Leland “Pee Wee” Martin Stringham, age 74, of Ridgebury Township passed away Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at the Robert Packer Hospital. For those that knew Pee Wee, there’s no shortage of happy, humorous, and in some cases, unbelievable memories. For those that didn’t know him, you have no idea what you missed – he was a true legend; you’d have to see it to believe it. Pee Wee was born on March 14, 1947 to the late Charles B. and Ruth P. (Lee) Stringham, the fourth of four children. He was raised on the values of hard work, respect, and self-reliance; values that he instilled on so many others over the years. Pee Wee had the strength of an ox and the stubbornness of a mule, yet the selflessness of a saint. In his prime, his typical day started by waking up hours before dawn to do “the chores” on the farm, working a full shift as the foreman of the Ridgebury Township road crew, and then doing “the chores” again before calling it a day; a routine that would have crushed a lesser man, yet he thrived by it. Pee Wee was always the first to help others, whether it be lending a hand or lending a dollar, although he never sought recognition or payback. His past-times included raising beef cattle, tinkering with his tractors, spending endless hours gossiping on the phone, and hunting deer with his .308 Savage (or as he would call it – his “free-oh-eight”). Fashionable and sophisticated are two adjectives that have never been uttered to describe Pee Wee - his idea of dressing up was wearing a t-shirt without tobacco stains, he would often make up his own words when he couldn’t recall a correct pronunciation, he could eat three adult men under the table, and he would lose his lunch at the mere mention of repugnant memory – but this is what made him so genuine and lovable. Pee Wee lived a very fulfilling life, surrounded by so many people that loved him and that he loved back; many who were friends since childhood.
Pee Wee was predeceased by his father, mother, brother Donald Stringham, and sister Lucy Nowill. He is survived by his brother Francis Stringham, and several nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews, great grand nieces, great grand nephews, and countless dear friends whom he considered his family.
Pee Wee will be missed by so many people – way more than he could ever imagine. The tears will soon turn to smiles and laughter as we all remember the many years of great memories with Pee Wee, rather than dwelling on the sadness we’re all feeling now. As Pee Wee would have said “Oh, don’t you worry about me! You just take care of yourself!”
As per his wishes there will be no services and interment will be in Hanlon Hill Cemetery when weather permits. Arrangements are under the direction of the Roberts Funeral Home, Inc. 279 Main Street, Wellsburg, NY 14894.
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