Marie Dechon Strickland, 93, of Hamden, peacefully went home to God on January 15, 2017 after a brief illness. Marie was born in Waterbury, CT October 23, 1923, the first child of six born to the late John Francis and Anna Ziburis Dechon. She grew up in New York City and received her BSN from Hunter College and the Cornell University School of Nursing in 1947. She received her Master's degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in 1965. Marie was an instructor at the Cornell University School of Nursing from 1965-1971, when she became the university Department Head for OB-GYN Nursing. In 1975 she became Department Head of OB-GYN Nursing at New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center and later added Pediatric Nursing to those responsibilities. She held this position until her retirement in 1986. During her career she was a highly regarded and skilled nursing clinician and devoted much professional time to teaching and learning about maternal and child health and the prevention of birth defects. She was a long-time supporter of Covenant House, a crisis center for homeless and runaway children in New York City. She worked tirelessly for the March of Dimes for many years and was the recipient of their 'Distinguished Voluntary Leadership in the Fight Against Birth Defects' Award in 1980 and 1983. She was active in many professional organizations and committees and presented numerous papers and studies at professional conferences and symposiums during her very distinguished career. Marie also authored numerous professional publications. In retirement, she traveled the world and visited all seven continents, many more than once. Every adventure led her to another. She was an avid quilter and crafter; she also became a Bridge Life Master, of which she was very proud. A hallmark of her long and rich life was her devotion to her church and faith. Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Maj. Edwin C. Strickland; her brother, John Dechon; her four sisters and best friends, Alice Chowaniec, Marguerite Lawrence, Maureen Murphy, and Helen Dechon, and her beautiful daughter, Judith Stutz. She is survived by her loving children, Ellen (Newell) Andrews of Hamden CT, Edwin C. (Janice) Strickland of Reno NV, Justin Strickland of Albuquerque NM, and her son-in-law Sidney Stutz of La Jolla CA; her six grandchildren, Christian Storey, Dr. Ryan Andrews, Adam (Destinie) Stutz, Dr. Kathryn (Ian) Barbash, Zachary Strickland, and Marty Strickland, and two great grandsons, Jackson Storey and Callum Barbash. She will be dearly missed by her nieces, Michele Giannattasio and Carol Walker, who were devoted to her and contributed so much to her quality of life and longevity, along with her many other nieces and nephews. Friends are invited to Celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial in her honor at 11:00 AM on Saturday, April 22, 2017 in her beloved St. Stephen Church, 400 Ridge Road, Hamden CT 06517. Interment will be private. BEECHER & BENNETT, 2300 Whitney Ave, Hamden in care of arrangements. Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to Covenant House, 461 Eighth Avenue, New York NY 10001, or the March of Dimes, Greater New York Chapter, 233 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003.

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  1. My most sincere condolences go to all the members of the Strickland and Dechon Families. I first met Marie when I was a kid in the Bronx in the ’60s. She was Mom to my best friend and hosted me on numerous sleepovers and visits to the cottage on the lake. She was a single Mom supporting 4 kids and with what must have been a grueling schedule but she never missed the rotating Cub Scout Den Mother duties. I didn’t think much of it at the time but Marie was the only working Mom of the Den Mothers and this probably caused some stress with taking time off from work as employers were not usually as understanding about life balance as they are now.

    Truly an amazing lady who loved her children, accomplished much, and will always be remembered by all who were fortunate enough to know her.

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