Harry (Bus) Stromgren passed peacefully on August 31st, 2020 after a short but mighty battle with cancer. Harry was born May 12th, 1934 in Michigan Valley, Kansas to Harry and Corene Stromgren. He was married to Betty Jo Cattani on August 22nd, 1954, she preceded him in death in 1997. Bus married Carol Lindsay in 2006, she passed away in 2016.
Bus and Betty Jo had two children, Jeff (Stephanie) Stromgren of Topeka and Craig (Kyra) Stromgren of Silver Lake, six grandchildren, Whitney (Kyle) Smith – San Antonio, TX, Adin (Matthew) Selzer – Dodge City, KS, Marissa Stromgren – Portland Oregon, Caleb (Laura) Stromgren – Andover, KS, Miranda (Chase) Lorenz – Manhattan, KS and Brandon (Thao) Stromgren – Lakewood Ranch, Florida. He also has three great grandchildren, Sloan and Cannon Smith and Collins Selzer. A brother survives, Tom (Sally) Stromgren from Horseshoe Bay, TX. He was proceeded in death by his parents, Harry and Corene, Betty Jo, Carol and one brother, Dick Stromgren. Carol’s son Rod Lindsay, his wife Marsha and daughter Cayley were a very important part of his life. He was very close to the rest of Carol’s family and extended family.
Bus attended schools in Osage City and graduated high school in Michigan Valley High School in 1952. He attended The College of Emporia playing football and baseball and was inducted into their Hall of Fame. He graduated with an education degree in 1956. He accepted his first coaching job at Hamilton High School in 1956 teaching and coaching until he was drafted into the Army in 1957 where he was stationed in Albuquerque, NM. In 1959, he moved with his family to Abilene, KS to teach and coach at Abilene Junior High. In 1962, he became the Head football coach for Abilene High School until 1964. He was a teacher and the high school counselor until 1976. He received his Masters’ Degree in Counseling from Kansas State in 1971. From 1976 – 1977 he worked for Spangler Candy Company and did school fundraising. He missed education and the kids and returned to Junction City High School in 1978 as one of their high school counselors until he retired in 1994. His most satisfying achievement was helping kids.
Growing up in the 1940’s he worked several jobs on farms and for a few construction companies. He contributed his hard work with his success then and throughout his career.
More than anything, Bus was a family man and really enjoyed when everyone got together, not just on holidays but throughout the year. It was very important to him to spend the holidays together. He loved watching Jeff and Craig compete in all their sports and continued to enjoy watching the grandkids and great grandkids in all of their activities.
Bus loved to play golf throughout his life and loved to compete. Being an avid sports fan, he loved watching sports in person and on TV. He loved his Wildcats. He also loved his buddies, as he called them. He didn’t want to miss a tee time playing golf or playing gin at the golf course every afternoon at 3:30. This was his routine every day, along with Wednesday night football, and the Elks on Friday night.
Bus was very passionate about helping people and helping kids in need. Over the course of his lifetime, even in the last year, he would visit kids and young adults in correctional facilities. Just someone to talk to about life and how to get on the right track. He even helped some of them financially with no one even knowing. It was important for him to help people who were down and guide them. The students and people’s lives he touched were very important to them as they continued to stay in contact with him 20-30 years later.
The family request memorial contributions be made to the Solomon State Bank for a scholarship in Harry’s honor. These may be sent to Solomon State Bank, 501 N. Cedar, Abilene, KS 67410.
Funeral services will be September 19, at 11:00 a.m. at the Abilene Country Club. The service will be outside to accommodate for social distancing. The family asks that you bring your lawn chairs. There will be lunch served at Old Abilene Town to honor Bus and visit with family and friends following the service.