by Staff report
Jul 25, 2007 | 2575 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Buddie V. McGlothlin

Oct. 6, 1924 — July 20, 2007

Longtime Tracy resident and World War II veteran Buddie V. McGlothlin, 82, died Friday at his home.

Born in Haskell, Okla., Mr. McGlothlin lived in Tracy 39 years. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and was a supervisor in home construction for 20 years before retiring. He enjoyed meeting people and making friends by sharing life stories. He also liked to fish.

Mr. McGlothlin’s fondest times were spent with his granddaughter and son.

Mr. McGlothlin is survived by his children, Paul McGlothlin, and his wife, Marian, of Tracy; brothers, Connie McGlothlin of Victorville and Jerry McGlothlin of Lake Elsinore; and grandchildren, Nicole Miller, and her husband, Robert, of San Diego; and all of Mr. McGlothlin’s friends at Morehead Park.

At his request, there will be no services. Hotchkiss Mortuary, 5 W. Highland Ave., is handling arrangements.

Contributions in Mr. McGlothlin’s name may be sent to Senior Service Agency, Meals on Wheels, P.O. Box 45, Stockton 95201-0045.

Roger L. ‘Rod’ Strunk

March 26, 1939 — July 11, 2007

A memorial service will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday at Good Shepherd Community Church for Roger Lawrence "Rod" Strunk, 68, a singer and actor who grew up in Tracy and lived here in recent years.

He died July 11 from a fall from the balcony of a second-floor room at the Tracy Inn. Police determined the death was a suicide.

A native of Fresno, Mr. Strunk came to Tracy in 1943 with his parents, the late Larry and Helen Strunk. His father taught at West Park School and later was a switchman for the Southern Pacific. His mother taught at Jefferson School.

Mr. Strunk graduated in 1957 from Tracy High School, where he acted in school plays and played trombone in the school band.

While living in Fresno in 1959, he was signed as a vocalist to a record contract by RCA Records, taking on the professional name of Rod Lauren.

Several of his records received a measure of popularity. One song, "If I Had a Girl," rose high on the pop-music charts, and Mr. Strunk sang it on the popular Perry Como television show.

While continuing to sing in clubs, Mr. Strunk acted in several action movies. In 1964, he made his first trip to the Philippines for the filming of a movie. He returned to the island nation on numerous occasions after that.

In 1979, Mr. Strunk became a permanent resident of the Philippines after marrying Nida Blanca, a well-known motion picture and television actress and personality in the Philippines.

After Nida Blanca was murdered in November 2001, Mr. Strunk returned to the U.S. in January 2002. He was later charged with hiring her murderer, and on the request of Philippine authorities, was arrested in May 2003 at his Tracy home for return to the Philippines to stand trial. An extradition hearing in Sacramento, however, produced no evidence to substantiate the murder-for-hire charge, and he was freed from custody in November 2003.

Mr. Strunk returned to Tracy, became active in Good Shepherd Community Church and began working as a volunteer camera operator for public access Channel 26. He became a familiar face at meetings of the City Council and school board and at public events.

Survivors include a son, Derek Strunk of Los Angeles; a daughter, Christin Willitt of Georgia; three grandchildren, Jeremy and A.J. Willitt and Jaime Paige, all of Georgia; and a sister, Sharolyn Grove of Morro Bay.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Tammy Sedillo.

The family prefers memorial contributions in Mr. Strunk’s name be sent to the Good Shepherd Community Church, 306 W. Eaton Ave., Tracy, 95376.



n  Former Tracy resident Samuel A. Carranza, 77, of Manteca, died Monday. Services will begin at 9 a.m. Friday at Park View Funeral Home, 3661 E. French Camp Road, in Manteca, followed by interment in Park View Cemetery.

n  Retired San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Frank A. Grande, 70, a Tracy resident for 39 years, died Monday at his home. Services are pending at DeYoung Shoreline Chapel in Stockton.

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