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Santo “Sam” Strangi, Sr.

Santo Strangi was born to Alberto and Audenzia Pipitone Strangi of Castelvetrano, Trapani, Sicily, Italy in 1886. His family immigrated to the United States over several years beginning with Alberto landing in New Orleans in 1902. He then sent for his two eldest sons, Santo and Tommaso, who arrived in 1903, followed by their mother Audenzia in 1904. Upon arrival, Santo, or “Sam”, and his father found work in the sawmill as they had gained experience in this trade in their homeland.

Shortly after Alberto’s death in 1914, Audenzia, Santo and Tommaso moved to Mississippi. Sam set up residence in Biloxi and continued his work as a lumberman.

Sam married Ora Holley in 1917 and, over the years, built their waterfront home at the foot of Holley Street and began their family that would grow to nine children. He established “Strangi Sawmill and Lumber Yard” on the corner of Bayview and Holly Street where he supplied materials to contractors, boat builders, and factories. He also built a rapport with the contractors in the area who, at that time, were clearing land for the building of Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi. As this was an enormous undertaking on a scheduled timeline, they enlisted the aid of Sam and his team of oxen to assist in the clearing.

With his income, Sam was able to purchase many lots in Biloxi and Harrison County where he developed the Strangi Subdivision and made improvements to other lots.

With the impact of storms and the changes of time, Sam and Ora purchased a new home on Beach Blvd. where they continued raising their children and lived for many years.

Strongly invested into his community, Sam was a charter member of the Biloxi Elks Club, a member of the Biloxi Businessmen’s Club and a parishioner of Nativity BVM Catholic Church in Biloxi. His contributions to the city and support of the businesses directly and indirectly involved in the seafood industry were key in the growing years and decades more. It is for these accomplishments we are pleased to honor Santo “Sam” Strangi, Sr. into the Heritage Hall of Fame.


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