Cover photo for James Strayer's Obituary
James Strayer Profile Photo

James Strayer

October 8, 1949 — June 20, 2024

James Strayer

Jim Strayer died at his home in Littleton, Colorado, on June 20th, 2024. He is the son of Marge and Ernie Strayer formerly of Fairbury NE. Both preceded him in death.

Strayer graduated from Fairbury High School in 1967 and Fairbury Junior College in 1969. He was an avid Boy Scout, receiving his Eagle Scout award in 1967.

Jim married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Kay (Roskilly) Strayer on October 30th, 1970. They enjoyed 53 years and 7 months of marriage and credited their long union to laughter, adventure, and a deep love for their children and family.

While attending Fairbury Junior College he worked for the Fairbury Journal-News for two years as a photographer and printing assistant. In 1969 he transferred to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He also worked part-time for the Nebraska Department of Economic Development as a writer and photographer.

Strayer joined the United States Marines Corps on June 15, 1970. After completing boot camp and Marine combat training, he was assigned to serve as a military journalist after graduating from the Department of Defense Information School. He was assigned as the public affairs NCO for Marine Air Reserve Training Detachment, Memphis, TN until his release from active duty on June 1, 1973.

Strayer returned to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he completed his bachelor's degree in journalism in May 1974 and a master's degree in 1987.

He was editor of The Albion News for a year and The Wayne Herald for two and one-half years during which time he won numerous awards in state newspaper competitions.

Strayer joined Central Community College in 1977, initially as Columbus Campus public information officer and eventually as marketing and public relations director for the CCC system, which also includes campuses at Grand Island and Hastings and centers at Holdrege, Kearney and Lexington.

During his 34-year community college career, Strayer served for five years as a district and national board member for the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations, a professional development organization for community college public relations and marketing employees.

His dream of a family came to joyous fruition on February 9th, 1981 when Jim and Kay welcomed the arrival of their son Matthew, and again on August 22nd, 1984 with the arrival of their second child, Darcy. The family settled in Aurora, NE where they spent 33 years. 

He loved reading and playing chess. He was passionate about civil rights and especially free speech and journalistic integrity. He most loved his family and spending time telling stories and sharing uproarious laughter with others. He was known as a kind soul who adored children and spent many years participating in his childrens’ activities and being “dad” to many. 

Strayer was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Linda Sand (Don) of Lincoln, brother Kerry Strayer (Gaylen) of Kansas City and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Strayer was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Linda Sand (Don) of Lincoln, brother Kerry Strayer (Gaylen) of Kansas City and several aunts, uncles and cousins.Survivors left to cherish his memory and continue his legacy include his wife of 53 years, Kay (Roskilly), Littleton, Colorado, son Matt Strayer and daughter-in-law Manon Strayer of Litteton, Colorado, daughter Darcy Strayer and son-in law Jack Ehlers, Richmond, Virginia; mother-in-law Virginia Roskilly of Fairbury, Nebraska; Grandchildren Zander Stromer and Jillian Stromer of Aurora, Nebraska, and aunt Ruth Greenwood of Waukesha, Wisconsin and several cousins and numerous treasured nieces and nephews.

Memorial services are being arranged in the Grand Island/Aurora NE area, with place and date to be determined. Condolences can be sent to KayStrayer73@gmail.com. Donations in Jim’s memory may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union or the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

Please share memories of Jim and condolences with his family by signing the online guestbook below. 

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