Travis Lee Strickland, born on December 18, 1998, in Hendersonville, North Carolina, unexpectedly left this world on Saturday, August 12, 2023 while returning for duty aboard the USS Nimitz, stationed in Bremerton, Washington. At the age of 24, Travis’s time with us was far too short, but his impact will be felt for a lifetime.
Travis attended North Henderson High School, where he discovered his passion for music as a member of the marching band, playing the tuba. His talent and dedication were evident from an early age. But it was not just his musical abilities that set him apart; Travis possessed a deep desire to serve others.
During his freshman year, Travis joined the North Henderson JROTC, showcasing his commitment to a life of service. Throughout his high school years, he excelled in the program, taking great pride in representing the JROTC at various veteran events. One particular moment stands out, when Travis, just nine years old, stood at attention and saluted as military veterans passed by during a parade. The veterans, moved by his display of respect, turned, and saluted him back.
In 2019, Travis fulfilled his dream and enlisted in the United States Navy. He underwent rigorous training at Great Lakes in Chicago and A-School in Pensacola, specializing in aviation ordnance. Travis’s dedication and love for his field were evident, making his family incredibly proud.
He was eventually stationed aboard the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier, where he served with honor and distinction. Travis was deployed twice, including the historic 2020 pandemic deployment, which marked the longest peacetime deployment in US Naval peacetime history. His commitment to his duty and fellow service members was unwavering.
Beyond his military career, Travis had a profound love for the outdoors. Hunting, fishing, and camping brought him immense joy and allowed him to connect with nature. Travis found peace in these activities, and they brought out his adventurous spirit.
But above all, Travis was a person of remarkable character. Fun-spirited, kind, generous, and humble, both inside and out, he always went above and beyond for his loved ones and friends. His warm smile had the power to light up a room, and his caring nature touched the lives of those around him. Travis’s impact was immeasurable, and his legacy is one of love and compassion.
He was preceded in rest by grandparents, Larry and Marie Thomas; grandfather, Winford Strickland; as well as his beloved niece, Nora Thomas. We know they have welcomed him home with open arms and loving hearts and are caring for him until we can be with him again.
Travis brought joy and warmth to his family from the moment he came into this world. He was a beloved son of Stacy Thomas Duncan and Lee Strickland, Jr. and is also survived by his step-father, Bruce Duncan; as well as his step-mother, Stephanie Allen Strickland. Travis’s presence radiated love and affection throughout his family, forever cherished by his sisters, Stephanie Swift and Jessica Thomas, and their husbands, Shawn and Timothy, who were considered brothers by Travis.
Travis’s kindness and compassion extended beyond his immediate family, as he is also survived by his adored step-siblings, Alex Coon and wife Jennifer, Hannah Duncan Pickett and husband Cephus, Brandon Duncan and wife Ashley, and Matthew Duncan. Travis was a beloved uncle, leaving behind a legacy of cherished memories with his nieces and nephews, Atlas and Orion Swift, Gwenna Thomas, Claire Carpenter, Ronan Coon, Kyrie Pickett, Liam, Braylin, and Everly Duncan. With a heart full of love, Travis also leaves behind a multitude of loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, all of whom will forever hold him close in their hearts. Furthermore, Travis formed deep bonds with dear friends, Matthew Duncan, Noah Webb, Colby Wells, Jonas Welch, along with many beloved shipmates and friends aboard the USS Nimitz.
Travis will be remembered as a cherished son, grandson, brother, uncle, and friend. To honor Travis’s memory and celebrate his remarkable life, a heartfelt celebration of life will be held on Saturday, September 02, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at West Hendersonville Baptist Church with Pastor Scott Thomas officiating the service. Interment will follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hendersonville. The United States Navy will provide full military honors, paying tribute to Travis’s dedication and service.
Prior to the service, the family will receive friends from 1:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. at the church, offering an opportunity for loved ones to share their condolences and support one another during this difficult time.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that memorial donations be made to North Henderson High School JROTC, 35 Fruitland Road, Hendersonville, North Carolina 28792, in honor of Travis’s memory.
Fair winds and following seas, Travis. Your family, friends, and shipmates now have the watch.