Our kind mother and grandmother, who so frequently calmed our hearts, soothed our hurts, laughed with us, and never missed sending a birthday card, has reunited with her husband, son, siblings, and parents. After months of failing health, Kathleen Marie Strohman passed away at the English Valleys Care Center on October 29, 2021, at the age of 91.
Kathleen was born on the family farm in Keswick, Iowa, on November 21, 1929, to James Joseph and Bertha (Nilles) Greene. The eleventh of twelve children, her brothers and sisters would tell you she was treasured, and often spared from most of the farm labor. She had a pony named Minnie and was able to take piano lessons with the money her mother earned selling eggs. Raised in a Catholic family, Kathleen attended the Aurora country school and was a graduate of the Immaculate Conception Academy in Davenport. She graduated in 1948 and moved to Des Moines, Iowa, where she worked at the Arthur Murray School of Dance, Allied Insurance, and WHO Radio. During most of this time, she shared a house on Ingersoll Avenue with seven girlfriends and one bathroom - but they all made it work.
On June 7, 1952, she married a fellow Keswick boy, Joseph Leo Strohman, and together they would raise seven children. The couple first lived in St. Louis while Joe finished college, and then moved to Dayton, Ohio, while he was stationed in the Air Force. In 1959, they moved to North English where the family had opened a John Deere implement business - Strohman's Inc.
Kathleen ran a busy household, while also volunteering her time for church, school, and community events. As the mother of seven children, she was a scouting troop leader and constantly involved in her children's academic, music, and sporting activities. For several years she taught preschool in her home on 115 W Clark Street - The JoLeen Preschool. For the next twenty-five years, she worked as the Activity Director at the English Valleys Care Center, where she always had a smile or song for the residents and staff.
In 1966, Kathleen nearly passed away from Lupus, an autoimmune disease. She recovered only after Joe and their families arranged for a new treatment regimen at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. Thankfully, she fully recovered to spend another 55 years with us.
Kathleen relished being in the company of family and friends and rarely missed a party, wedding, or celebration. In their later years, Joe and Kathleen loved to jump in their gold Pontiac Bonneville and take off on day trips in and around Iowa. They traveled abroad with John Deere Corporate excursions and made frequent trips to see children and grandchildren.
After Joe's passing in 1998, Kathleen moved to Des Moines where she was able to care for her older sister, Margaret. She enjoyed attending church, reading books, watching sports, discussing current events, playing cards, and singing in the choir at the Urbandale Senior Center. A voracious reader, she always had stacks of books and magazines around the house and never missed a day scouring the newspaper, usually right when it hit the doorstep. She spoke to all her children weekly - if not daily - and knew the happenings of everyone in the family.
She is survived by her children Daniel (Sherry) Strohman of North English, Steven (Cheryl) Strohman of Urbandale, Joseph Strohman Jr of Ventura, CA, Michele (George) Schricker of Plymouth, IN, James (Kristin Peyton) Strohman of Ames, and Shawn Strohman of Minneapolis, MN; her 12 grandchildren Mindy (Brent) Steele, Nicholas (Brandi) Strohman, Michael A. Strohman, Jacob (Katie) Strohman, Olivia Strohman, Hannah Strohman, Marie Strohman, Ezra (Audrey) Schricker, Isaac (Kelsey) Strohman, Ambrose Strohman, Stella Maris Strohman, and Endylion Strohman; and 12 great-grandchildren Annabelle and Joe Steele, Price, Lillie, Braelyn and Trice Strohman, Caroline and Sydney Strohman, Leo and Margot Schricker, and Ava and Quinn Strohman. Also surviving are sisters-in-law, Marilyn Greene, Carol Greene, Grace Strohman, Sister Helen Strohman, Rita Strohman, Sheila Falk, and a brother-in-law, Howard Falk.
Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Joseph Strohman Sr in 1998, her son, Michael Timothy Strohman in 1972, and her siblings James Greene, Anna Stites, Jesse McCurdy, Vincent Greene, Margaret Greene, John Greene, Ellen Selk, Frank Greene, Bertha Katherine Greene, Roy Greene, and Richard Greene.
Kathleen was always optimistic, hopeful, loving, and she couldn't resist a good, hearty laugh. In her memory, spend time with your family, send a thoughtful note to someone who needs it, hold your head up high, laugh until your sides hurt, and never turn down dessert.
A Mass of Catholic Burial will be held Friday, November 5, 2021, at 10:30 am. at St Joseph's Catholic Church in North English, Iowa. Burial will follow at Pleasant Grove Cemetery in Sigourney, Iowa. Memorial contributions can be made to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital or the North English Fire Department. The family requests all service attendees to wear a mask or face covering.
Powell Funeral Home in North English is caring for Kathleen and her family. Messages and tributes may be left at www.powellfuneralhomes.com.
The family would like to thank the staff of the English Valley Care Center and Essence of Life Hospice for all of the care and support they provided Kathleen and her family.