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Theodor Strelkoff
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Obituary for Theodor Strelkoff

Theodor Strelkoff, PhD. 85 of Butler, Missouri passed away January 7, 2018 at his home in Butler. Funeral services will be held 12:45 pm Saturday, January 13, 2018 at Mullinax Funeral Home, Butler (660-679-0009). Visitation will be held from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm Friday, January 12, 2018 also at the funeral home. Burial will follow services in Pleasant Mound Cemetery, Osceola, Missouri. Memorial contributions are suggested to House of Hound, Heartland Hospice, or the Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation For Spinal Cord Injury. Messages of condolence may be left for the family at

Theodor S. “Fedja” Strelkoff, PhD was born October 2, 1932 in San Francisco, CA. He grew up in the Russian Colonies in New York City and San Francisco. Both of his grandfathers were Russian Orthodox priests. His father, Seraphim, was an opera singer and Theodor also sang with many San Francisco Bay Area opera companies as a soloist. He directed the San Francisco Russian Opera and was a Regent in the Russian Orthodox Church. He was a member of the Slavyanka Men’s Chorus and soloed with them also.
While teaching at UC Davis, he took time off and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
He obtained his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering, with a minor in Hydraulics, from the City University of New York in 1953. He then pursued graduate studies at the State University of Iowa, getting his M.S. degree in Fluid Mechanics and Hydraulics in 1955, and his PhD Degree in Fluid Mechanics in 1962. While still working on his doctoral degree, he joined the faculty of the Department of Land, Air, and Water Resources of the University of California, Davis, where he worked as an Assistant, Associate, and eventually Professor of Water Science and Civil Engineering until 1980. He then worked as an independent consultant for 11 years. It was during this period that Dr. Strelkoff began his long-term collaboration with USDA-ARS. In 1991, he began his formal collaboration with the USDA-ARS U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, first on a temporary two-year appointment, then indirectly as a Research Professor for the Dept. of Agricultural and Bio systems Engineering of the University of Arizona, Tucson, and starting in 2001, through a permanent appointment, as a Research Hydraulic Engineer. He worked with the U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory, and later with the U.S. Arid Land Agricultural Research Center, until his retirement in 2014.
Dr. Strelkoff made significant contributions to the science of modeling unsteady open channel flow. His early work laid the foundation for currently used schemes to solve unsteady open-channel-flow problems, including canals, rivers, dam-break floods, surface irrigation, etc. In the 1960’s, Dr. Strelkoff proposed new derivations of the one-dimensional equations that were used in designing the California Aqueduct. Dr. Strelkoff also conducted seminal work on the dam-break problems. This work influenced the development of flooding maps used by action agencies and related policies. Dr. Strelkoff’s most extensive contributions are related to modeling unsteady open channel flow in surface irrigation, which is the most widely practiced method of water application in irrigated agriculture. On sabbatical in Cordoba, Spain, he redesigned the entire Spanish irrigation canal system.
In 2000 the American Society of Civil Engineers awarded Dr. Strelkoff the prestigious Royce J. Tipton Award, for “significant advances in hydraulic engineering”. Likewise, the American Society of Agricultural Engineers conferred on him the ASAE Award for the Advancement of Surface Irrigation in 2001. In 1995 the country of Greece and the University of Thessaloniki awarded Dr. Strelkoff an honorary PhD for his lifetime contribution to science. Dr. Strelkoff will be remembered by many of his collaborators as a mentor and a friend.
Dr. Strelkoff is survived by his wife, Cynthia Anne Strelkoff of Butler, MO., Sister, Natalia Strelkova, Daughters: Tatiana Strelkoff Arienzo, Natasha Strelkoff Brock, Yelena Strelkoff, Galina Strelkoff, Sons: Alexander Strelkoff, Andrei Strelkoff, Samuel Strelkoff, Nephew, Ivan Chulaki, Grandchildren: Alyexandra Arienzo, Pietro Arienzo, Aidan Strelkoff-Purvis, Malcolm Victor Strelkoff, Alexandra Clara Morgan Strelkoff, and Great Granddaughter: Rebecca Perugia.

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Previous Events





5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Mullinax Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.

10 S. High St.
Butler, MO 64730

Funeral Service




1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Mullinax Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc.

10 S. High St.
Butler, MO 64730

Memorial Contribution

Heartland Hospice

612 W Fort Scott St
Butler, MO 64730

Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

House of Hound

10 S Orange St
Butler, MO 64730

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