M atthias “Matt” John Strahm Jr., 94, passed away on Sunday, October 25, 2020. He was born on February 23, 1926 in Berwick, Kansas to Matthias J. Strahm and to Lena (Furrer) Strahm. Matt had an older sister, Ungela A. Strahm. Matt’s parents and sister Ungela preceded him in death. Matt was 5th and the last in the line of the direct decedents of Matthias Strahm I, one of the earliest settlers of the Bern, Kansas area. Matt’s wife of 48 years, Dorothy Joan (Platt-McNeill) also preceded him in death. Matt and Dorothy were married on April 26, 1972 in Prairie Village, Kansas. Dorothy was the widow of Leo Jake McNeill and had 3 children with him prior to marrying Matt.
Surviving are Jeannine M. Wolf (Stephen) of Loudon, Tennessee; Colin Brett McNeill (Kim) of Kokomo, Indiana and Michelle D. Koerner of Leo, Indiana and they survive. Also in the family are 8 grandchildren and their spouses: Douglas Wolf (Brynn) of Morristown, Tennessee Janet Ramick (Keith) of Sammamish, Washington; Lauren Van Wassenhove (Sandor) of Redmond, Washington; Brittany Achard (Christopher) of Carmel, Indiana and Colin Parker McNeill (Laurissa Nieto) of Newport Beach, California; Taylor Koerner (Lisa) of Fort Wayne, Indiana Austin Koerner (Ashley) of Fort Wayne, Indiana and Monica Koerner of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Eight great-grandchildren also survive.
Matt grew up in Bern, Sabetha, Garden City and Wichita, Kansas at various times in his childhood. His parent’s home in Bern was next to the Oregon Trail that began in St. Joseph, Missouri. Matt attended Wichita High School in Wichita, Kansas and upon graduation, was inducted into the United States Army on June 27, 1944. He served in World War II in Company A of the 45th Signal and Heavy Construction Battalion in Wiesbaden, Germany as a Telephone & Telegraph Lineman and earned the rank of Private First Class by his discharge of May 22, 1946. He was qualified as a Rifle expert and earned the American Theater Ribbon, the EAMET Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal and the Victory Ribbon.
After the Army, Matt enrolled at Kansas State University and graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Architectural Engineering, ranking 1st in his class. He began his career with a position at Black & Veatch, Consulting Engineers in Kansas City and then the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through his retirement in 1989. He subsequently accepted as position with Raytheon for 5 years from 1990 through 1998 as a designer of radar installation facilities at many second tier airports in the United States.
Before marriage, Matt enjoyed being a private pilot and took fishing trips to Canada with family and close friends, in particular Dr. Joseph Farney (DVM). He also jointly owned several private aircraft in his lifetime. Upon marriage, he still enjoyed being out-doors; camping and fishing.
Matt was baptized in the Apostolic Christian Church in Chicago, Illinois in the spring of 1973 and was a member of the Chicago congregation while he lived in Crystal Lake, Illinois with Dorothy and the children. Matt served as a Sunday school teacher and was the leader of all the Sunday school activities during their time in Crystal Lake. Matt also served many years on the Elgin Apostolic Christian Nursing Home as a Board Member.
Matt and Dorothy moved to Sabetha, Kansas in 1996 into the West Village Independent Living section of the Apostolic Christian Retirement facility. Matt and Dorothy attended the Apostolic Christian Church in Bern, Kansas and were active in the community. They supported community projects as “Meals on Wheels” drivers for the Sabetha area and local philanthropic causes such as the new wing of the Sabetha Hospital. During this time, Matt served on the Board of Highland College in Highland, Kansas and was also the President of the West Village Independent Living Association.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to the Sabetha Apostolic Christian Home “Nursing Home Replacement Project”. Matt and Dorothy have received outstanding care from this institution for past 7 years.
Family and friends are welcome to attend a visitation at the Popkess Mortuary Chapel in Sabetha on Friday, October 30, 2020 from 6:00-8:00 pm. The funeral service will be held at 10:00 am on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at the Bern Apostolic Christian Church. The burial will be made in the Bern Apostolic Christian Church Cemetery.