Russell Strempke

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Russell Dean Strempke, 79, of Waterloo, was born on the family farm in rural Buchanan County on Oct. 10, 1931; the son of Raymond Strempke and Eva Hill. He joined the U.S. Army on March 18, 1952 and served during the Korean War as an amphibious vehicle driver with the 764th Anti-aircraft Artillery Battalion. He was discharged in 1955.
On Aug. 31, 1957, Russell married Bonnie Brown. He worked as a machine operator with John Deere Waterloo Works from 1955 until his retirement in September, 1987.
Russell enjoyed coin collecting, building birdhouses, camping and watching Tony Stewart race. He loved listening to country music and smoking his pipe. Russell especially enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and teaching them that little tidbit he himself had just learned that day.
Russell was a member of the coin club, was a former member of VFW and UAW Local 838 and a breakfast club made up of other retired Deere workers. Russell was also a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Waterloo.
Russell died on Sunday at Covenant Medical Center following a sudden illness at his home. He is preceded in death by his parents and two sisters: Beverly Wroten and Shirley Morris. Russell is survived by his wife of 53 years, Bonnie of Waterloo; his sons: Douglas Strempke and Dennis Strempke, both of Clinton, Ark. and Danny Strempke of 29 Palms, Calif.; a daughter, Tammy (James) Courbat of Waterloo; four grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; three step-great-grandchildren and two sisters: Sherry (Dave) Hall and Betty Osvald, both of Independence.
As a show of sympathy, memorial contributions should be directed to the family.
Visitation will be at Parrott & Wood Chapel of Memories on Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m. Funeral service will be at Grace Lutheran Church, 1024 W 8th Street, Waterloo, on Friday at 10 a.m. with military honors provided by the Iowa National Guard Honor Guard.
Condolences may be left at
Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from Dec. 28 to Dec. 31, 2010
bullet Korean War bullet U.S. Army