Our dear friend and longtime TADP board member, Charlie Strobel, died on Sunday morning. He was 80 years old.
I am still processing and will be for some time. Charlie has been my dear friend for over twenty years and has served on the TADP board since I became director 17 years ago. I honestly can’t imagine not having him around.
Charlie desperately wanted to end the death penalty and spent much of his time supporting TADP in that mission. He and his family were incredible witnesses to the “miracle of forgiveness,” as he called it, when his mother was murdered in Nashville, and they fought against the death penalty for the man who murdered her. He shared his story all over the state and in the short film about TADP’s work called To Honor Life.
If you have never watched this film, I encourage you to do so. The statistics are dated since the film is several years old now, but the stories are timeless and speak to the need to finally end the death penalty.
Over the years, Charlie was also active with Murder Victims Families for Human Rights and served on a legislative death penalty study committee in Tennessee. He did all of this in addition to his tireless work on behalf of the unhoused, as founder of Room in the Inn.
I was able to spend some good time with him over these past months and was actually with him on Friday for several hours. He was tired but still had that twinkle in his eye! All of Nashville is grieving, and well beyond Nashville, as Charlie was a light and always will be. He stood with those among us who are the most vulnerable…those who are poor, sick, and in prison. And he was a champion for the unhoused. I won’t call him a saint because that made him roll his eyes, but he was that to me and to so many of us.
We love you, Charlie, and we are all better people because we knew you and loved you.
Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done.
When we end the death penalty in Tennessee, you will be one of the reasons why.
Rest in peace, sweet friend,