Billie Jean (Miller) Strom died peacefully at home and surrounded by family on July 30, 2020. She was called Billie by her childhood friends, Jellybean by those who teased, Jeamie by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Mrs. Strom by her students, and Jean by everyone else. She was serious reader, a journaler extraordinaire, an average bridge player, brilliant at blackjack. She loved trailering, late-night campfires and tomato beer. She delighted in the challenges of the classroom. She was a dedicated fan of Nebraska football and was fascinated by the financial and political worlds. She was a tender, loving caregiver for her husband and for her parents.
Jean was born on April 19, 1928 to Dr. William Timothy and Esther Elizabeth (Monroe) Miller in Columbia, Missouri. She married Arthur Lee Strom in Martin, South Dakota in 1946 and they had one son, Bruce Lynn.
Jean grew up in the small college town of Peru, Nebraska, where everyone knew everyone. She attended Chadron Prep School, Chadron, Nebraska graduating valedictorian in 1946. She was graduated, magna cum laude, from Nebraska State Teachers College, Chadron, Nebraska in 1950 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, majoring in Vocal Music and English. She did graduate work at the University of Nebraska and the University of Iowa.
Jean’s teaching career spanned 43 years, first teaching in Unadilla and Eagle while her husband completed his degree at the University of Nebraska. The two of them taught in Lewiston, David City and Madison, Nebraska and in Des Plains, Illinois. They moved to Glenwood in 1961 where Lee served as high school principal and Jean taught sophomore English until her retirement in 1993.
She held memberships, past and present, in a number of clubs and organizations: Cardinal Key National Honor Society, Zeta Alpha Sorority, Omaha Symphonic Chorus, Delta Kappa Gamma (vice president), P.E.O. Chapter FF, United Methodist Women, Glenwood Educational Association (president 1962-1963), Iowa State Educational Association, National Education Association (life member), North Central Association Steering Committee, Friends of the Library, Brown Bag Book Club, Heritage Club and WIGS and MONI Investment Clubs (chairman). Jean was awarded a Regents Scholarship and Tuition Fellowship at the University of Nebraska. She attended the Grace United Methodist Church in Glenwood.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Lee, in 1991, her parents, Bill and Esther, in 1992, and her special friend, Pete Boughn in 2006. She is survived by her son, Dr. Bruce Strom and wife Kirstin, Waukesha, Wisconsin; grandson, William (Bill) Strom and wife Sarah Weiss, great granddaughter Hazel Evva Weiss Strom and great grandson Henry Malcolm Weiss Strom, Chicago, Illinois; granddaughter Sharon Claire Strom and partner James Arnall, London, England; sister Lois Crane, Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; nephews Mark Zanger and special friend Julianne Frederickson, Fairfield, Iowa; Reed Zanger, Iowa City, Iowa; Rob Zanger and wife Joan and their sons Thomas Zanger and Matthew Zanger, Vienna, Virginia; niece Susan Crane, Iowa City, Iowa; step-niece Betsy Crane, Newburgh, New York and a number of Strom family members throughout the United States.
At a later date, all of Jean’s friends, neighbors, former students, former colleagues, bridge partners and traveling companions are invited to a memorial visitation and celebration of life with her family. Jean’s family looks forward to a time when we can all safely come together, visit, laugh, remember and be joyful!
Memorials may be directed to the Open Door Mission in Omaha, Nebraska, the Bloom Senior Center in Glenwood, Iowa or to the charity of your choice.
Interment, Glenwood Cemetery, Glenwood, Iowa.