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Celebrating the life of

Walter Charlton Hartridge Strong, Jr.

August 16, 1940 - April 11, 2024

Walter Charlton Hartridge Strong, Jr.

Walter Charlton Hartridge Strong Jr. peacefully passed away at Hospice Savannah on April 11, 2024. Born in Savannah, Georgia on August 16, 1940, Walter was the son of Walter Hartridge Strong, Sr. and Julia Eve Strong. He was educated at his beloved Charles Ellis School, Savannah High School, and Georgia Tech, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Fraternity. 

Walter returned to Savannah in 1961 to run his family's commercial construction firm, W.H. Strong Company. Over the next 63 years, Walter's construction legacy stretches over Savannah and the surrounding areas with notable projects such as River Street's Rousakis Plaza, the Old Chatham County Courthouse, and many buildings on Armstrong's campus.  His children will always remember when he turned the orchestra pit at Armstrong's Fine Art's Building into a temporary swimming pool for them to swim during construction.

Walter’s passion for his work was so integral to him that the idea of retirement was never considered. He always said that he would work until the day he died, and that he did- with his famed yellow legal pad and mechanical pencil legibly writing both professional and personal notes to his family and friends during his last days.

Diagnosed with cancer in late December 2023, he accepted this health challenge with the same fierce determination and optimism that allowed him to continue to beat younger opponents on the tennis court and run his construction consulting business into his 80’s. At his passing, he was surrounded by his beloved family, including the love of his life for 62 years, Bobbie Strong, their four children and spouses, and numerous grandchildren, all sharing their endless memories with their ‘Big Daddy’ and the significant influence he had on all their lives. The stories, laughter, and tears flowed freely. Big Daddy seemed to enjoy every minute of this precious time with what mattered most to him:  family and friends.

Walter was a member of the Savannah Yacht Club where he built several buildings and a lifetime of memories.  From wedding receptions for all three daughters, Saturday tennis matches, hosting the annual Thanksgiving feast for his entire family of 27 children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, to his standing Saturday lunch date with his beloved Bobbie, Walter’s presence will be immensely missed.

The rivers, creeks, and tides of Savannah are etched into Walter’s spirit.  He loved to run the creeks at high tide and created some of his best memories with family and friends at the south end of Wassaw Island. He even attempted to waterski for his guests on his 80th birthday, that did not go as well as he had envisioned.

Always the consummate gentleman and host, Walter’s selfless, kind, and loving persona was truly legendary. He was one of the founding members of the esteemed St. Nicholas Society which gathered with fathers and sons for over 60 years each Christmas season for jovial fellowship, spirits, and camaraderie.  He also treasured his Sunday morning bible study with his daughter Susan and son Walter III, led by Rector and friend Gavin Dunbar at St. John’s Episcopal Church where the Strong’s roots run deep. His great grandfather served as Rector from 1878-1914.

However, in more recent years, his most cherished membership was his Saturday morning ‘Coffee Club’.  Friends, some of which dating back to grammar school, gathered rain or shine on a friend’s dock to remember, relive, and revel in over 80 years of memories.

Big Daddy will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. A man of enormous spirit that embodied his beloved hometown’s values of compassion for his fellow man, dedicated commitment to his craft, and above all, fostering a legacy of fun and family that will carry on for generations. Always one for a story in his iconic southern vernacular, a cold beer with friends after a long day at work, or a tennis match on the clay showcasing his classic cut shot, he lived a full and joyous life.

One truly does not have to look far to see a glimpse of Big Daddy in what he was most proud of, his hometown of Savannah, and his family and friends. He is survived by his devoted wife, Bobbie Buchanan Strong, a sister Katherine Strong, his four children, Susan Strong Banks (Rodney) of Savannah, Wendy Strong Lupas (Sam) of Cashiers, NC, Mary Strong Blackburn (Jerry) of Savannah, and Walter Charlton Hartridge Strong III (Lavinia) of Savannah.  His eleven grandchildren: (all of whom he made sure could tie bowline knots) Rodney Banks (Kimberly), Charlie Banks (Tracy), Sam Lupas Jr, Molly Lupas, Gracie Lupas, Sarah Dancy Blackburn, Wade Blackburn (Brooke), Morgan Blackburn, Charlton Strong, Eliza Strong, Reeves Strong, and four great-grandchildren.

There will be a visitation at Fox and Weeks on Hodgson Memorial Drive on Wednesday, April 17 at 5pm.  Service will be officiated by Reverend Jonathon Jameson at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Thursday April 18 at 11am.  

The family is grateful for the loving care of Hospice Savannah and the messages of condolence from family and friends. Walter loved, was loved, and is now experiencing perfect love.



