American Veteran 04

Carl Leander Strodtman

January 13, 1919 ~ May 16, 2020 (age 101)


Carl Leander (Lee) Strodtman, PhD

Dr. Carl Leander (Lee) Strodtman, 101 died Saturday, May 16, 2020.  Born on Monday, January 13, 1919, on the family farm outside of LaRose, IL to Julius and Olive (Carlson).  His mother joked that it ruined a perfectly good wash day. The family moved to Chicago when he was 8 years old. Lee finished both high school (Crane) and college (Illinois Institute of Technology) in Chicago. Opportunity took him to Philadelphia where he worked for RCA. At RCA he met Marion Hughes, who became his wife in 1944. Fearing the draft in World War II, Lee enlisted in the Navy and returned to Chicago to attend Radio Training School. Marion accompanied him. After discharge, they returned to the Philadelphia area and began a family, first Scott and then Marilyn (Lynne). During this time, he attended the University of Pennsylvania obtaining his Masters in Mechanical Engineering. A job offer from Lear Inc. brought the Strodtmans to Grand Rapids, Michigan where Lee worked for Lear/Lear Siegler/Smith Industries until retirement in 1984. Through Lear’s educational program, Lee earned his PhD from Michigan State University in Mechanical Engineering

Lee and family joined Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church as soon as they moved to Grand Rapids in 1950, and he has been an active member ever since.

Lee was always involving himself in outside activities. Among them was Great Books, Boy Scouts, Grand Rapids Amateur Movie Club, Toast Masters, YMCA, Masons, Scottish Israelite Society and Les Amis du Vin. He was a docent at the Grand Rapids Public Museum for many years. He and Marion were ardent Symphony, Ballet, Opera and Art museum supporters, as well as many other causes.

Lee and Marion loved travel, visiting numerous foreign countries usually, for wildlife viewing or archeological curiosity. His hobbies included photography, jewelry making, wood working and wood block printing. He tried his hand at wine making as well.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Marion, (2006) after nearly 62 years of marriage, two brothers, Robert and Howard, and sister, Mildred Hansen. He is survived by his son Scott (Linda) Strodtman and daughter Lynne (Tim) Goodwin. Grand children Jason (Paula) Goodwin, Cherie (Robert) Gurski, Andrew (Rachel) Strodtman, and Susan Strodtman, and one great granddaughter Cassandra Dutch.

Asked about the secret of a long life, his advice was “keep breathing!”

At his request, cremation has taken place. Ashes will be placed next to Marion in the columbarium at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, Grand Rapids, MI.  A Celebration of Life will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers please donate to a charity of your choice.  Arrangements by Memorial Alternatives

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