Sarah Elizabeth Swayne Stafford Strickland

Published 5:26 pm Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Sarah Elizabeth Swayne Stafford Strickland, 83, passed away peacefully after several years of declining health Saturday, March 16, 2024 at her daughter’s Manteo home. She was born January 6, 1941 in Hertford, NC to Thomas and Pearl Swayne – both deceased. In addition to her parents, Sarah bid farewell to her first husband, Frederick Stafford, a step-daughter Charlene Ruiz-Cue, and most recently her husband, Milton Strickland.

An entrepreneur at heart, Sarah founded the Kid’s Clothing Co. which she ran in the Outer Banks Mall for several years. Following that success, she co-owned Uncle Milty’s Fudge with her late husband, Milton. The couple grew the business to include the original Outer Banks Mall store and a Kill Devil Hills location.

Outside of her professional life, Sarah loved working in flower and vegetable gardens. Always outside in the heat of the day, Sarah could be spotted pulling grass and repotting plants – she called it her “Zen Time.” The joy and bright spot in everyday life however, was her beloved cat – Speedy. She furnished Speedy with his own kitty recliner to match mamma’s and the two watched Sarah’s favorite shows together every day – the Young and the Restless and Jeopardy. Sarah loved being a caretaker to everyone and many kitty cats – they made her home their home.

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Surviving Sarah Strickland are her four children; Brenda Quidley (Richard) of Kill Devil Hills, NC, Lori Stafford Muse (Mike) of Manteo, NC, Fred Stafford Jr. (Pennie) also of Kill Devil Hills, and Linda Raper of Rolesville, NC; eight grandchildren, Brenden Stafford (Brandi), Dr. Mikel Muse, Michael Muse II (Jenny), Niki Stafford, Karyn Soto (Bobby), Steven Raper (Michelle), Stephanie Propst (Franz), and Stacie Smith; and six great-grandchildren, Graham, Madigan,  Olivia, Lucas, Preston, and Elin. Sarah is also survived by her three brothers, Gilbert Swayne of Shreveport, LA, her twin, Buddy Swayne, and Thomas Swayne both of Hertford, NC.

A celebration of Sarah’s life will be held in Nags Head, NC at Gallop Funeral Chapel Saturday, March 23, 2024 at 2 o’clock p.m. Please share an expression of comfort with the family at http://www.gallopfuneralservices.com. Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.

Thank you for everything that you have done. We love you with all of our hearts! So, Mom – it’s time for you to rest. Your kids have got this … and we will take care of Speedy. Rest in peace Mamma – and dance in the gardens!!!

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