Death again struck the Thomson-McDuffie Community. This time, it claimed a man who has had a positive impact on anyone involved in and associated with the McDuffie County School System.
Steve Vernon Strouble, 62, a longtime educator and the most recent director of the McDuffie County Achievement Center, died July 22 at University Hospital-McDuffie. He was the director of the McDuffie County Achievement Center since 2016 and a part of the McDuffie County education for 30 years.
McDuffie School Superintendant Mychele Rhodes described Strouble as an impeccable educator. “The wisdom and experience he brought to the leadership meetings for the school system was just outstanding,” she said/ “Because of his leadership at the alternative school, we have the highest numbers of graduates to date from the MAC as a result of his dedication and commitment to students,” she said. “This is a huge loss and huge void for his school system.” The MAC at 511 Main St. has an enrollment of 50 students from sixth through 12th grade.
Bea Hart-Moss, a longtime family friend, called Strouble “an awesome man servant of God.” She described him as “a mighty pillar for everyone” and a man who was impacting. “Whether you met him or read about him, he had a positive and lasting impact on everybody.” She said his spirit and presence is already missed.
Arys Edmond, a lead teacher at the MAC, stepped in and fulfilled Strouble’s leadership duties when Strouble became ill in February and was not a constant presence at the MAC. She said she was honored to step into the position and do whatever she could to lessen his pain. “Mr. Strouble was loved by everybody,” she said. “He was such a giving person, and he was so wise in every aspect. I’ve never been blessed to come in contact with someone as wise as Mr. Strouble,” Edmond said.
The instructor described Strouble as one who handled crises with a level head and who advised people to have down-board thinking. “Everybody at the MAC was better because we came in contact with him.” Edmond said.
Claude Powell and Strouble were colleagues and friends for 30 years. The retired educator recalled the good times and conversations he and Strouble had over the years, particularly the times when they substituted at Norris Elementary School. “We enjoyed talking about family and past experiences, and we enjoyed each other’s friendship,” Powell said.
“Steve Strouble was a strong person of faith and a strong family man. He was really a pillar in the community. He is going to be missed by everyone. I extend my sympathy to Pam and the family.”
A Celebration of Life and Homegoing will be held Saturday, July 27 at 11 a.m. in the Thomson High School Auditorium. Interment will be in the Strouble family plot in Columbia, South Carolina.
He is survived by his wife, Pam Kinloch Strouble, daughter, Loren Strouble, sons, Steven Strouble and Stuart Strouble (Candice), mother, Dorothy Strouble, father, Steve Strouble II, sister, Veronica Strouble, brothers, Bruce Strouble Sr. and Reginald Strouble, and nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.