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George L. Strain, Sr.
7/13/1916 - 1/26/2010

George L. Strain, Sr.

George L. Strain, 93, retired La Junta attorney, civic leader and Otero County Judge, died January 26, 2010 in Pueblo, Colo.
Mr. Strain was born July 13, 1916, in La Junta to L.P. and Coy Beavers Strain, attended public school in La Junta and graduated from La Junta High School in 1934. He went on to graduate from the University of Colorado in 1938, where he was a Phi Gamma Delta and a clarinetist in the CU Men’s Marching Band. He received his law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Strain married Helen May Frye, his high school sweetheart, June 19, 1940, in La Junta and enjoyed 68 years of marriage before her death in April 2009. During World War II Mr. Strain was a Special Agent for the FBI serving in Detroit, Mich., Buffalo, N.Y., Louisville, Ky., New York, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. He was active, throughout his life, in the Ex-FBI Agents Association.
Following his FBI service, he and Helen returned to their hometown of La Junta where he practiced law, became a prosecutor, judge and father of four children.
After enjoying a summer cabin in Beulah Valley, for many years, George and Helen moved to Beulah in 1992 and became full time residents while remaining closely connected to La Junta through family and friends.
Mr. Strain was an active member of the Colorado bar for more than 60 years. He first practiced law with Marion F. Miller and Harry Allen, two La Junta pioneers. Their original firm was known as Miller, Allen, and Strain, with offices on the second floor of the Lamb Building on Santa Fe Avenue, which still stands across the street from the Otero County Courthouse. Over the years the firm evolved to Allen & Strain and then to Strain & Kolomitz. Throughout his career his clients appreciated his wise and practical advice.
Early in his career Mr. Strain became a prosecutor and later served as District Attorney for Bent, Crowley and Otero Counties, and president of the Colorado District Attorney’s Association.
In 1976 Mr. Strain was appointed as the Otero County Judge, where he served until his retirement in 1988. He then served as senior judge, presiding in courts across the state of Colorado, a role he very much enjoyed.
Always an advocate for Southeastern Colorado, Mr. Strain was most proud of his role in the creation of the 16th Judicial District. In 1953 he was instrumental in convincing the Colorado General Assembly of the need for a new Judicial District for Bent, Crowley and Otero counties. Prior to this time the three counties were part of the 10th Judicial District in Pueblo County. After intense and sustained efforts, the creation of the 16th Judicial District was authorized giving the citizens of Bent, Crowley and Otero their own Judicial District.
Mr. Strain was a proud and active member of the B.P.O.E. throughout his life, and is a Past Exalted Ruler and Life member of La Junta Lodge #701. He also served as president of the Colorado Elks Association in 1963-64. He was Esquire of the Grand Lodge in 1985 - 86, and assisted in conducting the Elks Grand Lodge Convention in Denver in 1986. Mr. Strain enjoyed attending Elks functions throughout the state and nation.
Mr. Strain served on the La Junta School Board during a period of growth in student enrollment which necessitated the building of South School, now the Arkansas Valley Community Center, and East School, now La Junta Elementary School. He also served on the county-wide committee which consolidated rural and town school districts.
An active and involved advocate for his community, Mr. Strain was a member of numerous civic and professional associations. He is a past president of La Junta Rotary Club and of the La Junta Chamber of Commerce; he is a Paul Harris Fellow, and a Key Leader in the Koshare Indian Dancers organization. Especially meaningful to him was his membership in Monday Evening Club, an organization of which his father was a charter member. Mr. Strain was an active and ardent supporter of the American Red Cross Association. He was a life-long Methodist; most recently attending the Beulah United Methodist Church.
Mr. Strain was predeceased in death by his parents, brother, Capt. Dean B. Strain, wife Helen and sister in law Ruth Frye and brother in law Dr. Frank Everett.
He is survived by sister Anna Mae Everett, of Fort Collins. Additional survivors include daughters Sharon (Jon) Kolomitz and Susan (Bub) Miller of La Junta; sons George Lee Strain, Jr. (Connie) of Mandeville, La., and Gregory Dean Strain of Beulah; brother in law Harold W. “Bill” Frye of Beulah, and Helen’s cousin Marie Hall of Beulah and her daughter and son Robin Hall Moritz of Pueblo and James Hall of Topeka, Ks. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Gregory Jon (Carla) Kolomitz, Denver; Kara Christine Kolomitz (Chris Condlin) Natick, Mass., Christopher Strain Kolomitz , Denver, Jack Laughrun (Judy) Morganton, North Carolina; Marcus Deyerin (Kara) Bellingham, Wash., Michelle Lee Miller, Metarie, LA, Corey Lee Strain (Jill) Folsum, LA, Kyle Strain (Kristy) Madisonville, La., and Kevin Strain, currently stationed at the Naval Air Station, Jacksonville, Florida; nine nieces and nephews, and ten great grandchildren all of whom revered and loved him.
A memorial service, in celebration of Mr. Strain’s life, will be held at the United Methodist Church of La Junta on Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 2 p.m.
Memorials may be made to Laradon Hall, a special project of the Colorado Elks Association or to the Otero Museum direct or through the funeral home. 

