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Art Stranz '47 November 13, 2018 3:08 PM updated: November 13, 2018 3:10 PM

Ted Dickey Funeral Home obituary
Plano, TX

Arthur "Art" Mills Stranz
JULY 5, 1924 – NOVEMBER 10, 2018

Arthur (Art) Mills Stranz was born in Little Rock, Arkansas on July 5, 1924. At the age of 94, he passed peacefully on the morning of November 10, 2018 to be reunited with his beloved wife of 66 years, Betty, and into the awesome presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Art was born to Otto A. and Madelyn Mills Stranz, and while life’s journey took him to many places that he called home and he was proud of his Arkansas roots, Art’s heart never really left his adopted home of Plano, Texas. He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth (Betty) Harrington Stranz, his parents, and his sister, Rosemary Stranz Zagarella. Art is survived by his children Marc Stranz of Plantation, Florida, Lisa Stranz Widdicombe of Midlothian, Virginia, Paul Stranz and wife Marnie of Rowlett, Texas, and Jennifer Stranz Ciochetto and husband Joel of Galveston, Texas; nieces Toni Zagarella, Teri Allen, and Tobi Sutton, nephew Cris Zagarella; eight grandchildren Don Widdicombe, Jon Widdicombe, Jeremy Ford, Michael Ford, Stefan Stranz, Evan Stranz, Scott Stranz, and Megan Stranz; and seven great-grandchildren. All of whom he was incredibly proud.

Art graduated from Central High School in Little Rock in 1942. He began to study Architecture at the Agricultural & Mechanical College of Texas (Texas A&M University) prior to enlisting in the U.S. Navy at the age of eighteen at the onset of World War II. During the war, he served as a Navy Corpsman attached to the 5th Marine Division. Later, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves.

After WWII, Art returned to civilian life and enrolled at Baylor University where he met Betty and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949. Art and Betty were married in the Chapel at First Baptist Church of Plano on December 19, 1949. Art then received his Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy at the University of Texas in 1955 and became co-owner of Harrington’s Pharmacy in downtown Plano with Betty’s father, Charles E. Harrington. As a family-owned business, Art and Mr. Charlie worked as pharmacists, while Betty and her mother, Elizabeth Stovall Harrington, handled bookkeeping responsibilities and occasionally helped out as soda jerks serving customers ice cream at the front counter.

In 1960, Art became the Mayor of Plano, serving at a time when the city was making the early transition from a rural community to what has become a thriving city of national prominence. After receiving Plano’s Man of the Year Award (1960) and other local recognitions and being featured as the cover story by Texas Journal of Pharmacy, Art received an appointment to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in 1963.

Art’s career in the pharmaceutical industry began in 1964 with S.E. Massengill Company in Bristol, Tennessee, where he also earned his law degree, specializing in Food and Drug Administrative Law, and culminated with his work in International

Regulatory Affairs for A.H. Robins Company in Richmond, Virginia. He traveled extensively throughout Europe, North America and South America, specializing in new drug registrations, as well as regulatory affairs and compliance matters.

Upon “retirement,” Art joined the Texas Board of Pharmacy in Austin, Texas in 1980 as a Compliance Officer, and eventually returned home to Plano to help open the Board’s new Dallas office. Later, with assistance and in partnership with his friend and former colleague, Bennett Brooke, Art enjoyed sharing his industry expertise as a food and drug regulatory consultant for the next two decades.

Throughout Art’s lifetime, he was an accomplished artist and storyteller. He found comfort and relaxation in painting and it brought him great satisfaction to freely give his work to friends, family, and strangers alike. Art had his own unique style, sometimes making do with whatever he could get his hands on, and his themes, as he said, were heavily influenced by his life experiences, especially growing up during the Great Depression and serving in the Navy. His specialties were maritime and southwestern themes. And, if you knew Art, you know he never lacked a story to share. He could fill a room and sometimes seemed bigger than life itself. One of his great passions was World War II and those who served. Art’s personal experiences, and the experiences of countless friends and family members of his generation, were ensconced in his memories and central to so many of his stories.

As long-time members of First Baptist Church of Plano, Art and Betty were regulars almost every Sunday and Wednesday and they rarely did anything separate from one another. They were truly “two peas in a pod.” Two of their favorite activities to do together were volunteering at Medical Center of Plano and serving with the church’s Sunshine Singers, which included bus travels and singing at other churches along the way.

Art loved family and often traveled with Betty to visit their kids and their kids’ families. Art/Dad/Papa/Granddad was always known for his unconditional love for family members. In good times and bad, he was always there for his kids, grandkids, great-grandkids, nieces and nephews. And, regardless of his world of accomplishments, it was his love and support that his family cherished most.

Art leaves behind a multitude of friends and family that already miss him dearly, but who also rejoice with the knowledge and confidence that he is now in the awesome presence of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and finally after a two-year separation, he is reunited with his beloved Betty as they now take in the wonderful sights in Heaven together.

All are welcome to attend the memorial service for Art and celebrate with his family on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 2:00 pm at First Baptist Church of Plano, 1300 East 15th Street, Plano, Texas 75074. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Art’s name to the Wounded Warrior Project (855-448-3997;


Graveside Service
11:00 am - 12:00 pm

2128 18th St.
Plano, TX 75074

Memorial Service
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

1300 E 15th St.
Plano, TX 75074

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