Bill Strater, 88, formerly of Albion, Illinois passed away peacefully with his loving family by his side at his home in Lake Worth, Florida on Friday, March 8, 2019. Bill was born on July 12, 1930 in Ivesdale, IL to Calvin and Mary (Kieterling) Strater. 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.
Bill proudly served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War. After serving in the U.S. Army, 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, Bill was a teacher, coach, athletic director and school administrator at Hammond High School. 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. This passion was evident in his positions as 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. Bill 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.
Once Bill and Edythe moved back to Albion after his retirement, 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 Edythe moved to Lake Worth, Florida and became active members at the First United Methodist Church in Boca Raton where he was involved in the men’s study group.
Bill is loving remembered by his wife, Edythe and his children, Michelle Gunderson, Suzanne Strater and Jeff Strater, his precious grandchildren Sarah, Katherine and Tobias, his brothers, John and Richard and sister, Rebecca Wildman and several nieces and nephews. Preceding Bill in death were his parents and brothers, Fred, Alan and Robert and sisters, Grace Hyde and Beatrice Nelson.
Local services for Bill Strater will be Saturday, July 20 at the First United Methodist Church in Albion, IL at 2:00pm with interment of ashes to follow in Graceland Cemetery in Albion. Visitation will be from 1pm until service time at the church. Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church of Albion for their stained-glass window project and will be accepted at the church. Nale’s Funeral Home of Albion is in charge of the arrangements.
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