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Morris Strom's Life Story
- A Life of Service-
May 1, 1954 - October 1, 2023
Morris Dean Strom passed away on October 1, 2023. He will be missed by his family, friends and colleagues. He was a man of service, spreading "goodness" wherever he went and using his God given talents to help others in his work.
In honor of Morris and his life, you are invited to participate in the following events, whichever you would like to attend:
Viewing at Bixby-South Tulsa Funeral Services in the RiverCrest Chapel, Bixby, OK on Saturday, October 7, with Private Family Viewing, 1-2 pm and Public Viewing, 2-4 pm
Celebration of Life & Memorial Service on Sunday, October 8, 4:00 pm at All Souls Unitarian Church, Tulsa OK
Graveside Service at Zion Lutheran Church, outside of Perry, OK at 2:00 pm
Morris was born on May 1, 1954 in Lintz, Austria. His Dad, William Dean Strom was serving in the army as an officer and was stationed there, a long way from his hometown of Perry, OK. Morris's Mom was Mary Earline Strom from Eric, OK. Morris was his parent's first born child. Two years later he was joined by his sister Kaye. When they came back to OK, his Dad became a 4-H Extension agent. His mom taught school. The family lived in Beaver, OK for several years before settling into Morrison, OK.
Bill went back to college to finish his doctorate and Earline taught Home Ec. Morris had begun his time in the 4-H program showing livestock.
Morris continued to excel in the 4-H program and when he was at the end of his high school career he was President of the OK 4-H program, and eventually won national awards for his service project. This really was the start of Morris's life of service.
Morris met Tanna when they were in high school. They were high school sweethearts. They both were very active in sports and service projects.
They got married early when they were Oklahoma State University students. Morris held down three jobs as he worked his way through college. Morris worked at Readers Radio Shop, his first job in the communication field. He also had a job "milking cows" on a dairy farm. Tanna can still remember the fragrant aroma of cows when he would come home. Tanna worked on campus in the student loan department as a file clerk. Morris & Tanna also worked together at a Youth Center on the weekends as House Parents. Later, they developed a program together to serve underprivileged youth through the Exchange Program.
As college students, Morris & Tanna were members of the Church of Christ and were involved in a nursing home project.
Morris branched out into the real estate field for the next ten years or so and Tanna finished her Masters Degree in Family Relationships and Child Development. The first home they owned was a one bedroom cabin with a cool clawfoot tub. When they moved to Mannford, OK, Tanna was working in Tulsa as a Director of an Infant Crisis Center and Morris continued his real estate projects while serving in the Mannford community as a Volunteer Firefighter and on the Rural Water Board.
Then in 1982, along came baby # 1, Gabriel Dean Strom. Tanna chose to stay home with baby Gabriel while teaching a few classes. Morris began his transition to work in the communication field with cellular and two-way radio systems. He began volunteering in the YMCA programs - serving in high leadership positions. And then life became more full when baby number 2 came on the scene in 1987, Emilie Loraine Strom.
The years rolled by with Morris forming his own communications company. Tanna worked part time as a child development specialist when their children were in school. It was at that time that Morris turned his service work toward the school system. He served on his children's school board and held various positions to help with his children's school.
Life was busy - children active and parents involved. Between work and kids, time went by quickly. But Morris always made time to help others at his children's schools, help his employees with their struggles and really be there for his family and friends. Morris's priority was always his family and he would shift and make room for what his family needed. He was committed to being a parent who was really there for his children, all while keeping up with business to provide for the family.
When the kids left for college, the empty nest stage arrived. It was hard, but a time for the "lovebirds" to focus on their own relationship again. And the hard part of funding college education began. But it was with pride and satisfaction that this time frame evolved. Graduating a son into the world of aviation as a pilot and a daughter into human and organizational development. And later, MBA degrees for both Gabriel and Emilie. Morris was so proud of both of his children and encouraging to his wife as she opened a private practice as a therapist.
In this stage of life, Morris's company was developing and he formed a strong partnership with his friend and colleague Brad Toliver. They started Talk Radio, developing communication tower sites within OK and Missouri to improve communication services for many public entities. Morris also continued doing communications consulting and design. He always tried to find the best deals for his customers and was truly there for them in whatever way they needed
His own Morris Strom Enterprises company evolved into specialized service for public entities in OK and Missouri including law enforcement, firefighters, ambulance, emergency services, hospitals, school systems, etc. Morris had a very special skill set of being able to combine the old and newer technologies. He was never afraid of the ever-evolving technology, and on the other hand he did not hesitate to use older generations of communications systems to help reduce cost for customers.
He remained active in community service as Co-Presidents with Tanna of the Walnut Creek Neighborhood Association. They redid the bylaws and tried hard to make this a place of connection and safety. Morris used his natural leadership skills he developed throughout his life.
He loved watching his own children grow and develop in their young adult lives. He had a lovely blend of being protective while trying to honor their own decisions. After Emilie married Bryant and had their two children, Morris found a new very special place in his life, being "Granddad" to Holly (almost 4 years old) and Hannah (1 year old). He loved his grandchildren so very much. We know he still loves them and is watching over them along with all of his family. He was a "protector" by nature.
Morris loved both of his children Gabriel and Emilie. He found ways of making special connections and memories with both of them. In his young adult life Morris enjoyed flying planes. So when Gabriel became a pilot, they bonded over that shared interest. Both Emilie and Gabriel ended up with MBAs following in his footsteps of business and leadership. He would probably say his children are his greatest accomplishments. Tanna and Morris were very much in love with each other and tried hard to be there for each other in this hectic, fast-paced world in which we live.
Morris and Tanna often joked with each other that, at heart, they were just two country kids. Morris loved his country roots and loved the "little guy," buying from small, local groups when possible and giving jobs to those in need. He was a true gentleman and a man of service to his family, friends, and the community at large. He will be so missed by so many. Thank you for being a part of Morris's life. He treasured all of his relationships.
Donations to Mannford Fire Department - 100 Percent Volunteer
Morris loved helping those small, volunteer firefighter groups with their communication needs and in the past was a volunteer firefighter himself. He would love to know that we continued his legacy of service by passing on financial assistance to a volunteer firefighter group. So we have chosen the Mannford Fire Department, where Morris volunteered as a firefighter many years ago, as the recipient of any donations in memory of Morris.
Mannford Fire Department
PO Box Box 327
Mannford, OK 74044
Attention: Bob Evans, Fire Chief
Note on the check that it is in honor of Morris Strom.