Obituary: Larry Strahm
The family of Larry Strahm, of Watauga, Texas, has announced his passing on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.
Larry was born in Sabetha and was the son of Lillian and Orville Strahm, who moved to Wichita, Kan.
Being a young lad of 17 with no money, his appetite and love of pizza overshadowed good sense, and he entered a Pizza Hut; the very first Pizza Hut ever, owned and operated by college student brothers Dan and Frank Carney. Larry ordered and ate his pizza. When the check came, he thought that making the brothers a wager, double-or-nothing, could possibly resolve his delicate situation. Larry paid for his pizza with sweat equity, obviously losing the bet.
Realizing quite quickly what a hard worker he was, the brothers hired Larry to work in their shop, and being thoroughly impressed with his work ethic and quick learning skills, they eventually offered him his own store franchise. Larry rose through the ranks, owning multiple Pizza Hut franchises in Emporia and Salina, Kan., Arkansas and Tulsa, Okla., and holding the rank of Regional Manager as well.
He developed a specialized restaurant off-shoot for Pizza Hut, called Applegates Landing, with locations in Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Larry retired from the Pizza Hut organization in 1981, but, as a consummate restaurateur and entrepreneur, he opened a restaurant in Norman, Okla., called Cafe Oklahoma.
In 1994, Texas became the family’s home location, settling in Watauga and, with all three children eventually settling in Texas as well, the family unit was close.
Since you can’t keep a good man down, Larry changed professions and began working for the Home Depot Expo Store, and then for Home Depot in Euless, Texas, working there until he retired in 2017.
Larry was also an accomplished carpenter and an all-around handy-man. He loved creating projects for his granddaughters, and working on the honey-do lists from his loving wife Billie. His home is a beautiful statement of his amazing skills.
He had an easy smile and a quick wit. He was a modest man who held to his conservative and simple lifestyle.
Family dinners and holidays at the Strahm house were noisy and full of laughter with amazing food — Larry loved his job as grill master!
Oh, and then there’s the thing with birds and squirrels. Larry loved his birds. He had Martin houses, gourd houses and bird feeders everywhere; a veritable “bird wonderland.” Which bring us to the “squirrel” part. Squirrels were the enemy, and watching Larry and the squirrels torment each other brings to mind the Roadrunner and the Coyote!
Larry leaves behind his beloved wife of 58 years, Billie Ilene (Hines) Strahm, originally from Salina, who has been an accomplished author for multiple to-do lists, his business partner and life long cheerleader for her husband and children; his three children, all living in Texas, Bret Strahm and life partner Jamie Lewing, Blake Strahm and partner Joe Janson, and Bethany Strahm Jordan and husband Tom Jordan; his grandchildren, all living in Texas, Kortni Forrest, Kaelin Forrest, Brian Jordan, and Jennifer Jordan Hill and husband Tyler Hill; and his two brothers, both living in Colorado, Terry Strahm and wife Baya, and Kerry Strahm and wife Elena.
Also surviving are numerous cousins in Kansas; nieces and nephews scattered about the country; and the family dog, Murray, who spent countless hours on his dad’s lap, who will miss his dad terribly, and will now make sure to keep his mom extra warm each night.
A Memorial Gathering will be held on Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Shannon Rufe Snow Funeral Chapel, located at 6001 Rufe Snow Dr., Fort Worth, TX 76148. Remembrances will be shared at 6 p.m.
The family would appreciate, in lieu of flowers, that donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
The Sabetha Herald 2/3/2021