Rev. Merle E. Strohben


The Rev. Merle Strohbehn went to be with the Lord Jesus on Dec. 28, 2012, his family surrounding him with love during his final days.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one brother. He is survived by his siblings, Dale, Rosemary O’Connell, Eleanor Sandbach, Roger and Kenneth; wife of 62 years, Harriett; children, Linda Hendrickson (Jim), Paul (Jan), Donovan (Debra) and Mark (Barbara); 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. All will miss him dearly.

Merle grew up near Reinbeck, Iowa. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1944-46, and attended Monmouth College and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, with continuing education at Princeton Theological Seminary. He pastored at three Presbyterian Church congregations, Hanover, Ill., from 1954-60; Champaign, Ill., from 1960-65; and Stillwater from 1965-90. After retiring in 1990, he continued to serve the Lord as interim pastor for Terrace Heights Presbyterian Church in Yakima, Wash., and four other Presbyterian churches in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Lake Nokomis, Austin, Pine City and St. Croix Falls.

Merle will be remembered for his kind, loving attention to the flock, his fine administrative work and for preaching Jesus as Savior. He stated: “Pastoral work is my love. I desire to be with people; calling, walking with them through the difficult times of sickness, grief, troubles, aching with and for them. I would long that when others see me that they might say, ‘See how he loves Jesus!’ ”

Merle was involved in the Presbytery and Chaplaincy associations and active in the Stillwater Rotary Club, where he appreciated the weekly contact with community leaders and the outreach through local and international projects. Merle enjoyed gardening, canoeing, fishing, woodworking, games, and family time.

The Strohbehn family would like to acknowledge Dad’s cherished friends who have always been especially thoughtful, kind and generous. We appreciate and extend a special thank you to the wonderful, caring staff at Comforts of Home in Hudson, Wis., where Dad spent his last two years, and for the grace of hospice.

Memorials are preferred to the Presbyterian Church missions fund, hospice or First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater.

A funeral service is 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013, at First Presbyterian Church, 6201 Osgood Ave. North in Stillwater. Visitation is one hour prior to funeral service at the church.