Dr. Robert Thomas Strahley


Dr. Robert Thomas Strahley, 92, of Fairhope, formerly of Chattanooga, Tennessee, passed away peacefully on April 28, 2023.

Robin, or Bob, as he was known by family and friends, was born on March 25, 1931, to Robert F. and Mildred R. Strahley of Chattanooga, Tennessee. He graduated from Central High School and earned his undergraduate degree (1952) from the University of Tennessee and his Doctor of Dental Surgery (1955) from the University of Tennessee, Memphis.

Bob then served in the United States Army as a dental officer with a rank of captain for two years until his honorable discharge in 1958. He was primarily stationed at Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina. Following his military service, he began his residency in oral surgery at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. Upon the completion of his training and licensure, Bob practiced oral surgery in Chattanooga, Tennessee, from 1961 until 1997. While in Chattanooga, Bob and his former spouse raised three daughters, Margaret, Vicki, and Carol Strahley.

In 1987, Bob married Debbie Carroll Strahley. Bob and Debbie were married for 36 years. They enjoyed long distance running and competed in the Boston and Atlanta marathons together. After his retirement, they moved to the Fairhope area where he enjoyed many years on the golf course. Bob was an avid and talented golfer throughout his life. During the 1950s, he was a competitive amateur golfer across the Southeast. As a longtime member of the Chattanooga Golf and Country Club, he enjoyed countless hours with dear friends on the golf course.

Bob influenced many lives through his involvement in the expansion of emergency medical services in the Chattanooga area. He was passionate about saving lives by teaching CPR (BLS/ACLS). Bob was president of the Chattanooga Area American Heart Association and chairman of the Emergency Cardiac Care Committee 1979-81. He was instrumental in the early organization and development of the Erlanger Hospital Life Force Air Medical program and honored with the E.M.S. Pioneer Award in 1989. He was personally involved in the education and training of numerous classes of paramedics and emergency medical technicians through Chattanooga State Community College.

Bob was a deeply kind and caring gentleman, and he grew to become a faithful and devoted Christian. He is survived by his wife, Debbie Strahley, of Fairhope; his children, Margaret Strahley (James) Anderson, of Franklin, Tennessee, Vicki Strahley King, of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Carol Strahley (Garrison) Martin, of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee; Tracy Roy-Adams, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Susan Roy-Scott and Christopher Roy, of Daphne; his sisters Kristine Strahley (John) Bridger, of Wildwood, Georgia; Patricia Cooper Russell, of Charleston, South Carolina; a brother, Dr. David Strahley, of Trenton, Georgia; and nine beloved grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Operation Rebound-Military Program. A private service will be held with the family.