William StrunkOn Friday, November 3, 2017, we, along with his family, celebrated the life of our club founder, and recently departed, William Strunk. There were two afternoon memorial services. The first was full military honors performed by the U.S. Air Force where his ashes were burried in Ft. Logan Cemetery. The second was a Celebration of Life service at the Smoky Hill United Methodist Church in Aurora.

More than 100 were in attendance, including William’s wife Peg, son, daughter, and many relatives and friends.

Our former members Jennifer and Tim Bailey were the celebrants and led us through a partial Toastmasters meeting. William always wanted a Toastmasters meeting to be part of his going away present.

Carl Bruckman kicked off the Table Topics portion with a humorous recount of a conversation on the phone with William when Carl was injured and suddenly could not be in attendance for a meeting. Once William had Carl on the phone, William said, “Where are you??!!”

Steve Doherty kept the humor rolling as he shared a story of a white elephant exchange at William’s birthday party a few years ago. Steve wrapped a picture of his own face and gave it to William as a present.

Marty Dickinson spoke about the professional culture William brought to the club right from its start in 1979.

Shelly Stokes shared memories of how William mentored her through her speaking and professional journey.

Craig Strunk, William’s son, presented a historical eulogy of William’s life, including his beginnings as a poor farmer boy in Oklahoma and forward to his 50+ years as a Toastmaster and his love for travel with his beloved wife, Peg.

Judy Sabah, gave an account of her membership with the club where she was personally invited by William to be a charter member of the George Sutton Toastmasters club. Judy co-founded the Colorado chapter of National Speakers Association as well as the Colorado chapter of the National Speakers Foundation. Judy was a great example of how William’s direct influence and teaching was passed through to literally thousands of others.

Many of our Toastmasters members past and current were present, although this picture was taken after several had left at the end.

GSTM Members at William's Memorial 2017

From left to right: Ron Tickel, Tim Bailey, Tim Lenz, Shelly Stokes, Marty Dickinson, Jennifer Bailey, Diane Burridge, Bill Thompson, Steve Worthman.

We will sorely miss our club founder, William Strunk, but know he will be watching over our club to make sure we stay in line. Rest in peace, friend and mentor to all.