Remembering Kathy Strum and her service to Nevada

Staff Writer
Nevada Journal

To the editor:

On Monday evening, a large group of people gathered at Memorial Lutheran Church to say farewell to Kathy Strum. She died on Dec. 23 after a long struggle with cancer. Since it wasn’t mentioned during her service, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on Kathy’s dedication and service to Nevada.

Kathy served on the City Council as representative of Ward 1 for seven years. I was privileged to serve with her during my four years as mayor. She was a rock of common sense and financial wisdom. Because of her training as a CPA, she understood the byzantine world of governmental numbers and budgeting. I learned to rely on her for clarity and reason.

She believed in Nevada and worked hard to make good choices when it came to spending money. She evaluated every project on its merits and made decisions with the best interest of the city foremost in her mind. Perhaps her greatest legacy is Gates Hall.

When I entered office in 1998, Gates Hall was a rundown shamble. Kathy was the driving force in proposing and overseeing the reconstruction of that wonderful facility. She understood what a gift Gates was to Nevada and wanted it to endure as a symbol of community pride. It has been 15 years since the rebuilding was completed, and every time I walk into Gates, I feel Kathy’s firm gentle hand protecting our community’s gathering place.

She was also instrumental in the design and building of Fawcett Park and our beautiful pool. Likewise, she had a hand in the downtown sidewalks and helping to attract new businesses to Nevada. Perhaps her greatest contribution to the city was her iron will that each and every dollar spent went to something of value to the people of our city.

On a personal note, allow me to say that I considered Kathy and her husband Stan to be good friends. They were married for a half-century and as inseparable a pair as you can imagine. Together they raised a houseful of great kids, who are now all adults and shining examples of their parents’ love and devotion. Kathy was an intelligent, confident and personable woman, who had a quiet strength and a warm smile for everyone who met her. She will be truly missed. RIP Kathy – and thank you.

Andrew Murphy