Leslie Noble Stratton (Image: Indiana State Excise)HOLTON – Family, friends and colleagues are mourning the loss of a local excise officer who passed away Wednesday morning after a long and courageous battle with cancer.Sgt. Leslie Noble Stratton, of Holton, graduated from Jac-Cen-Del High School in 1973, when he joined the United States Army. He served in the military for three years and was promoted to Sergeant.Stratton joined the Indiana State Excise Police on Jan. 8, 1979, after completing an internship with the agency as a student at Vincennes University, from which he earned his associates degree.He was initially assigned to the Vincennes district before transferring to the Seymour Area where he served the remainder of his career. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1987 and received the departments Educator of the Year award in 1997.“It is with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to our friend and colleague, Les,” Superintendent Matt Strittmatter said. “During my time as superintendent, I found Les to be a man of few words; however, when he spoke, he offered much wisdom. This is the result of his experience as an excise officer and his dedication to doing his part to ensure the safety of Indiana citizens. He will be greatly missed by the department, and our heartfelt condolences and prayers go out to his family.”Sgt. Stratton is survived by his wife, Vernice (Owens) Stratton, of Holton, Ind.; his son, Roger Stratton and his wife, Rhonda Stratton, of Holton, Ind.; his daughter, Jennifer Nicholson, and her husband, Hank Nicholson, of Versailles, Ind.; and his daughter-in-law, Katherine Hiatt. He was preceded in death by his son, Scott Stratton, in 2003.Sgt. Stratton is also survived by six grandchildren: Emmett Stratton, Levi Stratton, Emma Hiatt, Lanie Nicholson, Lucie Nicholson and Clint Nicholson.Funeral arrangements are pending.