Jacksonville Daily Progress
Mr. Ralph Irvin “Butch” Strain passed away on Friday afternoon in St. James Healthcare in Butte, Mont. Butch was born on July 3, 1948, in Larned, Kan., the son of Willis J. and Sarah “Dolly” A. (Murphy) Strain.
Butch was educated in Larned, Kan., attending Phinney Elementary School and graduating from Larned High School. During high school Butch was an outstanding athlete. He excelled at football, once kicking a 52 yard field goal. His athletic ability earned him scholarship offers, but education had to wait because life was calling. He worked in construction for 17 years, before returning to college at Northern Oklahoma College in Tonkawa, Okla., where he earned his degree in nursing. He worked as an E.R. nurse in Oklahoma and Butte, before joining the staff at the office of Dr. Neal Rogers. While working with Neal, he began practicing NAET, a form of accupressure. Butch retired from Dr. Rogers office, but continued to practice NAET until 2010.
Following the death of his first wife, Sally, and his wife, Peggy, Butch married Vicky L. Knoepke, on July 27, 1991, in Butte. They remained faithful companions until the time of his death.
In addition to his talents in track and football in high school, Butch enjoyed softball and skiing. He took advantage of the hunting and fishing opportunities that Montana has to offer. Butch especially loved hunting pheasant in Kansas … never returning home empty handed. He was also an avid golfer, with a handicap between 3 and 7 for most of his life. He also served on the Board of Directors at the Butte Country Club.
In addition to his former wives, Butch was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Roy and Dennis Strain; his brother-in-law, Danny Jennings; and his sister-in-law, Carol Knoepke. He is survived by his loving wife, Vicky; his son, Troy Jason Strain of Ponca City, Oklahoma; his sisters, Brenda Perez, of Larned, Kan., and Marie Jennings of New Summerfield; his brother and sister-in-law, Jim and Dawn Strain, also of Ponca City, Okla., sister-in-law Donna Strain Schlotzhauer, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Betty Knoepke, father-in-law, Bob Knoepke and his wife, Ginger; brother-in-law, John Knoepke; and Sally's parents, Mac and Dale Cramer from Clay Center, Kan.
Friends are asked to join the family on Thursday after 10 a.m. in the Duggan Dolan Mortuary Chapel in Butte, Mont. Funeral services will be conducted at 11 a.m., with interment of ashes to take at a later date. Memorials are suggested to Pintlar Pets, the Albert Angel Fund, or the charity of the donor’s choice.