Stephen Jacob Strickroth
Our beautiful, brilliant Jake left us on January 4, 2020. We will forever miss his irreverent sense of humor and keen insight into the world around him. Jake loved reading and might be the only person to ever get in trouble for checking out too many books from the jailhouse library. Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Tolstoy’s War and Peace were two of his favorites.
His laugh could light up a room. His love was unconditional. He was a keen champion for any underdog. He had a protector’s spirit for his mama and his sister. He was truly our goofy and giggling boy.
Jake was four years old when his mama told him to put his seat belt back on so he wouldn’t die. In his very serious four-year old voice, he said, “Mama, everyone has their day of dying.” None of us expected that day to come so soon.
Jake suffered from depression, anxiety, and addiction for many years. In 2017, he realized he needed help with his addiction to heroin. The Oaks Recovery Center gave him the tools for sobriety. A homeless month in New Orleans gave him the desire to come home. Three months in jail gave him the courage to get clean and sober. He spent 2018 privately learning how to live a sober life in the sanctuary of his mom’s apartment and office.
Jake was happier in 2019 then he had been in many years. He passed his GED and began making plans for his future. He reconnected with friends. He told his mom many times that year that he was happier than he’d ever been. Christmas 2019 was spent with family and cousins. He, his sister, Savannah, and his cousins laughed and joked like they were little kids again.
On January 4, 2020, for reasons we may never know, Jake succumbed to his addiction. That afternoon, he bought groceries typical of any twenty-something year old man: a family-sized box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros, enough chicken to feed an army, and a jumbo container of pickles. He died later that night.
His family is grateful for the peaceful year they had with him after the many difficult years of his addiction. Most of all we are grateful to have the chance to love and be loved by someone as special as Jake. He truly loved and cared for his family and friends, more than his heart could take. We will never forget his love, and we choose to share his pain, in hopes that all who are suffering from depression, anxiety, and addiction can get the help they need.
Jake is survived by his loving mama, Regina Banis; his father, Jay & Mika Strickroth; his beloved sister, Savannah Strickroth; his sweet dog Snowball; his grandparents, Ronald & Barb Banis; his aunts and uncles, Christina & Richard Brooks, Roberta & Lorenzo Perales, Carita & Zachary Westbrook, and Josh & Sarah Banis; his cousins, Christopher, Devin & Matthew Brooks, Timothy Ahmed, Astrid Westbrook, Jonah & Zoë Banis, and Sammy Gonyea; as well as many loving friends. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Bob and Carolyn Strickroth.
A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at the Bluffton Oyster Company Park from 4pm to 7pm. All are welcome to come, share their favorite memories of Jake, and play one last jam with Jake.
In lieu of flowers, you may make a donation in Jake’s name to either Greener Grass, a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit that provides full and partial scholarships to long term 12-step based treatment facilities for those struggling with addiction who do not have funds to pay for treatment (http://greenergrasssc.com), or Palmetto Animal League, our local animal shelter where Jakie happily completed community service by playing with kitties for hours (http://palmettoanimalleague.org).
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jake Strickroth, please visit our floral store.