Obituary of Anne Watson Strowd
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Anne Watson Strowd was born in Ursina, Pennsylvania on April 7, 1926. She spent most of her childhood in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, growing up with 5 siblings. Her parents had worked hard and made a pretty good life for the family and believed in education, so they sent Anne to Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. It was there, in the library, that she met her future husband, Elvin Strowd, just back from serving in the Army in Italy in WWII. They were married on July 7, 1947. In 1949 they had their first son, Carl and in 1951, their second son, Alan. Then, a third son, Richard in 1952, followed by a fourth son, Tom in 1956.
In about 1958 Anne began work at Duke Library (where husband Elvin worked) and she worked at Duke as a very treasured and successful administrator to one of the Dept. heads. She worked at Duke library for about 20 years before retiring. Anne and Elvin both enjoyed outdoor activities, and the Strowd family went on many wonderful camping adventures at the beach and in the mountains. Also, there were many Watson family reunions with her siblings and all of the many nephews and nieces at a large, old (reconstructed) farmhouse in the Allegheny foothills near Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
Once their children were grown (all successfully graduated from college, and all went on to get advanced degrees), Anne and Elvin began to travel - exploring many of the European countries. They especially liked traveling to Italy and England. They even took a long Mediterranean sailing voyage with Duke Alumni on the majestic "Sea Cloud". One trip to Italy included a month-long stay at a villa in Tuscany, from which they took a number of day trips. Once they had experienced much of Europe, they turned their travels to the US, and took trips to many of the beautiful Western US national parks. Their last several trips were driving trips up to Maine where they would stay in Belfast and explore the wondrous Maine seaside.
Besides work, raising children and traveling they also enjoyed boating and fishing at the NC coast. They both became proficient fishermen, even catching some trophy king mackerel. They spent many nice vacations at Harkers Island, or Emerald Isle/Atlantic Beach, with some of those trips with many of Anne's brothers and sisters and their spouses. They truly enjoyed those get-togethers.
The other memorable activity they both enjoyed was their time with the Durham Savoyards, a theatrical company that performed the many Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Anne performed in the chorus of numerous productions (while Elvin produced several of the performances) and she and Elvin both had several stints as officers within that organization. They had many fun times with this organization and their sons remember some of the "after-performance" parties at the Strowd house, with more singing around the piano!
After many years living in Durham, Anne and Elvin moved to Carolina Meadows, a retirement community in northern Chatham County. They had many wonderful years in their villa, where they still hosted family reunions. They eventually moved into assisted living and then the skilled nursing facility.
While Elvin died in December 2022, at almost 98, Anne passed away on March 28th, 2023, at almost 97 years of age. She, like Elvin, having spent many important years at Duke University (in the Library), donated her body to the Duke University Medical Center, for research. They truly believed in education and the mission of the university and the medical school.
Anne was predeceased by her parents, James and Lottie Watson, and 5 siblings: Jim, Mary, Bob, Betty, and Tom. She is survived by her sons (and their wives): Carl (and Isabel), Alan (and Karla), Richard (and Cindy), and Tom (and Patsy). Also surviving are 5 grandchildren: Tim Strowd, Elizabeth and Joseph Strowd and Samantha (Sam) and Tony Strowd. One sister-in-law (Margorie Watson) and one brother-in-law (Charles Strowd) also survive her.
Anne was an extraordinary and loving mother and wife, and her family mourns her deeply. When Anne's and Elvins' ashes are returned from Duke, the family will hold a burial service at the family gravesite at Cedar Grove Methodist Church, in Chatham County. In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to be made to the Durham Savoyards in Durham, NC - an organization our parents both truly loved.