We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Williamsfield
WILLIAMSFIELD - R. Patrick Strom, 87, of Williamsfield, IL, passed away peacefully on his farm on May 21, 2022 surrounded by family after a courageous battle with Parkinson’s.
Pat was born to Ross and Irene Strom on March 6th, 1935. The family were coal miners and farmers near Victoria, IL. He attended one-room country schools along with his younger brother Bob. Pat graduated from Williamsfield High School in 1953 and enlisted in the Marines immediately after. In 1956, he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Leah Dykeman. Together they carved out a farming life and raised four children, Mike, Doug, Rhonda and Lee.
Along with Bob (and wife Edna), Pat and Leah founded the Seldom Rest Farm. Aptly named, the farm business grew and included row crops, livestock, and a dairy. In the 80’s the brothers branched out to run their own farms. Pat and Leah established Strom Farms and expanded the family farm to include Mike and Doug with a focus on row crops, hay, outdoor hogs and beef cattle. Doug’s family has grown the operation to its 4th generation.
Pat was a true son of the prairie with a staunch work ethic. In his childhood, he worked with the last of the draft horse farming equipment before being replaced with tractors. He loved his rural upbringing and always knew he wanted to work the soil. The Korean War draft meant a four-year ‘break’ in the Marines, and he returned to farming in 1957. He was known for hiring many young adults to help with farm upkeep, working livestock, walking beans and baling hay -- it was hard work, yet there was the added reward of Leah’s home-cooked noon dinners and late afternoon field treats. He kept active as a beef farmer until he was 80 and helped bring in the crop harvest just 18 months ago. He was known for sharing his sweet corn with personal delivery to neighbors and family (thru last year’s crop). He maintained his willpower throughout life -- mowing the yard (with military precision) and playing cards (pitch) with family in his last days.
Pat was known for his kindness, honesty, and fairness to all. He was a lifelong outdoorsman and enjoyed country music, Westerns, rodeo, farm equipment shows and supporting FFA and 4-H. He rode the pastures as a skilled horseman to check on his cattle until four-wheelers came along. He taught his kids the value of hard work and there was a new chore list placed on the bench each morning. He and Leah visited all 50 states and spent generous time on the West Coast with Rhonda and Lee’s families. With his grandkids and great grandchildren, he was known for his practical jokes, light-hearted teasing and ‘country sayings’ that couldn’t help but make you smile.
Pat is preceded in death by his parents, brother and daughter-in-law Julie (Mike). He is survived by his wife of 65 years and his four children. He leaves behind a son-in-law Barry (Rhonda); daughters-in-law Marsha (Doug) and Andrea (Lee); nine grandchildren Joanie (Jeff) Stiers, Grant (Kristen) Strom, Angela (Tyler) Snow, Tabitha Beardsley, Cody (Brittany) Strom, Emily (John) Gilbert, Sherene (Scott) Brouwer, Clayton Strom and Bijan Sonboli; and 14 great grandchildren, Sidney, Trent, Gavin, Layla, Georgia, Noah, Wayne, Aubrey, Mason, River, Milo, Leo, Seth, and Shawn; as well as numerous and well-loved nieces, nephews, extended family and community.
All services are on Saturday, May 28th in Williamsfield. Visitation is from 8:00-10:00am at Rux Funeral Home and will conclude with a memorial service, to be followed by a procession to Williamsfield Cemetery for graveside burial rites with military honors accorded by the Williamsfield American Legion. Beginning at noon the family will host a celebration of life at the Legion Hall. Memorials can be made to the Williamsfield FFA Alumni & Friends.