---- — EDDYVILLE — Carolyn Sherry Strasko, 75, of Eddyville, passed away June 20, 2013 at Hospice Serenity House in Oskaloosa.
Sherry was born Feb. 25, 1938, the eldest daughter of Neal and Verna (Brunk) Downing, in Ottumwa. She grew up in Ottumwa and enjoyed orchestra and choir in high school. She was united in marriage to Stephen M. Strasko in 1956 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Albia. They celebrated over 57 happy and blessed years together.
Sherry was very involved and supportive of her children’s activities including religious education, sports, dance, music and 4-H. She served on the Wapello County 4-H Committee and also the school PTA, in which she was a past president. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Ottumwa, and later St. Mary’s in Albia after moving to the farm in 1979, and a member of the St. Mary’s Altar and Rosary Societies. She loved flowers and knew all their names. She and Steve enjoyed Iowa Hawkeye football and held season tickets for several years. They loved traveling to bowl games and visiting cathedrals, grottos and other fun stops along their route. Sherry loved cooking for her family, decorating for holidays and having her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren visit.
Sherry was a stay-at-home mother for many years. She was later a tax preparer at H&R Block and managed a Cencor tax business in Ottumwa. In 1974, she began working at John Deere Ottumwa Works, retiring in 1994.
Left to cherish Sherry’s memory is her husband, Steve; eight children, Shelley (Mark) Bettis of Albia, Kathy (Rob) Reed of Ottumwa, John (Donna) Strasko of Albia, Teresa (Rick) Simpson of Eddyville, Jim Strasko of Eddyville, Patty (Larry) Clark of Albia, Lisa (Matt) Heintschel of Escondido, Calif., and Linda (Mark) Lunsford of Eddyville; and 31 grandchildren, Jon, Cory, and Alicia Bettis, Bobbi Jo, Ryan (Ashley) and Tyler Reed, Tiffany (Zach) Tremmel, Amy, Michael, Kim (Josh) Samson, and Suzanna Strasko, Melissa (Toby) Nicholson, Mike Simpson, Travis (Kelly) Simpson, and Kristin (Brian) Kool, Jami (Jeff) Hirsch, Stephanie (Josh) Hagen, Steven, and Nicole Strasko, Jessica, Carolyn, Sarah, Curtis, and Janelle Clark, Matthew Jr., Luke, John, Marc and Peter Heintschel, and Blake and Brooke Lunsford. She is also survived by 15 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Jewell (Gene) Gray and Linda (Jack) Graham, both of Ottumwa; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents and a great-granddaughter.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Albia; Fr. Michael E. Volkmer, C.PP.S. officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Albia.
Visitation will open at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Tharp Funeral Home in Albia with Sherry’s family present from 6-8 p.m. A rosary will be led by St. Mary’s Altar and Rosary Society at 4 p.m., and a Christian wake service will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Albia.
Condolences may be left for the family at www.tharpfh.com.