October 7, 1922 – August 17, 2012
Our loving father and grandfather, Robert Henry "Balin' Wire Bob" Strack, went to be with his Lord on Friday, August 17, 2012 after battling Alzheimer's disease and pneumonia. He is once again with LaMerne, love of his life and wife of 57 years. Born in Osceola, SD on October 7, 1922, youngest of two boys, he lived his "formative years" in Milwaukee, WI and Sidney, MT. After serving in the Pacific Islands during WWll and being awarded two Purple Hearts, he returned to the sweetheart he had met in the church youth group. After marrying in Missoula, MT, they raised two children, moving from here to there, always seeking a better job, "for the kids". During this time "Balin' Wire Bob" was a country/-western music performer and radio disk jockey who had a coast-to-coast radio program and rightly earned the "Mr. D.J. USA" award in 1956. Last year he was inducted into the Western Swing Hall of Fame in recognition of the work he did both performing and spinning records, advancing his favorite Western-Swing music. Bob had a long list of endeavors to fill his life: beet farmer, cattle rancher, musician, song writer, radio disk jockey, actor, university graduate, teacher, fisherman, husband, father, grandfather. He and "Mernie" retired to Vancouver, WA, where he focused on giving care and support to his one true love through her long battle with health issues. After his wife's death, Bob moved to Everett, WA, where he lived out his days with his daughter and her family. Bob is survived by daughter, Susan Pellegrini and husband, Barry, of Everett, WA and son, Bob and wife, Joyce of Missoula, MT. He also leaves five beloved grandchildren (Lisa Hensley, Brian Strack, Debbie Herrington, Anthony Pellegrini and Laurie Prati), and 14 great-grandchildren, as well as many, many people around the country who have called him "friend". He was preceded in death by wife, LaMerne; and daughter, Patricia Annette. The ashes of Bob and LaMerne will be returned to his beloved Montana. A memorial service will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church in Marysville, on Saturday, August 25, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimer's research.
- Memorial Service Saturday, August 25, 2012
August 30, 2012
Learning about the passing of your beloved one I want to share with you these words from Charlie Louvin:
I still get fan mail from people who swear up down that the Louvin Brothers music saved their life. I doubt if God' will give us any credit for that though. I fear that we have to do more than write songs for the big reward, but it was nice to know that our songs helped a person or two.
Music is a very important art and I think it's nice to remember than any artist or record should make it without DJs support and radio broadcast."Balin' Wire Bob" was familiar to me through his KWKH radio, Shreveport - La, and Country and Western Jamboree magazine association in 1954/1955.Moving from KTEM (Temple – Texas), he hosted the KWKH (Shreveport - Louisiana) "Red River Roundup" show after Jim Reeves' departure for Nashville playing on air Hillbilly records and having as guests many of the great names of the time. On the roll call were Eddy Arnold, Jimmy Newman, Werley Fairburn, Jim Reeves, Johnny Horton,Elvis Presley but also some other famous DJs like Tom Perryman from Gladewater.
If some think once the radio being switch off, everthing is lost and forgotten, they are pretty wrong. You have it the living proof than entertaining folk may bring your name over the oceans and through decades. Robert Strack will be remembered by many of us for its contribution to the Hillbilly music and as a talented man.
August 26, 2012
Great-Uncle Bob, you will always be in our hearts, minds, and prayers. We miss you and are glad that you are home again with LaMerne... Best wishes and love from Brian, Anne, Austin, Joel, and Owen
August 26, 2012
Fond memories of Uncle Bob, especially singing "The Auctioneer".
Another one of those living from here and there.
Love from Dorothy Ann Strack-Hankey
Robert & Wanda Strack
August 24, 2012
You will always live in our hearts and prayers.