DALEVILLE, Ala. (WDHN) — Ingrid Strange was five years old when she first met an American soldier.
“She refers to him as a mountain of a man,” said Ingrid’s daughter, Kirsten Negard. “He was huge and he reaches down to give her some chocolate.”
Allied forces had reached Ingrid’s German town. The solider stepped out of his tank and handed her chocolate. It was the first piece of candy she had ever been offered. It was an act that would change her life.
“That young man did not know me and he gave me chocolate,” Remarkable Women finalist Ingrid Strange said. “And it tasted good.”
Since 1982, Daleville has been Ingrid’s home. It’s no coincidence her two family-operated businesses were founded in Daleville, which is described as the “Gateway to Ft. Rucker.”
Inside her castle, Ingrid welcomes military members and their families. Ingrid is commonly known for not only serving delicious food, but also for giving gifts, raising money, and ensuring military families know how much they are loved.
According to Ingrid, her life of service has been based on that American solider.
Personally-made aviation wings sit in her jewelry cases (some of which have even gone to space). Ingrid’s love spreads love throughout the military community. As a former school board member, a chamber of commerce president, and member of several other organizations, Ingrid’s story is well-known. However, according to Ingrid’s daughter, it’s a love-filled story that needs to be shared.
“It’s just a story that’s worth to get out beyond just the Wiregrass,” Negard said. “I want everyone to know how amazing she truly is.”
And while Ingrid denies being a remarkable woman, for those who know her, there is no doubt about it.
One woman will be named the Wiregrass area’s woman of the year and win a trip to New York City to attend the Mel Robbins show. From the more than 100 local winners, one woman will be selected and named Nexstar Media Group’s Woman of the Year.