Honorable Lyle E. Strom

Honorable Lyle E. Strom

January 6, 1925 – December 1, 2023

Judge Lyle E. Strom was born in Omaha, Nebraska on January 6, 1925. He and his twin brother, Louis, were the first babies born in Omaha that year and had their picture in the Omaha World Herald.  Louis and their sister, Myrna Madelen, both predeceased him.  Lyle was married to Regina Kelly Strom (dec’d) and they raised seven children:  Mary (Jim), Susan (dec’d), Amy, Cassie (Dan), David (Sylvia), Molly (Martin), and Bryan (Liz).  They have ten grandchildren: Kim, Jenn, Scott, Nathan (dec’d), Richard, Drew, Timo, Toby, Alex, and Lucas; five great grandchildren and four great, great grandchildren.

Lyle served in the United States Merchant Marines as a Radio Operator during World War II.  He graduated from Creighton University in 1950 and from Creighton Law School, with distinction, in 1953.  He was widely respected as one of the premier trial lawyers in the state of Nebraska during his career in private practice. He shared his knowledge by teaching trial advocacy at Creighton Law School for 33 years and served as a director of its law student internship program from 1996 to 2005.  His expertise in legal writing and analysis benefited the bench and bar through his drafting of Nebraska Model Jury Instructions and Nebraska Rules of Evidence. Lyle served as a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a Bronze Fellow in the Nebraska State Bar Foundation, President of the Omaha Rotary Club, Chairman of the Mid-America Council, Boy Scouts of America, and President of the Omaha and Nebraska Bar Associations. Lyle was extremely community spirited and gave freely of his time to many projects throughout his life.

On November 1, 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the United States District Court bench. Lyle often noted with pride that his appointment coincided with All Saints’ Day. Judge Strom was renowned for leading by example and promoting collegiality, civility, professionalism, and good humor. He was among the first federal judges to note the disparate racial impact of the federal sentencing guidelines related to crimes involving powder cocaine vis a vis crack cocaine, and he testified before Congress and support of amendments to the guidelines to address that disparate impact.  Lyle sat at the proceedings for the high school mock trials in Omaha, he believed in providing the best experience to young people.  As a result of his drive and energy, the Nebraska Bar Foundation’s High School Mock Trial Competition was named in his honor and in recognition of his many years of leadership in that competition at the state and national levels. The America Council of the Boy Scouts of America, honored Lyle for  service to scouting by bestowing him with its Frontier District Award of Merit, the Silver Beaver Award, the William Spurgeon Boy Scout Explorer Award, and the Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award.   He was most proud when a campsite at Camp Cedars was named after him.

Playing and travel were important parts of the Stroms’ family life.  Lyle was an avid golfer and visited most major golf courses in the U.S.  Many times his children were invited along and instructed on the importance and value of “mulligans” (plural is intentional).  Sledding, ice skating, swimming, water skiing, snow skiing, hiking, camping, canoeing, and singing (off-tune of course) were all regular activities for the Stroms.  There was no bigger kid during these activities than Lyle.  After he retired, he embarked on a round-the world trip with his children.  It was a once in a lifetime adventure that took him to Taroko Gorge National Park in Taiwan, the Great Wall in China, Lake Baikal in Russia, and the Vatican in Rome (where he thoroughly enjoyed being introduced to gelato).

His life was long and blessed with rich experiences.  Lyle Strom influenced the lives of those around him in a positive way, with a legacy in law that will continue to inspire generations to come.

VISITATION: Thursday, December 14th from 4pm to 7pm at the West Center Chapel.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Friday, December 15th at 10am, St. Mary Catholic Church, 2302 Crawford St., Bellevue.  Interment, Bellevue Cemetery with Military Honors.  In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to a charity of your choice.

To view live broadcasts of the services, please visit www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “Live Cast” button at the top of the home page.



  • Lloyd Roitstein Posted December 3, 2023 12:20 pm

    One outstanding scouter! Thanks for your dedication to scouting and support!

  • Julie Hansen Maloney Posted December 3, 2023 1:01 pm

    To all of Lyle Strom’s friends, family and court family:

    My thoughts turn to how The Honorable Lyle E. Strom shared his time and talent with all of his clerks, students, colleagues and litigants over the years. He was a giant in his communities. His legacy will live on through his clinic program as well as the lawyers he shared legal and life lessons with. It was his family who he spoke of most frequently with me. He loved to share stories about their successes and accomplishments during his later years when I shared time with him. The graduations, births and developments of his grand and great grandchildren were shared with lots of love and laughter.

    To his lovely family, he spoke so frequently about how much he loved when you came home or he visited you. He loved traveling with all of you.

    My deepest sympathies.
    Julie Hansen Maloney

  • Kathie Guinan Posted December 3, 2023 11:45 pm

    Judge Strom unselfishly gave his time to talk to the Mock Trial students from Millard for many years. He was kind, patient and inspirational to the students who were lucky enough to meet him. I have held him in great regard since our initial meeting many years ago. He was a great man. My condolences to his family.

  • Dave Begley Posted December 4, 2023 9:18 am

    Judge Strom was a giant of the Nebraska legal community. He was a real public servant. I’m sure he was very proud of his daughter Cassie who was my classmate at Creighton Law. She followed in his footsteps as a woman for others.

  • Richard Janney Posted December 4, 2023 9:20 am

    A great legacy he leaves.

