Father Thomas Fr. Stratman, 97, a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport, died Aug. 19 at Clarissa C. Cook Hospice House in Bettendorf.
Father Stratman was born Dec. 20, 1925 in Burlington, a son of Fred B. and Elma (Miller) Stratman. He entered the seminary at age 17 with the blessing of Bishop Henry Rohlman of the Davenport Diocese. It was during World War II, when the U.S. Navy was using dorms at St. Ambrose College in Davenport. So, Father Stratman studied at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa and graduated from Kenrick Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri in 1950. Bishop Ralph Hayes ordained Father Stratman to the priesthood at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport on May 6, 1950.
His first assignment in his 73 years of ministry was as assistant at St. Joseph Parish in DeWitt. He then served as a substitute pastor at St. Mary Parish in West Burlington; assistant pastor at St. Peter Parish in Keokuk; director of Cardinal Stritch High School in Keokuk; pastor of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini in Richland; and co-pastor of St. Mary Parish in Albia. He served as pastor of St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Ottumwa, St. Mary Parish in Eddyville and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Bettendorf. He took a sabbatical leave before serving as pastor of St. Mary Parish in West Burlington and then served as parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Cathedral. He retired from active ministry in 1996 but continued ministry at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport and then at St. Andrew Parish in Blue Grass until 2008. He also served as a proofreader for The Catholic Messenger in addition to other volunteer activities. When active, he enjoyed playing golf and exercising.
Funeral services and Mass of Christian Burial for Father Stratman were held Aug. 23 at Sacred Heart Cathedral. Burial was in the Priest’s Circle at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, next to his brother, Father Bill. Memorials may be made to Sacred Heart Cathedral or Priest’s Aid Society.