Sulee Stroud

November 9, 1927 — May 4, 2024

Sulee Stroud

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In Loving Memory

Sulee Stroud, dear Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Uncle, Papa (Grandfather), Papa Nui (Great-Grandfather), Kūpuna Kane Nui (Great-Great-Grandfather), and friend, was born and raised in Kershaw, South Carolina in 1927 to Thinnie Lester Stroud and Mary Bleeka Roberts. Sulee married Pauline Kaleihinano Auna Thomas on August 1, 1949, in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. Pauline, his eternal and devoted wife, passed away in 2013. He is survived by his five younger sisters: Mary Alice Knight, Eva Mae Hood, Janie Faulkenberry, Mary Magdaline Hinson, Mary Jane Hammond, who all reside in South Carolina. His brother, Ernest, and twin sisters preceded him in death. 

Sulee and Pauline were blessed to raise six children, two daughters and four sons. Bonnie, the oldest child and daughter passed away in 2018 and is survived by her husband Lawry Doxey. Sulee is survived by 5 children and their spouses: Alfred& Marcia Stroud, Soulee& Bonnie Stroud, Pauline& Hal Thornton, John & Kim Stroud, Clyde & Shami Stroud, 48 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren, and 13 great great-grandchildren. 

Growing up, Sulee’s nickname was “Slim.”He was a strikingly handsome man, standing tall at 6’4”. Thinnie and Mary Bleeka planned to name their first baby “Lee” if a boy, and “Sue” if a girl. They decided to name their baby “Soulee,” creatively combining both names. The change in spelling of his name from Soulee to Sulee is because of an error in Army records. 

As a child growing up in the Great Depression years, Sulee’s family home was a small wooden framed house on a sharecropper farm. Big towns were 20 to 30 miles from where they lived. Their home had no electricity or running water. They read by kerosene lamps and drew water from a well that was thirty feet deep. They had to cut one-footlong logs for the wood-burning stove that his mom used, to cook delicious Southern meals. They had a fireplace to warm the house before the family would lie down to sleep at night! 

Growing up, the family used an outhouse, with Sears and Roebuck catalog pages and corn husks for toilet paper. They grew most of the food they ate, going to the store only to buy sugar, lard, salt, and pepper. His grandparents had fruit trees so that they could enjoy eating fresh fruit! Cows were milked each morning and the cow’s milk was churned to make their butter. Roosters and hens provided fresh eggs, and plenty of fried chicken! Hogs provided them with sausage, bacon and ham that was stored in a smoke house. Corn was ground to make cornmeal. Okra was Sulee’s favorite tasty Southern fried vegetable. One horse, one mule and a one-horse wagon provided transportation. The horse would take them to church every Sunday and the mule pulled the plow to work the soil to grow plentiful crops! 

At Christmas, their tree was hung with handmade ornaments. Christmas presents were typically an apple, orange, nuts, banana, and candy. Their toys were also handmade. Sulee wore bib overalls to school, walking barefoot, because shoes were saved to be worn during the winter. His school lunch was packed into a one-pound lard can with a cover and usually contained jam or jelly and biscuits or a piece of ham, and a pint of buttermilk. He and his brother raised rabbits to sell. His father earned $20 a week, and Sulee fondly recounts that they had a good life. They were thankful for what they had, and he was taught how to make ends meet! 

Sulee was drafted into the U.S. Army on January 25, 1946. He officially entered the service February 2, 1946 stationed and serving at Kilauea Military Camp on Hawaiʻi Island. He also served in the Korean War from 1953-1954 in the 45th Infantry Division, and then twice in Vietnam from 1965-1966 in Pleiku, and from 1968-1969 in Chu Lai. He retired March 1, 1970, at Fort Carson, Colorado as a Sargent First Class E-7 after serving 24 years and six months. Sulee proudly wore a military cap that had insignias showing his service in those three wars. Wearing his hat regularly, people would often thank him for his service to our country, and the hat oftentimes garnered military discounts at local merchants! 

Sulee, a handsome, blue-eyed, blond curly haired Corporal, met dark-eyed winsome Pauline, an enchanting young Hawaiian wahine single mother, who worked at the Standard Drug store in Hilo, Hawaiʻi. At the time, Sulee was stationed at Kilauea Military Camp where he drove a bus for the Army troops stationed at Kilauea. They fell in love and had a happy courtship. When he proposed to her at Akaka Falls, she initially said “NO,” but then…the $25 diamond ring was too enticing to pass up! They were married at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Mission Home in Hilo. They and their family were stationed on Hawaiʻi Island and Oahu Island, then Kansas, Germany, Georgia, Germany, Washington State and New Mexico. Their last Army assignment was in Aurora, Colorado where he completed his military service at Ft. Carson, Colorado. 

Sulee began serving as a building custodian, working 21 years for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was an avid Scout leader in the Boy Scouts of America, and was awarded the Silver Beaver. He served with his “Sweedie” Pauline on a Temple mission, at the Atlanta Georgia Temple, November 1998 to May 2000. After the passing of his eternal and devoted companion Pauline, and despite his grief, Sulee continued his travels, visiting his sisters in South Carolina, and his posterity stateside—Hawaiʻi, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Utah, Colorado, New Jersey, California, and Arizona, as well as Europe, where one of his grandsons was stationed at the Paris Embassy. He was surrounded by family and loved ones at home, up until his passing at 96 years of age.

A memorial service will be held in Utah on Saturday, May 11, 2024, 5pm to 7pm at 3039 E Brighton Place, Cottonwood Heights UT 84121. Family and friends will celebrate his lifetime memorial in Colorado sometime this summer. He will be laid to rest at Fort Logan National Cemetery next to his sweetheart. Sulee and Pauline believe strongly that families are together forever in the hereafter. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.

A Poem Found in Sulee’s Papers 

To Those I Love 

When I am gone just release me 
Let me go so I can move into my afterglow
 You mustn’t tie me down with your tears 
Let’s be happy we had so many years I gave you my love, you can only guess how much you gave in happiness. 

I thank you for the love you each have shown 
But now it’s time I traveled on alone
 So, grieve for me awhile if grieve you must 
Then let your grief be comforted with trust It’s only for a while that we must part, so bless the memories within your heart 
And then when you come this way alone 
I and many others will greet you with a smile and a welcome home. 

                                                                                    ~Anonymous

The last three pictures above are of Sulee at the Korean War Memorial In Washington D.C. on May 18, 2017


As a veteran of World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, Sulee was planning to travel with the Utah Honor Flight, on May 28, 2024, to   Washington D.C., to visit the war memorials honoring veterans. He was to be accompanied by his son, Alfred Stroud, a veteran of the Vietnam War, and was looking forward to the trip. In lieu of flowers, and to honor Sulee’s military service, voluntary contributions can be made to the Utah Honor Flight by clicking on the link below.

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