Charles R. Stribling III, a fifth generation Audrain Countian, died at 7:20 a.m. Wednesday, September 20, 2017, at his home in Mexico.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, September 25, 2017, in Memorial Chapel at Missouri Military Academy in Mexico. Family and friends will gather following the service in Stribling Hall at MMA. Private family graveside services will be held. Pickering Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Col. Stribling was born on March 29, 1927, in Mexico, the son of the late Col. C. R. Jr. and Ruth (Cauthorn) Stribling. He was a great-great grandson of Admiral C. K. Stribling, superintendent of the U.S. Navy Academy from 1851 – 1853, and a great grandson of Benjamin R. Cauthorn of Mexico, one of the founders of Missouri Military Academy in 1889.
Survivors include his wife, Winifred Runge Stribling and her family; one nephew, R. Stribling Koster, Chicago, Ill., and Dr. Joseph C. Koster, St. Louis; and a niece, Ann Koster Antoniou, St. Louis.
His sister, Suzanne Stribling Koster, and a nephew, Dr. Joseph Koster preceded him in death.
Stribling, a graduate of MMA, joined the faculty in 1952, and served for 16 years as instructor, coach, public relations and alumni director, commandant of cadets and vice-president and executive officer.
In 1968 he succeeded his father as President of MMA, and headed the Academy for 25 years (1968-93), during which time MMA was designated an Exemplary Private School (1985) by the U.S. Department of Education.
In 1993 he retired and continued as chairman of the Academy’s Board of Trustees, of which he had been a member since 1949. In that position he continued active in school affairs.
He had served as President of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States, and the Missouri Independent Schools Association; chairman of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and the Missouri Division of the American Cancer Society.
He was an American Cancer society volunteer for more than 35 years, and in 1986 ACS honored him with its premier St. George Award in recognition of “outstanding contributions to the control of cancer.”
He had been president or chairman of ten local civic organizations, including the Mexico Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, Country Club, Cancer Society, Heart Association, Historical Society, Mexico-Audrain Library Board, National Foundation (March of Dimes) and the Mexico Recreation Corporation.
The Mexico Chamber of Commerce presented him with its Ambassador Award in 1978, Community Service Award in 1980, and Philanthropic Achievement Award in 1997. He was winner of the Mexico Ledger Community Literacy Award in 1994. The Missouri Chamber of Commerce selected him as one of the state’s four outstanding young men in 1957, and named him outstanding local Jaycee president in 1961.
Stribling earned Bachelor of Arts (1949) and Bachelor of Journalism (1950) degrees from the University of Missouri Columbia, which presented him its Alumni Achievement Award in 1990.
He was a member of Beta Theta Pi social fraternity and was a director of the organization’s Zeta Phi Foundation at MU.
In 1975 he was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree by William Woods College, Fulton, for “leadership, commitment, and integrity in furthering the ideals of his community and the field of education.”
He had served as a director of Commerce Bank since 1977, and was deacon, elder and trustee at the First Presbyterian Church where he had been an active member for more than 60 years.
He served in the US Navy in 1945-46, and since 1964 had been chairman of the 9th Congressional District Service Academy Advisory Committee under Congressmen William Hungate, Harold Volkmer and Kenny Hulshof.
He was a member of the Executive Board, Great Rivers Council, Boys Scouts of America; a director of the Audrain Medical Center Foundation, Audrain Habitat for Humanity and the Presser Hall Restoration Society.
In 1999 he established the Stribling Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation created to benefit charitable organizations in Audrain County and contiguous areas.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to Audrain County Crisis Intervention Services (ACCIS) or to the MMA Memorial Chapel Fund.
