Husband Phillip A. Gaines

Jack Strouss (June 24, 1923 - October 15, 2016) was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He lost his position in 1950 because of his homosexuality. About that time he met and started dating William Devaux Willson, and began his 27 year career in theater and film. He volunteered during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s and 1990s at the Aid Ministry and AID Atlanta.

Born & raised near the Piedmont Park area of Atlanta, the son of the late John W. Strouss, Sr. and Talbot Harrison Strouss. After graduating from Atlanta Boys High School Jack enlisted in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the Signal Corps. Jack served with honor from 1942 until 1946. Part of his enlistment included service under Gen. George S. Patton. Back stateside, he studied at Oglethorpe University and Georgia State University. He was a U.S. Civil Servant, owned a printing company, was employed by Films, Inc. until a new invention call the video & the video machine made reel-to-reel movies obsolete. Soon after the company closed, he was hired by the Atlanta Journal Constitution to be their Manager of Distribution. He retired in 1988.

His greatest joy was composing music for voice, piano and organ. Jack was a member of the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer where he sang in the church choir & was a Meals on Wheels volunteer for the elderly & victims of AIDS. He was a Life Long Honorary Member American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER).

In 2010 he was honored to be a member of the AVER Honor Guard that laid a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery  along with two other distinguished gay World War II veterans, AVER Life Members Dr. Frank Kameny and Rev. Dr. John McNeill.

John "Jack" Brookhaven Woodrow Strouss, Jr., 93, died on October 15, 2016, at his home following several weeks of severe illnesses. Jack was survived by his husband/partner of 36 years, the Rev. Phillip A. Gaines.


  1. Jack Strouss and William Deveaux Wilson papers: http://ahc.galileo.usg.edu/ahc/view?docId=ead/ahc.MSS1093-ead.xml;query=;brand=default
  2. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Oct. 18 to Oct. 20, 2016: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/atlanta/obituary.aspx?n=john-strouss&pid=181984650&fhid=4904
  3. http://www.gaymilitarysignal.com/1307IngramStrouss.html