Robert Lee Strange died on August 3, 2017 at the United Methodist Village following a lengthy illness. Bob was born August 27, 1922 in Lawrenceville, Illinois to Samuel Ross Strange and Martha Taylor Strange, the ninth of their eleven children. He served in the U.S. Army in the European Theater during World War II.
He graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelors and a Masters Degree. He returned to Lawrenceville as a high school teacher and coach for more than 30 years. He was well known for his wrestling accomplishments: Illinois State Champion in high school for three years, University of Illinois Champion, and the restarting of the wrestling program at Lawrenceville Township High School in 1962. He was inducted into the Lawrenceville High School Sports Hall of Fame, Illinois Wrestling Hall of Fame, and National Wrestling Hall of Fame. In addition to coaching several sports, he taught drivers education, was a class sponsor, and Shutterbug Club sponsor. He was an Athletic Director at LTHS. As an adult, he was a lifetime member of the American Legion, Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
He married Ramona L. Whitson in 1947 and was the father of four children: Irene, Sam, Janet, and John Strange. Ramona preceded him in death as did his parents; four brothers: Gene, Dick, Louie, and Phil; six sisters: Irene McCandlish, Cleo Hankins, Juanita Daly, Lucille Davis, Garnett Reynolds, and Shirley Cannon; and his son: John.
He is survived by his wife, Dixie Morgan Strange; daughters: Irene (Peter) Erickson of Hendersonville, Tennessee and Janet Strange of Effingham, Illinois; son: Sam Strange of Effingham, Illinois; and mother-in-law: Catherine Morgan of Lawrenceville, Illinois. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, friends, and former students and athletes.
There will be a gathering of friends and family on Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 2:00 PM until 6:00 PM CST at the Emmons-Macey & Steffey Funeral Home in Lawrenceville, Illinois. No formal funeral services will be conducted. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made to the Unit 20 Academic Foundation or the Lawrenceville High School Sports Hall of Fame in care of David Weger, PO Box 533, Lawrenceville, Illinois 62439.
Published on August 4, 2017