The Story Of

Robert Strege

by

Sarah Dawn Peterson

 

6th Grade 1995, Lancaster School, Lancaster,MN

 

Taking A Look Into The Past . . .

Robert Arthur Strege was born October 2, 1929. He is theson of Arthur and Emma Strege. Arthur and Emma are originally from Milbank,South Dakota and Ortonville, Minnesota. They moved to Kittson County afterthey were married, and shortly after moving here, had my Grandpa, Bob.

When Bob's Grandma died, his dad, Arthur, was only 9 monthsold. His grandpa, Herman Strege, needed somebody to take care of Arthurwhile he was working in the fields. He met a woman from Russia named Paulinewho was visiting relatives in the United States and they got married. WhenI interviewed my grandma, Clara Strege, who was my grandpa Bob's wife, shecommented on what a wonderful cook and all around wonderful person Paulinewas.

While growing up, Bob had to do a lot of hard work whichwas shared by his sister, Margaret, now known as Margaret Backstrom. Sheis happily married to Paul Backstrom and is living in Long Beach, California. He also had a sister, Elizabeth, who died at birth. He was the youngestof the three. Since he was growing up during the depression, the work washard, and the crops were few.

When he was 24, he married Clara Emma Stegman, daughterof Martha Kusmal Stegman and Reinhold Stegman. They had seven childrenby the names of Lorainne, Lorelei, Randall, Linda, Lynette, and Luellen. They are all still healthy and living. You can tell that they enjoy beingwith the family because they all live in Minnesota and North Dakota.

In 1945, at the age of 16, he became the youngest pilotin Minnesota. He bought his own plane, which was a JC Piper Cub. It wasa trainer, which means that there is a front seat and a back seat, and theyeach have a stick to drive the plane with. Sometimes, when my grandma andhim flew in the plane, she would drive the plane.

He, his brother-in-law Paul Backstrom, Floyd Arin, andhis father, Arthur, often went and hunted from the plane. The way theydid this was there was a door on the side of the plane that they openedand they leaned out and shot. They usually hunted coyotes and foxes.

Sometimes when a neighbor who had a cow had a calf andthey couldn't find it, they went and looked for it until they found it.

Also, he often shot bears that were being a nuisance tothe neighbors. The third bear that he shot was a very large bear. Afterhe shot it, he had to come home to get help to bring it home. So, theypiled all 7 kids into the car and went to get it. When they got there, everybodywas standing and looking at it when a breeze ruffled the fur and all ofthe kids thought it was still alive, so they turned around and ran the otherway. A few days later, they all had the neighbors over for a party anda bear roast.

He also hunted deer and was very successful at that, too. He was often called "one-shot Strege" when it came to his huntingskills.

My Grandpa Bob could not sing very well, but he alwaysloved to sing anyway. He had a loud voice and you could often hear himsinging when he was working in the fields.

Also, he would always like to surprise my Grandma by bringinghome a bouquet of flowers after working in the fields all day.

Another thing he always said was that he couldn't dance. My Grandma said that at their wedding dance he said, "I can't dance,I won't dance, and you can't make me dance!" She also said that oncehe started dancing, he was excellent at it, and he wouldn't sit down.

In 1983, the doctors discovered that he had cancer. Hedied November 9th, 1983, at the Hallock Hospital. He is buried at the RiverviewCemetery in Lancaster, Minnesota.

Source: Interview with Clara Strege on April 27, 1995

Source: Interview with Clara Strege on April 27, 1995