Joseph Rae Strubinger – Villages-News.com
Mr. Joseph “Joe” Rae Strubinger, 83, of Oxford, Florida, passed away late in the morning on September 1, 2021, at The Villages Hospice House. Joe was born December 17, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois, to Melvin Rae and Bessie Odile Strubinger. His first wife, Reba Tyner, died in 1985. He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Joan, and his son Ray. A strong father, he is also survived by a large biological and blended family: Liza (Dale) Crenshaw and John (Jennifer) Zapata; her grandchildren Jaimie (Lance) Kinney, Jessica (Drew) Arnstein and Michael and Justin Zapata; his precious great-grandchildren who affectionately called him “Papa Joe” —Presley, Easton, Kennedy and Jack; the other surviving family members are Bessie Crowley, Jeannie Crowley, Bill and Barbara Kane, and a long list of cousins from her hometown of Illinois.
Joe’s family moved to Florida in 1953. He graduated from Wildwood High School in 1955. He then attended the University of Florida, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture. He worked in the agricultural industry for many years, managing orange groves in South Florida and the family orange grove off Highway 466, an area we now call the villages. He also owned and operated Wildwood Farm Supply, serving the needs of farmers and ranchers throughout Sumter County.
A devout Christian, Joe befriends everyone he meets and always helps those in need. He has served several key civic organizations as a Mason, Shriner, and a board member of the Pine Level Cemetery Association. A man of high character, he believed in doing the right thing and always flaunted this in his daily activities. No matter where he went, he was never alone, he always traveled with God. He was an exceptional example to his family and these memories will long continue to influence and survive with his passing.
A big sports fan, you can always count on him to support his beloved Florida Gators and Chicago Cubs / Bears. There isn’t a fall Saturday or Sunday that he would miss a game. Although surrounded by members of the Seminole family, he kept the peace through the heated rivalry and always enjoyed the conversation about sports activities. He will always be remembered as a proud and supportive husband and father who always wanted to offer only the best things in life to his family.
Joe had great difficulty walking, especially later in life, due to the circumstances of his birth. Despite the physical challenges, he never let it stop him from trying to do what he wanted to do. As we learned from Paul in the New Testament, who endured tremendous suffering from shipwrecks and hunger to unjust imprisonment and beatings (2 Corinthians), he knew as well as anyone that situations can be painful and seemingly hopeless. But he eventually discovered that the real contentment came from Jesus, and not from the situation he found himself in. Joe took this scripture to heart and demonstrated how to respond to adversity and circumstances beyond your control. He was and always will be the mainstay of the family and he will be missed forever.
Services will be held at the Oxford Assembly of God for all friends and family able to attend during these difficult times of Covid. In lieu of flowers, you can donate in Joe’s name to The Villages Hospice House where he received such compassionate care in his last days or to the Oxford Assembly of God Church.