Mrs. Garenel Bridges Strickland, 86, was born in Waco, N.C., on February 27, 1937, to the late Dewood Bridges Sr. and Neomia Ellis Bridges. She departed this life on Sunday, October 15, 2023, at The Greens at Maple Leaf.

Garenel graduated from Camp High School in Shelby, N.C. On October 17, 1969, she married the love of her life, Bennie Strickland. In 2020, Garenel and her husband relocated to Statesville, N.C., where they attended New Faith Trinity Church. Bennie and Garenel shared 52 wonderful years together.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Bennie Strickland; a son, James “Tab” Bridges; maternal grandparents, Ned Ellis and Mattie Ellis; four siblings, Idella Bridges Degree, Dr. Robert Bridges, Dewood Bridges Jr., and Bertha Bridges Merritt.

Celebration of Life services will be held on Sunday, October 29, 2023, at 3 p.m. at Rutledge and Bigham Mortuary. Visitation will be from 2:30 to 3 p.m. at the funeral home. Reverend Shirley Blackwell will be officiating, and Minister Reginald P. Strickland II will deliver the eulogy.

Visit the Book of Memories for Mrs. Strickland at

Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home is serving the Strickland family.