  • Terry Anderson Posted December 4, 2023 9:53 am

    Judge Strom, in addition to being a great judge, was also a valued olleague at Creighton Law School, where he made so many contributions as an adjunct professor and advisor. Morning coffees at the faculty lounge with Shugrue, Santoni, Shkolnick, Culhane, Pearson, White, Fenner, Lyle and others are some of my fondest memories. We will miss him. Terry Anderson

  • John Lenich Posted December 4, 2023 12:14 pm

    Judge Strom was one of the finest persons I met. He made a difference in the lives of countless people. Thanks for all you did, Judge.

  • Larry Piersol Posted December 4, 2023 3:27 pm

    A fine man and a fine Judge and a fun guy. I will miss Lyle.

  • Tom Cellilli Posted December 6, 2023 8:54 am

    I was a student of Judge Strom in Trial Advocacy while at Creighton. Judge Strom took training the future trial lawyers of the community very seriously. It was not just about knowledge and skills, but the experience of actually conducting a trial in the real world. Our final, was a mock bench trial that he presided over in his federal courtroom. I still remember walking through the doors of his courtroom to present the defense in Fisher v. Yankee Doodle. My condolences to the Strom Family on this great loss.

  • Paul Strom Posted December 6, 2023 2:29 pm

    My fond memories are he always had a kindness and smile for me and all of us on our side of the family. I always felt so accepted. We needed that blessing. Wonderful to know he is now with The Lord. Blessings, grace and safe travels to your family from the Texas Stroms.

  • Melinda Cummings Posted December 11, 2023 11:33 am

    I am so sad for the passing of Judge Strom. I hold Judge Strom and his family in my heart. They are amazing people. His service to the bench and bar, as well as to the community and to me and my family, are nothing short of amazing. I feel so fortunate to have known him. All my love to his family.

  • Sally Brown Bisson Posted December 11, 2023 6:54 pm

    Cassie- I was very sorry to hear about your dad. I never appeared in his courtroom, but I did know him as a Mock Trial volunteer. Most years, I judged during the rounds at the county courthouse, but one year it was in federal court. I got the notice to meet with Judge Strom and arrived about 10 minutes before the scheduled time. Since I wasn’t late I didn’t understand the surprised looks from my fellow volunteers. I found out later that your dad’s expectations of punctuality were so well known that everyone arrived very early in his courtroom no matter what the occasion was. Armed with this information I was plenty early in subsequent years. I also waited to introduce myself to him as one of your classmates until a later year. He gave me an update on your outstanding career and was clearly quite proud you. My sympathy to you and your family on the loss of this wonderful person.

  • Jim Roberts Posted December 14, 2023 2:23 pm

    Judge Strom gave an opportunity in 1994 to embark on a twenty-five plus year as a U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer. What struck me about Judge Strom was his compassion for those he worked with and those that appeared before him in court. He always wanted to meet with the officers before the hearing often wanting to know something personal about the defendant that was not in the court report. It was obvious that he cared deeply for his fellow man and woman. My deepest sympathies to the Strom family.

  • Ludger und Petra Brune Posted December 15, 2023 2:04 am

    In Memory to Lyle, thank you very much for your visit to Germany. My parents were so happy about your coming to Friesoythe. And we will never forget your visit to us in Münster. In particular the shared bike tour through Münster and the visit to the cathedral. There you were fascinated by the astronomical clock. You have a great family, we love them all and we will always honor you. Rest in peace. Lumi, Petra and family.

  • Bill Ringel Posted December 15, 2023 8:32 am

    I first got to know Lyle when he talked me into joining Boy Scout Troop 407 at Sunset . From my grade school years to graduating high school, Lyle would give up his Monday nights to lead our scout troop. There are so many life lessons that I have learned from him. He always pushed me to be a better person and to work hard at whatever I did. I never would have made it all the way to rank of Eagle Scout without his help. There are so many great memories from weekend camp trips, high adventure camping , canoeing the boundary waters ,skiing, or the annual week at Camp Cedars. My favorite memory was when I had learned to rappel at summer camp and he then went and bought equipment for our troop to take to Wyoming Wind River Range. He had enough confidence in me to teach him and the others in our troop how to rappel. I am blessed that Lyle took time out of his life to give of himself and help others around him.

  • Andreas Brune Posted December 15, 2023 2:43 pm

    Gerne erinnere ich mich an unseren Besuch 1994 in den Staaten als wir große Gastfreundschaft in Omaha im Hause
    Strom erfuhren. Das lag vor allem an der offenen und herzlich Art von Lyle. Vielen Dank. Auch als Lyle zum 80.
    Geburtstag unseres Vaters in Friesoythe war, war seine unkomplizierte Art sehr angenehm. Wir mochten ihn
    alle gerne. Mein Mitgefühl gilt der ganzen Familie Strom.
    Ich werde Lyle vermissen..

    • Amy Strom Posted December 21, 2023 3:06 pm

      Translation of Andreas Brune by G-translate—
      I fondly remember our visit in 1994 to the States as we enjoyed great and warm hospitality in Omaha in the Strom home. This was mainly due to Lyle’s open and warm nature.
      Thank you also Lyle for coming to our father’s 80th birthday in Friesoythe, His uncomplicated manner was very pleasant. We all liked him. My condolences go out to the entire Strom family.
      I will miss Lyle…

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