Bobbie, you're in my prayers as you grieve. May the many great memories and the love that surrounds you, comfort you and bring you peace. Hugs, Margaret McLamb Collins

- Margaret M Collins, Bluffton, SC

My Dear Bobbie and family, my heart breaks for all of you. I always admired the love and devotion that you and Walter had for each other. What a very special marriage you shared with the love that you had and for each other and instilled in your wonderful family. I’m grateful that I’ve known you both, and I send my love and deepest sympathy to each of you. He lived a wonderful life and will be remembered respectfully by all. Bobbie, there’s a cake coming in the mail! Much love, Jan

- Jan Daniel Crawford, Va. Beach, VA

I am so sorry for all of the family. I know Walter will be missed daily. I pray you’ll each feel his presence from heaven as he continues to smile over the amazing legacy he left in each of you.

- Kathy & Neill Touchstone, Dallas, TX

Bobbie and girls, Walter was a man that cared deeply for all his friends. We cannot have any more reunions for Walter will not be there. These times meant so much to him. Love to all and especially Bobbie.

- Louise Grotheer, Savannah, Ga

A candle has been lit!

Such a life well lived. Susan and Rod and to the large family who Big Daddy leaves on earth. May the Peace that passeth understanding be yours today and in the coming days as you adjust to the loss you now feel. May you each feel His special comfort and peace as you lay Walter down for his eternal rest on Thursday. Willia Banks

- Willia Banks, Joy Daly and Bob Banks, Gainesville, GA

Walter was loved by everyone, always a kind word and a smile RIP

- Karen Leonard, Cartersville , Georgia

He will be missed. A man of integrity and Faith!!!

- Joseph Russell Ross, Savannah, Georgia

Bobbie and family, we are so sorry to read the news of Walter’s passing. We are sendings prayers and peaceful thoughts your way. What a great Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great-grandfather Walter was. He always would tell us a wonderful story about his family when we would see him . Kevin and Virginia

- Broderick, Savannah, GA

Bobbie and family, Kathryn and I so sorry to hear of Walter's passing. Walter's father lived next door to my parents in Vernonburg. I was on the county commission when Walter was awarded the contract for the old court house. Walter was always the southern gentleman. Prayers for all.

- Frank & Kathryn Murray , Pembroke , GA.

The Saturday morning coffee club, mentioned in the obit, will forever have a gaping void in Walter’s chair…we will miss his wit and wisdom in our weekly reminiscences about the good old days…RIP Walter…

- Charlie Ellis, Sav, Ga

Bobbie and family, This obituary is so beautifully written and indeed captures the essence of your Walter. We have wonderful memories of being your neighbors. We were all fortunate to have shared a special snapshot in time with Walter, you and your family. God bless you all as you adjust to the passing away of Walter. May the knowledge of a life so well lived bring you peace. Gail and Mickey Rountree

- Gail and Mickey Rountree, Savannah , Ga

I am so saddened to hear of Mr. Strong's passing. I remember him well as my dad, Bill Whalley was a friend if his. Thinking of you all at this time.

- Ginger Whalley McBride, Hendersonville , NC

So sorry to hear of Walter’s death. My husband, Philip Windsor. Thought the world revolve around Walter

- Nancy T Windsor Windsor, Guyton , Ga

Bobbie, Susan, Wendy, Mary & Walter III, Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Walter was such a wonderful husband, father and true friend to so many. His legacy is a reflection of the love and beautiful memories you have all shared. Wishing you peace and comfort during this time. Much love-

- Ben & Sarah Evans, Douglas, GA

To the Strong family (and as one of those "younger" victims on the tennis court of that famous "Cut" shot,) I want to offer my sincere condolences on your loss. Walter was truly the quintessential, Savannah, Southern Gentleman. I will miss the tennis matches and most definitely keep you all in our prayers and thoughts.

- Kevin and Sally Werntz, Savannah, GA

Walter i am so going to miss our banter on the tennis court. I loved playing on the court next to you when your ball would come into our court you always had a funny comment to make!! Will not be the same without you!

- Kathleen efird, Savannah, GA

We’re so sorry to hear of Walters’ passing! We enjoyed him very much when seeing him up frequently at the SYC.

- Gary and Connie McMurray, Savannah , Ga

To Bobbie and all of Walter’s family and dear friends. He was Always cheerful with a smile on his face! I’ll miss him and our conversations in the street. ❤️

- Sheri Estes, Savannah, GA, Ga

At the service Father Jameson described Walter as a lover of all things. That seems so spot on when we think of the handsome southern gentleman who especially loved his Bobby and his beautiful family. The testaments made in his memory by his children, sons in law, and grandchildren painted such an image of this bigger than life gentleman who did so many great things in his lifetime to make this world a better place. It is evident by the love that filled the yacht club as you all shared precious memoires, that Walter taught his family well... you are all lovers too. Prayers for peace and comfort as you all grieve the loss of your beloved Big Daddy. John and Cindy Howard

- The John Howards, Savannah, GA

I will always miss Walter and he was my parents best friends with my parents, Bobby I am so sorry for your loss and family and Walter He will truly be missed by all of us

- Bradley J Poole and Marica , Kingsland, Georgia

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel