Cover photo for James Ernest Strong's Obituary
James Ernest Strong Profile Photo
1941 James 2023

James Ernest Strong

May 21, 1941 — December 16, 2023


James “Jim” Ernest Strong passed away on December 16, 2023, in Athens, GA. Jim was born in Kingsport, TN to Draxie Baker Strong and James Murrell Strong on May 21, 1941. Jim attended high school in Miami, FL and subsequently entered the US Navy. He worked as a business owner of a Mr. Transmission franchise in Athens, GA and Lawrenceville, GA for more than 30 years.

Jim is preceded in death by wife, Betty Strong, his parents, Draxie and James Strong, and his brother, Charles Lawrence Strong. Jim is survived by his wife, Fran Strong; sister, Libby Roller; children, Amy Rice (Spencer), Mandy Woodham (Jonathan), Jim Strong (Michelle), and Taylor Perrault; and his grandchildren, Lizzie, Sophie, Ainsley, Ryan, Charlotte and Jimmy by whom he was affectionately known as “Papa Jim”; and many other beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and his pups, Buck and Bentley.

Jim had a keen mind and curious spirit. He was constantly learning new hobbies and skills. Over the years, he learned how to play chess and golf, photography and guitar, and how to fly an airplane. He was a competitive skeet shooter and fisherman, and he loved to play pool and poker. He built and flew RC airplanes, rode motorcycles, did handcrafted leatherwork, and owned and operated Red Dog Forge where he crafted his own custom-made knives.

Jim had a big, booming voice that could never be forced into a whisper and a mischievous, irreverent sense of humor. He had a big laugh and liked to chat up everyone he met. He was the teller of tall tales and had a competitive spirit. If you were lucky enough to be one of “his people,” he loved you faithfully, fiercely and truly. He will be deeply missed. At this time, there will be no public service. There will be a small, private family gathering in January. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to St. Joseph’s Indian school at .

Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, EAST, Athens, GA, is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Ernest Strong, please visit our flower store.


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