Michael Joseph Strada

Michael Joseph Strada was born on May 24, 1945, in Buffalo, N.Y. He died on Nov. 17, 2020 in Wheeling, WVa., where he resided. Michael suffered from a degenerative nerve disease later in life, and his death was brought on by complications from Covid-19.

Michael moved to Fredonia, with his family early in his life. It was there his father, and later his mother, studied at and graduated from Fredonia State University. He attended the Campus School and Cardinal Mindszenty High School where, in addition to his studies, he quarterbacked the football team, played basketball and ran track & field. Michael attended Canisius College for his freshman year where he also played on the basketball team. He transferred to SUNY at Fredonia, where he would graduate and continue to play intercollegiate basketball. Michael next earned his Masters of Art in political science from Penn State University, followed by a PhD and an Masters of Arts from West Virginia University.

He taught international studies at West Liberty State University for 40 years, and he also served as a visiting professor at West Virginia University. In 1990, he taught on the University of Pittsburgh’s Semester at Sea. Michael was one of four political scientists who served as co-founders of the FACDIS interdisciplinary international studies consortium for which he authored successful entries to the G. Theodore Mitau Award for innovative programming in higher education and the Theodore Hesburgh Award’s Certificate of Excellence for faculty development activities. WLSU conferred its Award of Excellence in Professional Activity to Michael three times. He was the inaugural recipient of the West Virginia Political Science Association’s Distinguished Political Scientist Award. He published numerous scholarly articles and books on a variety of topics.

Academics and participation in athletics would engage Michael throughout his life. His verbal facility was evidenced by his uncanny ability to state the number of letters in a word as soon as it was said, no matter its length or obscurity. Michael also cherished his family and greatly valued friendships developed throughout his lifetime.

A son of Fredonia, Michael was drawn to see as much of the world as he could. He was able to visit more than 50 countries, including 10 trips to Russia, to experience and learn about other cultures. He also lived for brief periods in Toronto, Ontario and Kamloops, BC. He loved Major League Baseball and was on a mission to attend games in all the cities across the United States.

Michael was predeceased by his father, Joseph Anthony Strada; by his mother, Christina Bryson Strada; and by his grandson, Shaun Boyer.

He is survived by his children: Jeffrey (Cathy) Strada and Michelle Witt; his siblings: David Strada, Elaine (Walter) Parker and Mary Strada Grygier; and by his former wife, Linda Fuller Strada. Michael is further survived by grandsons: Dylan Strada and Cameron Witt; as well as three great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends.

Those wishing to make a donation in Michael’s honor can do so at the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, https://hdsa.org

Due to the coronavirus there will be no visitation, and a memorial service will be held at a later date.

Arrangements by Kepner Funeral Home, 900 National Road, Wheeling, WV 26003 (304-232-2732).