 

Memorials may be made to Laradon Hall, a special project of the Colorado Elks Association or to the Otero Museum direct or through the funeral home.


Online Condolences  

From: Jack & Peggy Noe   Kim Colorado
Relationship:  Friend

Sincere Sympathy on the loss of your loved one.
Sent:  1/27/2010


From: Bonita Burr Kitts   Ottawa KS
Relationship:  Friend of the Family

I am sorry for your loss. I understand the value of having had many years of life to share. God be with you. Bonita Burr Kitts
Sent:  1/28/2010


From: Tracie Varner-Jones   Monticello Arkansas
Relationship:  family friend

I am so sorry to hear about Mr. Strain's passing. He was a wonderful man who loved and enjoyed his family. He was a great promoter of La Junta. I know he will be missed by his family and friends. Please know you are in my thoughts. Tracie
Sent:  1/28/2010


From: Edith ML Prince   St. Martinville Louisiana
Relationship:  Work associate of son, George Strain

Deepest sympathies to you and your family, in my prayers at this time. Edith ML Prince
Sent:  1/29/2010


From: Tracy Waggoner-McLeland   Amarillo Texas
Relationship:  Family Friend

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.~ May God grant you peace and comfort in the many days ahead, and may you all find smiles and laughter in the many memories you hold dear of such a Wonderful Man. Hugs and Prayers~ Tracy
Sent:  1/29/2010


From: Gayle Eveatt   La Junta Co
Relationship:  Friend

Sharon, Susan, George, Gregory...I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your dad. He was one of a kind, a gentle man with a big heart. I will always treasure the last time I saw your dad, it was July 1, 2009 I had to card him to make sure he was old enough to drink, when I asked him for his ID, he looked and me,smiled and said "your kidding me, right? I'm 92 years old! I wish I was, but with a twinkle in his eye and a big grin, he had his ID and a cool one with his dinner. I have many fond memories of your folks, they can be together once again, now and forever. Hold on to your memories, I am sure you have many..he will be greatly missed. Gayle
Sent:  1/30/2010


From: Joyce Abila-Hacsi   Pueblo Co
Relationship:  Hospice RN

Family of George Strain, I am so sorry for your loss. I know it will be difficult to not have him around any more but his legacy and memories will be with you forever. He instilled great things in each and everyone of you. It was such a pleasure caring for him and getting to know him. It was also my pleasure to be able to meet all of the family. Again, I am deeply sorry for your loss. God Bless all of you, respectfully submitted. Joyce Abila-Hacsi RN
Sent:  1/31/2010


From: Bill and Norene Piquette   La Junta Colorado
Relationship:  friend

George was a great friend. Whenever we happened to meet him in La Junta at a Rotary meeting or another function, he always had a friendly greeting. He and the family will be in our prayers.
Sent:  1/31/2010


From: Verna Hainer, RN   Pueblo Colorado
Relationship:  friend

It was my deep privilege to be one of the nurse's to care for George. My deepest sympathy on the loss of one who meant so much to so many. May God give you His comfort and peace as you face the difficult days ahead without your dear one.
Sent:  2/1/2010


From: Susan Malott   Swink CO
Relationship:  former employee

May God bless and comfort you in this time of sorrow. Judge Strain was a wonderful person and will be greatly missed. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Sent:  2/1/2010


From: Shirley and Jack (Sinks) Martinez   Corona CA
Relationship:  Family Friend

To the Strain family, our heart felt sympathy at the loss of your loved one. I remember him as a fair and honest man who I looked up to as a city leader and friend of my father. May you find peace in the memories you have of his time with you on Earth. Respectfully, Shirley (Sinks) Martinez
Sent:  2/1/2010


From: Peggy Bellar   LJ CO
Relationship:  friend

Greg, George, Sharon and Susan and respective families: I have such wonderful memories of George and Helen both. They were awesome people and had such a way of making people feel at ease. I will never forget bird watching at the cabin. I am glad they are together again, but I am so sorry for your loss.
Sent:  2/1/2010


From: Joe Duenas  
Relationship:  friend

Greg and I recently reconnected via e-mail and he mentioned his dad having been the D.A. in LJ when we were in high school. After reading of Mr. Strain's accomplishments, it was obvious that he was definitely much, much more than just the D.A. It must be plain to all who knew Mr. Strain that LJ and those around him were much better off for having known him. Talk about a life well-lived! My condolences to the Strain family.
Sent:  2/1/2010


From: Barbara Hegarty   Pueblo CO
Relationship:  nurse

My thanks to the Strain family for allowing me to be a part of George and Helen's lives over the past two years. They were a joy to work with. They were truly blessed to have such loving, caring children - all of whom did their best to provide them with the care they needed. I will miss George, his stories and his warm heart.
Sent:  2/4/2010