Official Obituary of

Gary Strater

October 3, 1941 ~ March 11, 2024 (age 82) 82 Years Old

Gary Strater Obituary

Gary Lee Strater, age 82, a cherished member of the Cree Lake community and a beloved father, husband, and friend, passed away surrounded by his loved ones. Gary was born and raised in Kendallville, Indiana, and had the unique distinction of having lived on all four sides of Cree Lake since he was five years old. This lake was not just his home but a central part of his life's work and enjoyment.

A lifetime resident of Kendallville, Gary was born on October 3, 1941 to Donald L. Strater and Kathryn Lucille (Reade) Strater Ligman. His father preceded him in death on October 28, 1972 and his mother survives him in Kendallville. Gary graduated from Kendallville High School in 1960 and continued working construction alongside his father and grandfather. In 1972, Gary took over the reins of Donald L. Strater, Inc. where he owned and operated the construction company for another 40 plus years. He married Nancy Jo Stienbarger on July 15, 1961 at Mitchell Street Methodist Church in Kendallville. 

Gary's passion for building was evident from a young age, and throughout his younger years, he crafted many of the houses that now surround Cree Lake. His work not only showcased his skill and dedication but also his deep love for the community he helped build and shape. These homes stand as a testament to Gary and his family’s legacy, each one a piece of the history and heart of Cree Lake. Gary's professional life was marked by his leadership in Donald L. Strater, Inc., a family-owned business that he ran with his grandfather, father, and later his brother and son.

An avid racing enthusiast, Gary was the host of the much-loved Straterdaga, a gathering that became a hallmark event for fellow racing fans. It was at these gatherings that Gary's generosity, warmth, and infectious enthusiasm for life shone brightest. Friends, family, and fellow enthusiasts came together in a celebration of shared passions, creating memories that would last a lifetime.

Above all, Gary was a man who deeply valued his relationships with family and friends. He was known for his kind heart, his unwavering support, and his appreciation for the people in his life.

Gary leaves behind a community enriched by his contributions, a family inspired by his love, and a legacy that will endure in the hearts of all who knew him. He will be deeply missed but forever remembered as a man who lived his life with passion, generosity, and a deep appreciation for the beauty of connection.

In honoring Gary's memory, his family and friends will continue to cherish the moments they shared and the lessons he taught through his example. Gary was inspired to teach others, as his father had done with him. His spirit will remain a guiding light, encouraging us all to live fully, love deeply, and appreciate the preciousness of each day.

Survivors include:
Wife, Nancy Strater of Kendallville.
Daughter, Chris Strater and her partner, Charla Rosenberry both of Aurora, Colorado.
Son, Scott and Belinda Strater of Kendallville.
Daughter, Kim and Joe Schroeder of Kendallville.
Grandchildren: Stacey Kay Strater, Jessica Schroeder, and Samantha Schroeder.
Mother, Kathryn Strater Ligman of Kendallville.
Brother, Craig "Herm" Strater of Kendallville.
Step-brother, David and Teena Ligman of Bedford, Indiana.
Step-brother, Richard Ligman of Cicero, Indiana. 
Step-sister, Karen and Denny Jordan of LaOtto.
Step-sister, Lois and Blaine Williamson of Kendallville.
Niece, Deedra and Pat Schoudel of Rome City.
Niece, Linda and Charlie Dickson of Rome City.
Nephew, John Hall, Jr. of Kendallville.
Brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jerry and Diann Stienbarger of Kendallville.
Sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Pam and Doug Younce of Kendallville.                                                                           Sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Bonnie and John Hall of Kendallville
Gary was preceded in death by his father, Donald Strater and grandson, Cody Reade Strater.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, March 13, 2024 from 3:00 - 7:00 PM at Hite Funeral Home.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 14, 2024 at 11:00 AM at Hite Funeral Home with Pastor Mike Antal officiating.

Burial will follow at South Milford Cemetery.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gary Strater, please visit our floral store.

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Funeral Service
March 14, 2024

11:00 AM
Hite Funeral Home
403 South Main Street
Kendallville, Indiana 46755


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