Jimmie Odell Strait was born on March 24, 1938, to C. N. Strait and Rozener O. Strait in Tyler, Texas.
Jim passed from his earthly life to his heavenly reward on April 13, 2023, at the age of 85.
He was reared with two older brothers, Fred, and Billy. They enjoyed farm life and freedom to run and play. He graduated from Tyler High School in 1958. After completing two years at Tyler Junior College, he transferred to Abilene Christian College (now University). He had $25 in his pocket as he entered the dormitory doors in Abilene in 1960.
During his time at ACC, he changed his major from Physical Education to Bible and earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies in 1962. Later, three additional degrees included M. A. Biblical Studies, M. S. Counseling and Ed. S. Counseling.
He and Linda Pittman were married for nineteen years and were blessed with a daughter, Sandra Kay and a son, Paul Ryan. During those years, Jim served as a pulpit minister in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas. He was Campus Minister at Emporia State University in Kansas and at Tyler Junior College.
He met Karin Kay Atkinson at a Single Again Seminar and she “got his attention” so he eventually moved to Houston to be close to her and her young sons, Bobby, and Tommy. They married in 1984 and moved immediately to Rio Rancho, New Mexico, since he had secured the position of Development Director at Albuquerque Christian Children’s Home. During sixteen years at ACCH, Jim raised money to support the children there, funded the Vo-Tech Building and originated the auction fundraiser which is still successful each November.
He and Kay moved to Houston and later to Morrilton, Arkansas. Jim was Director of Development at Southern Christian Home from 2002 to 2006. During that time, he also raised money for The Lar, a children’s home in Brazil.
Returning to Rio Rancho in 2006 was an easy decision in order to be close to children and grand- children. His final career as Family Life Minister at Rio Rancho Church of Christ was very fulfilling. He always loved the Lord, food, family, people, large dogs, and 42-dominoes, in that order!!! With sales as his talent, Jim spent several years as a Real Estate Broker.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers. He is survived by Kay Elkins Atkinson Strait, his wife; daughter, Sandra Wilson and Jude (spouse); son, Paul Strait and Robin (spouse); son, Robert Atkinson; son, Thomas Atkinson and Jessica (wife); blessed with these grandchildren: Alexander Strait and Kaycie (wife); Lyndsey Strait; Jared Strait; Kaytlynn Shaver and Brendan (spouse); Dakota Steele; Ryan Atkinson; Avory Atkinson; Brody Atkinson; Chase Atkinson plus little great-grandchildren: Maddox Strait; Baby Strait; Ezra Shaver.
JIM - Godly Man, Dedicated Husband, Dad and Grandfather, Minister, Dog Lover, Caring & Welcoming Friend, Willing Servant
A Celebration of Life was held on April 22, 2023, at Rio Rancho Church of Christ in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Albuquerque Christian Children’s Home in memory of Jim.