Joseph Wilbur Strong Sr., a retired Kent County businessman and World War II pilot, died from stroke complications Saturday at a hospital in Christiana, Del. He was 83.
The lifelong Chestertown resident was a 1938 graduate of Chestertown High School. During World War II, he enlisted in the Navy and attained the rank of lieutenant. Assigned to Cape May, N.J., he flew patrol missions over the Atlantic.
After the war, he returned to Chestertown, where he owned and operated C. W. Kibler & Sons, selling such products as coal, fertilizer, lime and seeds from 1951 until 1974 when he sold the business. He also owned Kibler's Marina on the Chester River from 1959 to 1995, and the nearby Old Wharf Inn from 1975 to 1985. He retired in 1995.
A Democrat, he served as a Kent County commissioner from 1963 to 1964, and had been a board member of Chesapeake Bank & Trust Co.
Mr. Strong was a member of the Rock Hall Yacht Club, Chestertown Cruising Club and Chester River Yacht and Country Club.
He enjoyed traveling and spending time at a second home in Rehoboth Beach, Del.
His wife of 61 years, the former Florence Walls, died last year.
He was a communicant of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Chestertown, where services will be held at 11 a.m. today.
Survivors include a son, Joseph W. Strong Jr. of Dover, Del.; a daughter, Diana Strong Williams of Chestertown; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.