William “Bill” Francis Strom, 82, of Hastings, MN, died of injuries due to falls and Alzheimer’s on July 19, 2022, at White Pines Assisted Living and Memory Care in Cottage Grove, MN.
Bill was born April 17, 1940, in St. Paul, MN, to Gottfrid Gerhardt Strom and Myrtle Antoinette Geisenheyner. Bill graduated from Ramsey High School in St Paul, MN, in 1958. He attended Lutheran Bible Institute for two years before getting his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at Augsburg College in 1964. Bill received his Masters of Divinity degree from Luther/Northwestern Seminary in 1968.
Bill met his wife Sara Jane Halvorson at Augsburg and they were married August 31, 1963, in Rochester, MN.
While on internship in Seattle, WA, Bill’s daughter Carmen was born in 1967 and son Peter was born three years later during Bill’s first call at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Rochester, MN. Bill then served Grace Lutheran in Mora, MN, for 9 years before being called to his longest settled pastorate at Our Saviour’s Lutheran in Hastings. He served on the board of Hastings Family Service and was an active member of the Hastings Ministerial Association while serving OSEL. When Bill left Our Saviour’s in 1999, he began interim work and served churches in Knoxville, TN, Chisago Lake, MN, West St Paul, MN, St Paul, MN, and Stillwater, MN. He retired in 2007.
Bill began singing at an early age and began studying voice. Over the years as a student and member of the clergy, Bill enjoyed a rich and varied semi-professional and recreational career in choral solo performance. Twice he was a winner of the St. Paul Schubert Club Scholarship. For four years Bill was bass/baritone soloist and section leader for House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. He has sung as a soloist with the Minneapolis Symphony, Mankato Symphony, Rochester Symphony, Great Falls, MT, Symphony and the St Paul Chamber Orchestra. Bill has sung with the Oudal Chorale, the Dale Warland Singers, the Exultate Chamber Choir and Orchestra, the Augsburg Centennial Singers and most regularly was a member of the choir at Our Saviour’s Lutheran. Bill had a rich experience singing opera, oratorios and cantatas. He performed as soloist in Handel’s Messiah more than 14 times between 1960 and 1982!
Bill is the second of three brothers. In high school he played tennis and lettered in gymnastics. He played golf and tennis, loved fishing, horticulture and was a very skilled woodworker. Bill made many family prized possessions including a harp, a canoe, a toy chest, and lathed pen/pencil sets.
Bill was predeceased by his parents; his older brother, Richard Strom; and daughter, Carmen Strom.
He is survived by his wife, Sara; son, Peter (Amy) Strom; grandson, Charlie Strom; granddaughter, Addie Strom; younger brother, John (Marie )Strom; sister-in-law, Nancy Strom; and sister-in-law, Brenda Halvorson; nieces and nephews and many extended family members.
The family wishes to express special thanks and grateful appreciation to the staff at Regina Hospital, Olive Grove Hospice and to the staff at White Pines Memory Care.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Sunday, July 31, 2022 at Our Saviour’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 400 W. 9th St in Hastings, MN. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at church and a reception will follow the service.
Memorials are suggested to Alzheimer’s Association, Our Saviour’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Olive Grove Hospice, White Pines Memory Care or to the charity of your choice.