Local celebrity Dennis Strickland, known for hosting the Hump Day Happy Hour Wednesday evenings at the Texan Theater, has died.
Strickland, who would start each event by leading the crowd with “Well, in Greenville, Texas, it’s always five o’clock, because the courthouse clock always says five o’clock” was reported to have passed away at his Greenville residence Wednesday.
Services were being arranged Thursday with the Love & Integrity Funeral Cremation Services in Greenville.
Strickland’s brother Loren told the Herald-Banner Dennis was a “singular personality” who loved being in Greenville.
“He was the backbone of our family,” Loren said.
Strickland was featured this year as one of the Herald-Banner’s “Unsung Heroes,” in part because of the Happy Hour events, which for some five years has welcomed and highlighted a variety of local talents. But Strickland was known in the community for much more.
Strickland, who came to live in Greenville six years ago after retiring as head caseworker for The Stewpot and The Bridge in Dallas, joined the Golden K Kiwanis and chose to use his musical background as his service project for the club.
“The community just welcomed him, quickly and entirely,” Loren said. “He really was surprised by how completely he was welcomed.”
Strickland offered to play and sing for the residents at local nursing homes and would present a Christmas tour each December, alongside David Ellis and the Golden K’s affiliate Aktion Club, including performing at the hospital on Christmas Day.
Strickland also volunteered to work with the Boys and Girls Club, would read books at L.P. Waters Early Childhood Center and served four years as a board member at the W. Walworth Harrison Public Library.
Strickland got involved with The Greenville Family Theater during their first production of “Hello Dolly” in 2015. Four other dynamic musical productions have followed, and he served on the Family Theater board.
Each Thursday, Strickland meets with his Wellbeing group he established at Redeemer Lutheran Church, which encouraged members to live out healthier lifestyles.
Strickland collaborated with Texan Theater owner Barbara Horan on another regular event at the theater, a non-denominational quarterly Sunday afternoon worship service called “Music in the Spirit,” recruiting musical performers from Greenville and Hunt County.