‘If you would comfort me, sing me a lullaby; If you would win my heart, sing me a love song; If you would mourn me and bring me to God; Sing me a requiem, Sing me to heaven.” -Daniel Gawthorp
“In My Father’s House….” The Rev. Dr. Donald B. Strobe, Michigan Conference Retired Elder, entered into eternal life at the age of 92 years on November 20, 2020.
A supremely gifted preacher, teacher, church leader, scholar and counselor, his ministry was characterized by well-crafted, passionate, brilliant sermons; insightful teaching of depth and a perspective on life that was filled with passion for peace, justice, wit and joy.
Don’s pastorates in Michigan included Sr. Pastor positions at the First United Methodist churches in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Eaton Rapids. Upon his 1990 retirement, he joined the faculty of the Jerusalem Center for Biblical Studies where he spent the next 15 winters teaching laity and clergy, alternating between Jerusalem and Tiberias.
Don’s life was blessed by his 65-year marriage to his wife Kathleen who preceded him in death in 2015. Theirs was a true collaboration of love and ministry serving in the church and raising their children Carole and David. In the final chapters of his life, Don found new love, joy and purpose with Sara Ellison.
Don was born in Chicago on September 25, 1928 and was raised in Marshall, Michigan and Chicago. He received his bachelor’s degree from Albion College and his Master of Divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary on the campus of Northwestern University. Upon the completion of his 1969 book Faith Under Fire, Don was awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree from Albion College. He served both his seminary and his college as a member of their Boards of Trustees.
As his daughter, son and son-in-law are all United Methodist pastors, Don would often say, “Ministry doesn’t run in our family, it fairly gallops.” He is survived by his daughter, the Rev. Carole Strobe Lyman and son, the Rev. David R. Strobe. Carole’s family includes her husband the Rev. Frank Lyman, their children, F. Justin and Lindsay Kathleen as well as great-granddaughter Eliana. David’s family includes his wife Mary, sons Andrew (Samantha), Adam (Molly) and Ryan (Nicole) as well as Adam and Molly’s children Claire and Elliott.
Upon retirement, Don and Kathleen lived in Ludington, East Lansing and Grand Rapids, Michigan before moving to Regents Point in Irvine, California in 2010.
When the time is right, there will be a Memorial Service for Don at Regents Point and at First United Methodist Church in Ann Arbor with interment in the church Memorial Garden. Those considering memorials are invited to consider the Benevolence Fund of Regents Point Retirement Community, 19191 Harvard Ave., Irvine, California 92612, or the Memorial Garden Fund of the First United Methodist Church, 120 S. State St., Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.
On his final Sunday in Ann Arbor, Don chose “I Love to Tell the Story” as the final hymn. He did love to tell the story…and he did it very well. Ad Dei Gloriam!
Condolences can be sent to:
Rev. Carole Strobe Lyman
29543 Sea Horse Cv.
Laguna Niguel, California 92677
Rev. David R. Strobe
5930 Augusta Lane
Grand Blanc, Michigan 48439