Strain remembered for selflessness
Madison Alderman-at-Large Warren Strain has died 10 months after he suffered a massive stroke that left him in a coma he emerged from miraculously but never fully overcame after being home for almost two months.
Family friend and WLBT anchor Maggie Wade announced Strain’s death on Twitter late Tuesday afternoon.
“Our dear friend and former colleague Warren Strain has passed away,” she said. “I teased Warren all the time about his beautiful eyes. He would always laugh. Please pray for my sweet Sandra, their two children, all of their family and friends. Warren will be so deeply missed.”
Wade was a colleague of Strain’s during his time as an anchor at the Jackson TV station.
Strain, 62, was spokesman for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler said Tuesday that Strain distinguished himself during his six-year career with the city.
“Today, with a heavy heart, we said goodbye to a wonderful man, Warren Strain,” Hawkins Butler said. “He loved his Lord, his family and this city that he served with such dedication for six years as Alderman-at-Large. A kind and generous man, Warren was known for his intelligence, character, strength, level-headedness and friendship in all that he did. In the past 10 months, his bravery in the face of adversity shone through.”
She said that the city of Madison is like a large family and that she grieved the loss of Strain with everyone who was “proud to call Warren a friend" and specifically offered her condolences to his wife Sandra and children, Tiffany and Brandon.
“We love you Warren Strain, and one day we will meet you at Heaven’s Gate,” she said.
The MDWF released a statement thanking Strain for his time with them and highlighted his career in the public eye noting his legacy as a television personality as well as the public affairs director for the Mississippi Gaming Commission, Mississippi Department of Public Safety and department of wildlife, fisheries and parks.
“He made it his mission to keep his fellow Mississippians informed.,” they said. “Throughout his life, he made lasting impacts with those he worked with and met along the way. This was evident from the abundant support and encouragement delivered to him and his family during his illness. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time. MDWFP was truly blessed to have known and worked with Warren Strain.”
Strain went to college at Mississippi State University and later Mississippi College. He would go on to receive a master's from MC in 2000 and was named Distinguished Alumnus in 2015. While at State he worked for the campus radio station and was a member of the Student Broadcasting Club.
Susan Marquez, a freelance writer and former colleague of Strain’s at WLBT as well as a fellow student at MSU, said that she was “absolutely heartsick” at the news of his passing. She remembered watching Strain’s relationship with his wife grow from a romantic interest into a loving marriage and eventually a family.
“I was working there when a cute little intern named Sandra caught Warren's eye,” Marquez said. “I watched as their love for each other grew over the years. Warren was the kindest, nicest person and his family was everything to him.”
She encouraged people to keep his family in their prayers as they have endured a lot over the past year. She encouraged people to do a good deed in his honor.
“We've lost one of the truly good guys,” Marquez said. “Go do something good for someone in Warren's memory.”
On Dec. 23, Strain suffered a massive stroke deemed fatal that left him in a coma for three weeks. Since then Strain was in eight ambulance rides and six different hospitals. He came home from an Atlanta rehabilitation facility in late August and was greeted by a parade featuring friends, family, city officials, police cars and a fire engine.
A GoFundMe account set up for him and his family with a goal of $36,000 has raised $32,640.
At press time Wednesday Strain’s arrangements were incomplete. Check onlinemadison.com for updates.