Services for Bill Strater to be hosted at the Albion First United Methodist Church on Saturday, July 20, beginning with visitation at 1 p.m. with services at 2 p.m. Nale’s Funeral Home is handling services for Strater.
Burial will be at Graceland Cemetery.
On Friday, March 8, Bill Strater, loving husband and father of three children, passed away peacefully at home in Lake Worth, Fla. comforted by family at his side at age 88.
Bill was born on July 12, 1930 in Ivesdale, Ill. to Calvin and Mary (Kieterling) Strater. After serving in the United States Army in the Korean War, he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Eastern Illinois University and a secondary Master’s in School Administration at Purdue University. For 35 years he was a teacher, coach, athletic director, and school administrator at Hammond High School. On June 2, 1957, he married Edythe Longbons of Albion and they raised two daughters, Michelle and Suzanne and one son, Jeff. Bill and Edythe raised their three children in Munster, Indiana before retiring and living in Albion for 18 years.
He had a profound impact on his students, family, friends and community. Bill had a passion for sports and was a multi-sport athlete in high school and college. He pursued this passion as a coach, teacher, assistant principal, and athletic director. His baseball teams had outstanding records and in 2004 was inducted into the Hammond Sports Hall of Fame. He was admiringly dubbed “Wild Bill” by his baseball players for his mild but precise approach to coaching. Additionally, he taught U.S. History and was named Hammond Teacher of the Year in 1988.
After retirement, Bill and his wife moved to Albion where he was an Albion Rotary Club president and Paul Harris Fellow. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Albion. After 18 years in Albion, Bill and his wife moved to Lake Worth, Fla. and became active members at the First United Methodist Church of Boca Raton where he was involved in the men’s study group.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Fred, Alan, Robert and sisters Grace Hyde and Beatrice Nelson. He is survived by his wife Edythe, his three children, Michelle Gunderson, Suzanne Strater and Jeff Strater, his grandchildren Sarah, Katherine and Tobias, his brothers John, Richard and sister Rebecca Wildman, and several nieces and nephews. Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Albion Stained Glass Window Project.