At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Trinty Reformed Church - Schools of Hope
1224 Davis Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
A kind, courageous, and likable guy, Edward Strom III lived a life of purpose while holding his loved ones near. He was a highly intelligent, hardworking, and meticulous person, and he was a firm believer in giving everything his all. Ed was a deeply devoted family man whose wife and children were such a blessing, but he just may have argued that becoming a grandfather was his richest reward. He was so much more than a teacher as he was an encourager, a leader, and a highly respected example among his peers. Ed had his own thoughts and opinions, but he was never overbearing in presenting these things to others. Although he will be deeply missed, his memory will be forever cherished.
The year 1948 was a year to remember in the lives of Edward and Millie (Edwards) Strom, Jr. as it was on January 29th that they welcomed a healthy baby boy into their hearts and home. Edward Blackburn was named after his maternal grandfather and was the second of four children in his family. He was a good kid who was quiet and easygoing. Ed liked going for walks with his grandfather, which was the foundation for his lifelong love of wanting to explore things that interested him. Ed also enjoyed playing outdoors and played Little League baseball, football, and golf, which was another one of his lifelong passions. He attended Oakdale Elementary and then went on to Ottawa Hills High School. Ed had paper route to earn a little spending money, and when he was only 14 he rode a bus by himself to visit an aunt and uncle who had a place in New York City. Once there, he walked around and explored the city completely on his own. Ed was also active with Trinity United Methodist Church.
After graduating from high school, Ed attended Grand Rapids Junior College and then went on to graduate from Michigan State University. For the rest of his life he loved attending sporting events there. Ed later took each grandchild to at least one football game there, too. While in college, he did make time for more than studying including making a few trips out to the beach. It was while at the beach in Grand Haven that he met the young woman who would change the course of his life forever. Her name was Linda Dreyer, and sparks flew right from the start. They dated through college but wanted to wait until they were finished with school before getting married. They finally exchanged their vows on June 27, 1970. The newlyweds spent a delayed honeymoon in Europe and later returned to Michigan.
With his education behind him, Ed found work in Midland Public Schools. He spent 34 years there teaching history, economics, and government. Mr Strom’s classroom was dictated by Stromunism: the rule of Mr. Strom, but he was always fair. His students knew his rules and expectations, and the respect shown went both ways. At times, Mr. Strom’s dry sense of humor also came out. Ed and Linda became good friends with many in the social studies department. Over the years this group often camped together, had parties, picnics, and enjoyed playing in baseball games together. While teaching, Mr. Strom also coached golf for a number of years, even coaching a few state championship teams! In addition, he was a sponsor of National Honor Society and Model United Nations. Well respected, Mr. Strom was a wonderful example to his colleagues.
Back home, the Strom family grew to include two children, Eric and Sarah. As a father Ed was fair, encouraging, easygoing, and the calm voice of reason. His kids said that he always showed up for them, and Sarah remembers him getting her ready for school each day, even doing her hair into ponytails! Around the house he was a handyman who built a screen porch and was able to fix things, perhaps because he could be meticulous. Always one to keep busy, Ed was also willing to help his wife in the garden. Together the family enjoyed traveling, and he was the one who usually planned the trips that always included some teachable moments. Over the years they traveled all across the country and even into Canada and Mexico, sometimes camping. Ed and Linda also traveled together without the children, but at times they brought other family members along. Over the years they took several trips to Europe and Mexico, and they took turns choosing destinations since they both loved seeing different places, exploring, and learning new things. With a lifelong love for golf, Ed had a great short game, made a tasty Irish Cream cordial, and could often be found reading history, non-fiction, or the Detroit Free Press, which he did on a daily basis. Ed enjoyed keeping up on current events and politics, and although he had his own opinions he wasn’t boisterous with them. Always active, he enjoyed running and ran several 5Ks with his daughter, and Ed also liked going to Tigers games. For years he enjoyed sailing whenever he could.
Later on, Ed continued to take each day as they came. He loved spending time with his grandchildren and was there to support his grandchildren as he had been with his own children. Present and loving, he was a wonderful role model for his grandchildren, too. He was never one to judge them, rather, he was there to guide them when needed since Ed was always so wise. As teaching changed and became more bureaucratic, he began teaching at Central Michigan University, starting out teaching methods classes for education students and eventually traveling the state to observe student teachers. Ed continued doing this until last spring when he was diagnosed with cancer since his health soon began limiting him. Soon after, he and Linda moved to Grand Rapids to be closer to his mother and her parents. Ed also volunteered reading with Schools of Hope at church.
Edward Strom III was such an amazing man to know and love. He was vibrant, fun-loving, wise, and the sort of person who could fit in anywhere. Ed enriched his life in so many ways, but nothing was better than sharing these things with the ones he loved most. Courageous and strong, he will never be forgotten.
Edward Blackburn Strom III, age 67 of Grand Rapids and formerly of Midland, passed away July 25, 2015. He was preceded in death by his father, Edward Blackburn Strom Jr., and his father-in-law and mother-in-law Hebert and Lois Dreyer. Ed is survived by his wife, Linda; children Eric (Nadia) Strom and Sarah Strom; grandchildren Haley, Zachary, Derrick, Victoria and Nicolas; mother, Millie Strom; sisters Martha (Richard) Tillstrom, Helen (Mark) Post; brother Richard (Irene) Strom; brother-in-law Steve (Pam) Dreyer; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins. The service to remember and celebrate Ed's life will be held on Saturday, August 1 at 12 Noon at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW in Grand Rapids where friends may visit with his family from 11 AM until the time of the service. For those who wish, memorial contributions to Trinity Reformed Church - Schools of Hope are appreciated. To read more about Ed's life, to share a memory or to sign his guestbook, visit www.lifestorynet.com