Cover photo for Earl Elvin Strnad's Obituary
Earl Elvin Strnad Profile Photo
1935 Earl 2023

Earl Elvin Strnad

November 27, 1935 — May 9, 2023

Gillette

Graveside service for Earl Strnad will be held at 12:00 p.m., Thursday, May 18, 2023 at Mt. Pisgah Cemetery with Pastor Gordon Harper officiating. Visitation will be held prior to graveside at Gillette Memorial Chapel from 10:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Earl Elvin Strnad passed away peacefully in The Legacy Living Center on May 9, 2023, in Gillette, Wyoming.  He was 87 years of age. Earl was born on November 27, 1935, in Republic County, Kansas.  He was the youngest of 4 children born to John and Blanche (Skipton) Strnad.  During his early years, his family lived in Haddam, Kansas where they farmed.  When he was 13, they moved to Belleville, Kansas.  It was here that he grew up and graduated from Belleville High School in 1954. Early in 1956 Earl moved to Liberal, Kansas and started working for the Rock Island Motor Transit hauling freight from Kansas to Texas.  This would begin a 33-year career as a railroader. In 1957 Earl married Hanna Virginia Jarrett in Agenda, Kansas.  Their first daughter, Rene Lynn was born later that year.  In 1959 Earl was hired out as a brakeman on the Chicago Rock Island & Pacific Railroad.  Their family was also growing, and it was during this time that their second daughter, Rochelle Lee was born.  After moving to Fairbury, Nebraska he would be promoted to Conductor.  Their third daughter, Redena Lynette would be born that same year. In 1966 Earl and his first wife divorced.  He continued working for The Rock Island.  His route took him from Nebraska to Iowa on one end, and from Nebraska to Kansas on the other.  It was while working in Phillipsburg, Kansas that Earl would meet his second wife, Donna.  On June 16, 1968 Earl and Donna Marie Krause were married in Phillipsburg, Kansas.  They would continue to live in Fairbury; and in 1972 a fourth daughter, Pamela Sue would be born. In 1980, after the decline of the Rock Island he found himself moving his family to Gillette, Wyoming for a job on the Burlington Northern Railroad.  When not working Earl could be found fishing outside of Yellowstone, camping in the mountains or making a trip back to Kansas to visit his grandkids and great-grandkids. In 1989 Earl was injured while working.  Without a risky surgery, he would not be able to return to the railroad.  After 30 years on the train, he decided it was time to be “put out to pasture” and retired early.  Eventually they would move across the state and settle in Deaver, Wyoming. For a time Earl and Donna were able to travel a bit, and even tried their hand at making western crafts which they sold at shows across Wyoming and Montana.  Years later they once again found their lives turned upside down when their home was destroyed by a fire.  With Donna’s health declining, the decision was made to move back to Gillette with their daughter, Pam. In 2014 after 45 years together, Donna passed away. As difficult as it was to lose his wife, Earl still found great joy in life and never missed an opportunity to go to the races, go dancing, or watch pro wrestling! Sadly, Earl began to struggle with Dementia and moved into a long-term care facility in 2020.  Although his battle was long and tough, he would often be found chatting it up with the nurses or just being his ornery old self. Earl was preceded in death by his parents, John and Blanche Strnad; his wife Donna Strnad; and his daughter Redena Wurm.  He is survived by his daughters, Rene German of Salina, KS; Rochelle Jones of Agenda, KS; Pam Riley of Gillette, WY; 11 grandchildren, numerous great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and extended family.  He was deeply loved and will be greatly missed. The family wishes to thank all who have reached out to them in this difficult time.  The outpouring of love and support from friends has been such a comfort to the family. A celebration of life will be held on June 10, 2023 in Munden, KS at 1:00 p.m. at Zion Evangelical Church  with a luncheon to follow.   Memorials and condolences may be sent in Earl’s name in care of Gillette Memorial Chapel, 210 West 5th Street, Gillette, WY 82716 or via website:  www.gillettememorialchapel.com

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Thursday, May 18, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Mountain time)

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Thursday, May 18, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Mountain time)

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