Public Tributes and Expressions of Sympathy
So sorry to hear of Charlie's passing; I remember him so well, I handled the insurance for Missouri Military Academy and visited many times with Charlie in his office to discuss the insurance. He was a very intelligent person and did so much for the community. Sorry Winnie for your loss, you were good for him. - Linda Reed
Winnie and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I will pray for you all during this difficult time. - Laurie Snyder
Winnie we're sending our thoughts and prayers to you and family at this time of loss. May you feel the comfort of the thoughts and prayers sent by those from Missouri Military Academy across the world as well as the Mexico community. - Ted and Donna (Ehrhardt) Baer
Colonel Stribling was the primary reason Bill Hungate considered me for the US Naval Academy back in 1975. I have never forgotten that. Simply put, Mexico MO is a better place because of Colonel Stribling. Linda and I offer our condolences to Mrs. Stribling and tbe rest of the family. - Dr. Steve Wolf
Colonel Stribling was one of the most influential people in my young life. I attended MMA from 1963 through my graduation in May of 1966. He was Major Stribling at that time and he was the epitome of the school motto - "Look like a soldier, act like a gentleman." He was the constant embodiment of poise, confidence and leadership in everything he did for the school, community and far beyond. I know my past 51 years have been better because Charles Stribling touched my life. My condolences to the entire Stribling family. - Dan Passick
Colonel Charles R. Stribling III was the primary driving force leading Missouri Military Academy for so many years. I had the privilege of serving on the staff of MMA with Colonel Stribling for 11 years. Under Colonel Stribling's leadership Missouri Military Academy was one of the premier private schools for boys and young men in the United States. He was a force for stability and continuity at the Academy. He will be sorely missed. In addition to being my boss, I considered Colonel Stribling to also be a "friend". I am saddened to learn of his passing. He has left us with a tremendous legacy in Missouri Military Academy. May he rest in peace! - Roger J. Mick
In 2005 Charles R. Stribling was an active and influential member of Audrain Medical Center's Steering Committee which conducted a very successful fund raising campaign that created a comprehensive cancer center in Mexico, Missouri. As project co-leader with Dr. Waheed, Charles was a real asset in our campaign to bring radiation therapy to AMC. - Dave Buhr
I'm so sorry to hear this news. My condolences to the entire Stribling family. I met Colonel Stribling when I was just a little girl and always looked up to him. He and my dad (George Cline Jr) grew to be great friends over the years. Colonel Stribling was the driving force behind MMA and loved the school. He will be missed! Rest in Peace- Marilyn Cline - Marilyn Cline
Colonel Stribling was a board member for two organizations for which I held positions, Audrain Medical Center Foundation and American Cancer Society. He was always generous with his time and expertise. He also was well-acquainted with community members and had a sense of humor and camaraderie that helped open doors for the non-profit organizations. Colonel Stribling also gave me the honor of providing references for me. My condolences to Mrs. Stribling and family as you added a new depth to an already full life during his later years. A life well-lived and one to celebrate! Sincerely, Barbara Fitzgerald, Columbia, MO
Col. Stribling was a positive force and role model for me ever since I attended MMA from 1961 through graduation in 1964 and a dozen Homecomings, We talked several times by telephone and he gave me his council many times through the years. He was a great public speaker and when I was a cadet, he loved "puns" the lowest form of humor. My heart goes out to his friends and loved ones. I hope they were as blessed knowing him him as I have been. He was an extraordinary man and citizen. "Farewell sweet prince, may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest." Hamlet - Randell (Randy) Carver '64
My sincere condolences to the family of COL Stribling. As an instructor in History and the Humanities for 21 years, Charlie was an influential part of my tenure at MMA. My wife Pat and I are indeed sad to see this great man die, but his influence will go on. R.I.P., Charlie, wherever your travels take you. LTC Henry S. Matlosz and Patricia Matlosz
Winnie, dear We were so very very sorry to see of the passing of your husband Col. Stribling. I know it is a difficult time for you but you have our deepest sympathy & know that we are thinking of you & family at this sad time for all. Love and best wishes to you and family. Tom Yancey and Joe Geist, Fayette, Missouri 65248
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