John Charles Strom was born January 25, 1975, to John Anders Strom and Lynne Tippetts Strom. On March 16, 2021, Charlie passed away peacefully in his home.
Charlie’s older sister, Lisa, pretty much had her nose out of joint when he was born but soon accepted and loved him as her little brother. Charlie and Lisa remained very close for the remainder of his life.
Many believe Charlie was raised in Cowley when, actually, he spent the first 13 years of his life at the Cowley Wash. Many stories could be told about the wash and Charlie. One-time Lynne came home from work and couldn’t find Charlie anywhere. When he came home, Lynne chewed him out for being gone and not leaving a note. Charlie said, “I left you a note.” Lynne asked, “Where it is?” Charlie picked up a piece of white paper and said, “Here it is.” Lynne said, “There is nothing on it.” Charlie said, “I couldn’t find a pencil, so I used Elmer’s glue.”
Another time Lynne came home, and all her patio furniture pads were lying on the lawn. Upon closer inspection, they had rips all over them. Come to find out, Charlie and his buddies had used the cushions to go through the culvert at the wash.
Charlie was quite popular with his friends in elementary school. It was probably because he had an account at the Cowley Mercantile. When Lynne got a bill for more than $100, Charlie’s account was audited. The fact that he had charged cat food when they didn’t even have a cat led Lynne to believe he was buying for his friends. Charlie had a memorable youth, to say the least.
Charlie attended Cowley Elementary and Rocky Mountain Jr. High and Rocky Mountain High School in Byron. He loved being a Grizz. Charlie had the honor of being a part of Rocky Mountain High School’s first state championship football team in 1993. He also had the misfortune of being on the bottom of the huddle after the pile-on. Coaches had to take his football jersey and pads off to give him some air. If any of you remember the picture of the team, that is why Charlie is wearing a denim jacket and no shirt.
In Charlie’s early adulthood, he loved doing things with his buddies. He loved going to hunting camp, helping out with branding cows, going four-wheeling and being outdoors.
Charlie loved working for his dad. From a young age, he learned the value of being a hard worker. After high school, Charlie went to work at American Colloid. He worked as the bulk loader for many years. He then moved to the field lab and, eventually, became the field lab manager, a job he enjoyed and took pride in. Charlie was a very hard worker and put in many extra hours to ensure the job was done thoroughly and to the best of his ability. In June of 2019, he had to discontinue working, as his health had gotten significantly worse.
In 2004, Charlie and Jodi Tirrell had randomly bumped into each other on her birthday, and they immediately began dating. On May 15, 2004, Charlie and Jodi were married in Lovell. Charlie got a double bonus marrying Jodi, getting to be a dad to Jodi’s son, Daniel. Daniel and Charlie’s son, Joseph, became fast friends and brothers. Charlie and Jodi were also blessed to have two additional sons, Connor and Halen.
Charlie loved to spend time with his boys. He loved to watch Joseph and Daniel play baseball and football. Charlie looked forward to the long road trips to watch Daniel’s away football games. One of Daniel’s favorite memories of his dad was learning to drive while exploring the dirt roads all over the Big Horn Basin.
Connor said his favorite memory with his dad is listening to the many stories he told and his jokes and humor. Halen’s favorite memory was when his dad would take them four-wheeling behind Cowley, especially when he took them to Split Rock and the long trips up the Pryor Mountains. Charlie loved Joseph so much and was devastated when he passed.
Charlie was a very entertaining and gifted writer; he had a way with words. If you were friends with him on Facebook, you know he did not write many quick comments. He wrote with humor, wit and long-windedness. When he sent texts, you had to scroll to read the entirety of the message. One of Charlie’s last Facebook posts was about the love for his wife, Jodi.
Charlie was so kindhearted and patient. He loved his little granddaughter, Lindsay, and she loved him. He would rub her head every time he walked by her, and she would giggle and run.
As Charlie struggled with his health the past few years, he always maintained a positive and hopeful attitude. He fought a good fight and never gave up. He was so very, very loved.
Charlie leaves behind his wife, Jodi; sons Daniel (Aubrie), Connor and Halen; one granddaughter, Lindsay, and a grandson on the way; mother Lynne; sister Lisa; many aunts, uncles and nephews; and so, so many good friends.
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