Wayne Reneker Strait, a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away peacefully on April 30, 2023, in Keosauqua, IA. Born on March 10, 1932, near Kilbourne, IA, Wayne was a friendly, selfless, and dedicated man who touched the lives of many throughout his 91 years.
Wayne was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Strait and was raised in the Keosauqua area on the family farm. He attended Keosauqua High School, where he was an active member of the community and graduated with the class of 1949. After high school, Wayne worked at the Keosauqua Creamery for a few years before joining the United States Navy. It was during his time in the Navy that he met Emma Gerloff in Corpus Christi, TX. The couple married and had three children: Kathleen, Louise, and Mary. The family lived in St. Charles, MO, where Wayne worked as an airplane mechanic at McDonald-Douglas for several years before moving back to Iowa in 1973. Emma and Wayne later divorced.
Upon returning to Iowa, Wayne began farming and worked at Barker’s in Keosauqua as well as Armour Dial in Ft. Madison until he retired. It was during this time that he met Myrtle Conlee, and the two were later married, sharing a loving and devoted partnership for almost 40 years. Wayne was also a proud stepfather to Myrtle’s four children: Bob, Kathy, Mark, and Dan.
Wayne was a man of many interests and passions. He was an avid collector of guns and enjoyed hunting in his spare time. Farming was in his blood, and he was proud to carry on the tradition of working the land. He was an active member of the Keosauqua Lions Club and the Keosauqua American Legion Beer-Barker Post No. 113, as well as the Van Buren Historical Society. Wayne was a lifelong member of the Keosauqua United Methodist Church, where he served as a trustee and was always willing to lend a helping hand.
Family was at the heart of Wayne’s life, and he was a loving and devoted father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Myrtle Strait; daughters, Louise Brown (Tracy Simmerman) and Mary (Ben) Parish; four grandchildren, Lindsay Brown (Brandon Garner), Peri Brown, Wendy (Joel) Konen, and Curtis Parish; and four great-grandchildren, April, Keithan, Josiah, and Jensen. Wayne also leaves behind a large and loving extended family, including four stepchildren, Bob (Terri) Conlee, Kathy Kyle, Mark (Linda) Conlee, and Dan (Karla) Conlee; eight step-grandchildren, Will (Amy) Conlee, Rob (Holly) Conlee, Laura (Rob) Russell, Michelle (Dave) Giese, Jessica (Dave) Newton, Jamie Wreiden, and Cody Conlee; eighteen step-great-grandchildren, and eight step-great-great-grandchildren.
Wayne was predeceased by his parents; his daughter, Kathleen Strait; his son-in-law, Keith Brown; and two step-great-great-grandchildren.
In his 91 years, Wayne Reneker Strait lived a life full of love, laughter, and service to others. He will be remembered as a friendly, honest, and caring man who always put the needs of others before his own. His memory will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved him.
Funeral Services will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at the Keosauqua United Methodist Church with Pastor Mary Kathryn Hart officiating. Burial with be in the Zion Church Cemetery near Douds immediately following. Visitation will be held beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 5, 2023, at the Pedrick Funeral Home in Keosauqua with the family present to greet friends from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the American Legion Beer-Barker Post 113- Keosauqua, or the Keosauqua Lions Club in Wayne’s memory. Friends may leave online condolences at www.cranstonfamilyfuneralhome.com.