Today I have been remembering Harry L. Strasil Jr. who was always known as Junior or Uncle Junior. He had been ill for some time and passed away last night.
Uncle Junior was the husband of my dad’s sister Sylvia.
Uncle Junior and Aunt Sylvia had three girls and a boy. We had a lot of fun together at family reunions and when we would visit my Grandpa and Grandma. Unfortunately my cousin Jeff was struck by lightning when he was only 17 and passed away. This was very tough for my uncle as he was unable to pass down the family trade to him.
Uncle Junior was a blacksmith just like his father and grandfather. He was also a woodworker, carpenter, electrician, machinist and just about anything that required mechanical ability. He made wonderful items out of wood and would often use traditional hand tools in his work.
Junior was known in the blacksmith community as Irnsrgn or Iron Surgeon. I remember his license plate that said IRNSRG.
Junior was also a teacher, and although he never graduated from High School he taught college courses and conducted seminars at blacksmith events.
Here is a picture of Uncle Junior with his family. This picture was taken about eight years ago. Just looking at this picture brings back so many memories. Unfortunately my Aunt Sylvia is not in the picture as she had passed away a few years earlier.
Here is one of the last pictures that I took of my Uncle Junior. This was at the memorial service for my Uncle Howard. See my post: Veterans Day II
Uncle Junior was a member of the Navy Seabees and attended the US Navy Steelworker school. I am not sure of where all he served, but I do know that he was with the Mobile Construction Battalion 3 in Thailand helping build an airstrip during the Vietnam War.
You can see in the picture that he was also a member of the DAV.
I am very thankful for his service to our country.
Uncle Junior will be remembered by many, especially the people he helped during his life.