Robert Alvin Strauch, age 91, passed away October 9th, 2017 at the nursing home in Akron, Colorado surrounded by his wife and family.
Rob was born on February 16, 1926 in Kimball, Nebraska. He was the fourth son of five born to Walter and Marie Strauch.
His family moved to Brush, Colorado when Rob was six years old, where he attended Knearl School. The family later moved to the family farm where Rob and his brothers helped their father in the beet field. Rob attended Morey School and then attended Brush High School, where he graduated in 1944. Following graduation, Rob enlisted in the United States Army. He entered the military on September 9, 1944 and attended Infantry Basic Training at Camp Roberts in California.
Upon completion of Basic Training, Rob shipped out to Hawaii where he served as a Tech Sergeant in the 11th Airborne Division Headquarters. He supervised and directed personnel in the preparation of general and special orders.
Rob later served with the Appleknockers regiment of the 27th Infantry in the Ryukyus Campaign officially called Operation Iceberg, a series of battles beginning 1 Apr 1945 between Allied forces and Imperial Japanese forces in Ryukyus Archipelago the biggest island of which was Okinawa. The Appleknockers swept the Eastern Islands northeast of the Katchin Peninsula in the Chimu Wan between 6 and 11 April 1945. Most of the islands were undefended except for Tsugen Shima, which was defended by Japanese 1st Battery, 7th Heavy Artillery Regiment. After the 27th secured the northern islands they were sent to the southern front on the south side of the Machinato Inlet where they battled against some of the heaviest concentration of Japanese artillery encountered during the campaign. On 21 Jun 1945 Okinawa was secured which concluded the Ryukyus Campaign and was the last major battle of WWII.
Rob was honorably discharged from the Army on November 22nd, 1946. His military decorations include Parachutist Badge, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Army of Occupation Medal, Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Bronze Star.
Following his service, he returned to Brush, Colorado. He met Inez Krause at the rollerskating rink in Brush. They were married in the Presbyterian Church in Akron on November 27, 1949. They lived in Brush, where Rob worked from Sinton Milk and Inez worked for B&B Pharmacy. They welcomed their first child, Kent in December, 1950. Their second child, Jill, was born in February of 1955.
In 1952, Rob and his family moved to Akron where Rob went to work for Inez's brother, Bill Krause, working in construction.
A few years later, Rob started his own construction company called Rob's Builders Supply and Concrete. Through the years, Rob constructed and remodeled many homes and businesses throughout Akron and Washington County. He was an expert cabinet maker and enjoyed making wood into beautiful pieces for his customers. Rob was a very hard working man with an incredible work ethic, which he exhibited every day until his retirement.
Rob and Inez were active members of the Akron community, including active membership in the Presbyterian Church, where Rob served many times as an elder. He was a volunteer firefighter and retired after 20 years of service.
He was also a loyal Lions Club member for nearly 60 years. He became involved in the Lions Club early in his life. Rob told the story of Dan Alt coming to town with his trailer of mops and brooms, where they set up on Main Street to sell them. This interested Rob and was the start of his membership with the organization. For his years of service, he was a recipient of the Lions Club Melvin Jones Fellow Award for his dedicated humanitarian service.
Through the years, some of his favorite events he participated in were the Lions booth at the Washington County Fair, the reverse raffle, and the fishing derby.
For many years, Rob made trips to Palisade, Colorado, where he brought a van full of peaches back for the Akron community. His grandchildren often made this trip with him, which made for some great memories.
He played on a bowling league for many years and loved and played softball well into his sixties. He was an avid fisherman and boater and loved spending time with his family in these activities. He also enjoyed hunting and had annual deer, pheasant, and grouse hunting trips, which continued well into his eighties.
He was a dedicated fan Akron school sports regularly attending games. He was also fan of the Denver Broncos football team and Colorado Rockies baseball team regularly attending games.
He enjoyed trips to Elko, Nevada and years ago, he and Inez would take one day trips from Akron to Elko. Later in his life, he enjoyed making trips to Black Hawk Colorado with Inez and his family.
Rob loved gardening and every year had one of the biggest gardens in town. He took pride in making sure everything was planted to perfection and that his tomatoes grew as big as possible.
Rob had a fall in July of 2015 where he broke his leg requiring surgery followed by several months of rehab. He had a followup surgery in 2016, followed by several more weeks of rehab. Over the last two years, Rob faced many medical challenges but remained strong with the support of his wife of nearly 68 years, along with his entire family.
He is survived by his wife, Inez Strauch (Krause); son, Kent Strauch and wife Joan Strauch (Fillion) of Peyton, Colorado; daughter, Jill Withers (Strauch) and husband Doug Withers of Erie, Colorado; ten grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. Rob is also survived by many sisters in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Rob is preceeded in death by his parents, Walter and Marie Strauch of Brush, Colorado; his brothers, Ed, Harry, Herb and Elmer Strauch.
A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday October 21, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at the Presbyterian Church in Akron, Colorado.
Published in Akron News-Reporter on Oct. 19, 2017
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