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Obituary - Anthony 'Tony' Stremcha

Anthony "Tony" Stremcha was born at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Havre, MT, to Richard and Carolyn Stremcha July 15, 1963. He was raised in Havre with his sister Tami.

Tony attended Havre Public Schools, graduating in 1982 from Havre High School. Tony was baptized and made confirmation in the Lutheran Church. During his formative years always wanting to earn extra spending money he had a variety of jobs, paper delivery, yard maintenance, hired hand to North Havre farmers (especially his uncle, Paul Patera, who also hired him to blow insulation into homes). In his senior year he worked as a service station attendant.

After high school he became a part-time student at Northern Montana College Havre and worked for his uncle, Vernon Stremcha, at Vern's Auto Electric. He joined the U.S. Army in January of 1984 and was honorably discharged in 1987. Upon returning home he joined the Montana National Guards in January 1987 and went back to work at Vern's Auto Electric.

In February of 1988, he married Janet Robinson of Havre. Their son, Nicholas, arrived in 1989 and daughter, Katherine, in 1991. In 1994 he went to work at the BNSF Railroad in Havre as an electrician.

In November 2003 the Havre Guard unit was called to duty in Iraq and Tony served in Falluja, Iraq, until November of 2004. Upon return to Havre, Tony went back to work on the railroad.

Tony and Janet were divorced in August of 2004.

Due to the diagnosis of PTSD the VA and railroad gave him a medical disability. In 2011 he entered Great Falls Hospital, was transferred to the VA Hospital in Fort Harrison, a Helena Rest Home, and then Montana Veteran's Home in Columbia Falls. In 2013 he entered independent living in Helena to remain near the VA Center.

Tony married Katherine Hankinson of Helena, MT, in February 2017. That year they bought a home in the suburbs of northwest Helena. In February 2023, he suffered a fall that fractured his ribs and entered the VA Hospital at Fort Harrison. Tony then was sent to the Elkhorn Health Care Home at Clancy, MT, for six weeks of rehab. He continued having falls and remained a resident at Elkhorn.

Jan. 19, 2024, with COVID and a fall that caused two brain bleeds, he was taken to Saint Peter's Hospital in Helena. He would remain in the hospital until Jan. 25th. He was put on hospice and returned to Elkhorn. Tony departed our earthly home Feb. 11th to enter his heavenly home.

Tony is survived by his wife Katherine "Kathy" of Helena; stepson, James Hankinson of Hermiston, OR; son, Nicholas Stremcha, daughter, Katherine (Nick) Daniel and grandson, Jayson Stremcha, all of Havre; mother, Carolyn Stremcha of Great Falls; sister, Tami (Shawn) Big Knife, nephew Carson Big Knife and great-niece, Vivian Big Knife all of Madras OR; nephew Quinton Big Knife of La Grande, OR; aunts and uncles Larry Stremcha of CA, Mary Ann (Pat) Trumpour, Robert (Lela) Patera of Havre and Godmother Georgia Chinadle., Fort Benton, along with numerous cousins.

He was preceded in death by his father, Richard Stremcha; grandmother Grace (Stremcha) Williams, grandfather Joe (Kohout) Stremcha, grandparents Anton and Ida Patera; uncles Vern Stremcha, James Patera, Paul Patera, aunt Patrica Stremcha and Godfather Allan Chinadle.

"Like a bird out of our hand.

"Like a light out of our heart.

"You are gone." H.D. Hymen, Collected Poems, 1925.

Memorials are suggested to the Montana Wounded Warriors, PO BOX 5519, Kalispell, MT 59903 or to the Friends of Beaver Creek Park, P.O. Box 2604 Havre, MT 59501.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home, 3750 North Montana Ave. in Helena. A reception will follow the service in the social hall of the funeral home. Burial with military honors will take place at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison following the reception.

Please visit https://www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Tony.

 

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