March 23, 2020
Strantz, Merlin LaVerne “Verne”, 92, passed away peacefully on March 23, 2020 in Kelowna, B.C. surrounded by his family. Verne grew up in Canton, Illinois where he was part of a large family of aunts, uncles and cousins. Ancestors of his mother (Hattie Mae Eveland) were among the first settlers in Illinois, and his father (Bertand B. Strantz) and grandfather were recipients of the Carnegie Medal for heroism.
Verne earned a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Geology (Monmouth College, 1948 and Iowa State University, 1950). He worked for the Illinois State Geological Survey until volunteering and serving with the U.S. Army during the time of the Korean War. His service included two years in the Philippines with the 29th Topographic Battalion.
In 1953, Verne joined Texaco Exploration Company in Calgary. There he met Lois Lane, another young petroleum exploration geologist. Lois and Verne were married January 14, 1955 and had two daughters. To celebrate Canada’s centennial anniversary in 1967, Verne became a Canadian citizen. His career in Canada included positions at Canadian Homestead Oils Limited (1969-1980) and Kerr-McGee Corp. (1980-1989).
Verne liked to be physically and mentally active. Once retired, he designed and built two homes in the beautiful Okanagan Valley, and served on Kelowna’s Planning Commission for three years. He also enjoyed landscaping and gardening, woodworking, fishing, archiving family history, and following world events. Service to others was an integral part of Verne’s life. He could fix anything, even a broken heart. He took time to stay connected to a large circle of friends and family, and quietly mentored many people, including his two grandchildren who loved him dearly. Verne appreciated beautiful music and often filled our home with it. Our memories of him playing the piano will forever be among the sweetest.
Verne was a loving son, a loyal and devoted husband, and a wise and caring father and grandfather. Forever thankful for his life, but mourning his loss, are his wife of 65 years, Lois; his daughter Susan Lyness (Lucien) and granddaughter Claire Lyness; and his daughter Nancy Strantz (Shane Dye) and grandson David Strantz Dye. Arrangements pending.
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