Perry Strombeck


Perry Lee Strombeck died peacefully at home Sunday, October 31, 2021.

Perry was born July 16, 1939 in Mt. Vernon, SD to Perry Francis and Ann Strombeck. His father died when Perry was eight years old. He lived in Mt. Vernon and graduated from high school where he made quite a name for himself running track. Perry went to Yankton College on a track scholarship and continued to be quite successful in the quarter mile and relay events. He met his future wife, Gretchen Jamison, early in his sophomore year. After his junior year, Perry and Gretchen married August 6, 1960. Upon graduation, Perry began teaching and coaching at a junior high school in Yankton. Their first son was born in August of 1961. While his wife and baby were still in the Yankton hospital, Perry’s Guard Unit (the 115th Signal Corp) was activated to prepare for the “Cuban Missile Crisis.” The first week of October 1961 the convoy left Yankton for Ft. Riley, KS to start their training. Many families moved with the unit, including his own.

Perry and his family returned to Yankton in the fall of 1962. Gretchen started teaching school at that time and early in that year decided that Perry needed to have a better paying job. She responded to an ad she had seen in the paper, used his credentials, signed his name, and scheduled a personal interview. The rest is history.

Perry spent the next 32 years with the New York Life Insurance Company, first as an agent, then going into management where he was responsible for hiring and training new agents. During his career he was the managing partner for the Lincoln, Oklahoma City, Ft. Worth, and Omaha offices. He and Gretchen retired in 1994 and moved to their summer home in the Black Hills. It was at this time they began to develop and manage motels. Their interests included horses, mules, Cowboy Mounted Shooting, international travel, hunting, politics, friends, family, and their church.

Perry is survived by his wife of 61 years, Gretchen. His four children: Perry Jamison Strombeck (Dora) McCook, Valerie Lunka (Mike) Denver, Clay Strombeck Rapid City, Corey Strombeck Lincoln and his sister, Marlys Schmitz Aberdeen. Perry has four grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life will be held at a later date. The family wishes to designate memorials to the Keystone Congregational Church, PO Box 462, Keystone, SD 57751. Kirk Funeral Home is handling arrangements.