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Bill Strizich

March 18, 1949 July 24, 2020
Bill Strizich
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Obituary for Bill Strizich

A good friend of mine, Bill Strizich, left this life last Friday morning. People who knew him will tell you he was smart, compassionate, witty, talented, and all in all a good human. He began life in Great Falls in March 1949, the first son of August “Gus” Strizich and Leona “Dolly” (Knowles) Strizich. He spent his early life in Black Eagle and attended elementary school there. He went on to attend both Great Falls High School and C.M. Russell High School graduating from CMR in 1967. Bill attended Montana State University, initially to study chemistry, and eventually graduated with a degree in sociology and criminal justice. In college, where he met his wife, Jeanne, he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Their son, Stephen John, was born in Bozeman in May of 1971. After graduating, Bill went on to a successful career working for the Montana Board of Crime Control, and then working as a juvenile probation officer in Great Falls.

In 1980, he went into business with his brother, opening one of the first computer stores in Montana, called Montana Micro Computers, located in Great Falls. In the late 1980’s, he entered politics, running for the state House of Representatives and served in that capacity until he was termed out. He was appointed by the President to serve as the United States Marshal for the District of Montana, leaving that job when President Bill Clinton finished his last term.

He later opened an art gallery and framing shop with his partner, Lori Fay, which he ran continually until becoming too sick to continue. During that time, he worked as a driver for rail crews and eventually as a Union representative for the American Steel Workers. Through that time, he remained active as a leader in public service serving on the board of directors for the Montana Civil Liberties Union, and as a leader in the Montana Democratic party and other organizations dedicated to serving the community. He continued to believe passionately that the public good is served by members of the community, working as leaders and representatives in government. He supported that cause by serving as chair of the Cascade County Montana Democratic Central committee and then as an officer in that organization.

Cardiac disease and diabetes lead to serious organ failure to which he eventually succumbed. He is survived by his son, Stephen (Nikki); three grandchildren, Ethan, Faith, and Caleb, who lovingly referred to him as “Tampa”; sister, Leona (Gregg); brother, Larry; as well as many close friends including his partner, Lori Fay and son, Cory. He will be dearly missed by many aunts, uncles, and cousins; as well as many friends and colleagues.

Memorial gifts can be made payable to either 1). The University of Montana Foundation and noted for a gift in memory of Bill Strizich for the College of Humanities and Sciences Department of Sociology. Checks should be mailed to The UM Foundation, Post Office Box 7159, Missoula, MT 59807-7159 or friends may give online – and designate that the gift is for the Bill “Bobcat” Strizich Memorial Scholarship Fund in the “Comments” field; or 2). The Montana State University Foundation and noted for a gift in memory of Bill Strizich for the college of Sociology & Anthropology. The”donations can be made in memory of Bill to Montana State University at, choose the Sociology & Anthropology Scholarship fund and note that it is a tribute to Bill Strizich”.

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