, he produced “KGB: The Lie and the Truth,” a 2 1/2-hour television special aired to national audiences in prime time on TBS.
Verne later formed his own multimedia production company, Verne Strickland Communications, which provided specialized communications to leading agribusiness companies and government agencies. His career in news and media production took him to over 30 countries, including China, Japan, Taiwan, Egypt, Germany, England, Norway and the Soviet Union. He was the first U.S. journalist to receive the “E” Award for Export Production, a citation presented by President Richard Nixon.
After retiring in Wilmington, N.C., Verne enjoyed freelance writing, photography, and producing his popular Christian conservative political blog, USA DOT COM. His favorite pastime was reading God’s Word and spending time in prayer with the Lord he loved.
Verne is survived by his wife of 56 years, Durrene; his sons, Byron, Scott and Britt; his daughters-in-law, Melissa and Louise; and his two grandchildren, Caleb and Mona. His family is comforted by the knowledge that their beloved husband, father, and grandfather is now in the presence of his Savior, Jesus Christ, free from pain and sorrow.
A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in Oakdale Cemetery.