Jerrold L. “Jerry” Strasheim
September 25, 1931 – November 30, 2018
Jerrold Lee Strasheim—“Jerry”—enjoyed a fulfilling and meritorious law career that spanned more than half a century. Over the years, his affiliations grew to include the Nebraska State Bar Association, the Iowa State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Omaha Bar Association, the Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys, and the American Association for Justice. His name appears in “Best Lawyers in America” and in “Chambers USA.”
Jerry worked his way through college as a janitor, living with his parents for room and board. Midway through college his studies were interrupted by a two-year stint with the Army ROTC Finance Corps, after which he went back to college and graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law cum laude in 1957. Following the Army and law school, which he loved (he always spoke fondly of his classmates and professors), he clerked for Federal District Judge Robert Van Pelt. For two years he lived in Washington, D.C. where he served as minority counsel on the Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Improvements in Judicial Machinery. Jerry served as the US Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Nebraska for 11 years, and spent many years in private practice, twenty of them as a partner with Baird Holm. He spent a year as an adjunct professor at Creighton University School of Law, and he served as counsel in many of the major cases in the area. His work was his passion. He loved the law and was very involved in every aspect of it.
He also led an active life with his family. After his first wife died following the birth of their second son, he met and married Mary Ann who had three children from a previous marriage. With their blended family Jerry and Mary Ann were together for almost 50 years and were planning to celebrate their Golden Wedding Anniversary this December 28th.
During those 50 years his life was filled with things he loved to do. He had a golf group at Happy Hollow Country Club for over 20 years and he learned to snow ski at age 42 and enjoyed over 25 years of annual ski trips with friends and family. He loved to travel and in the early years it was usually a family road vacation or to a legal seminar. After 1985 he and Mary Ann enjoyed traveling to Europe each year and in 1990, they took their first cruise. From then on, that was the way to go and they literally ‘saw the world,’ visiting every continent except Antarctica. He loved the ocean and the ‘days at sea.’ He and Mary Ann were planning to cruise again in December. He never went anywhere without his brief case and yellow legal pad so he could work on the plane or on the ship.
Jerry was often referred to as a ‘Renaissance Man’ because he not only loved sports, but also loved music and especially opera, country western and of course the ‘golden oldies.’ He was devoted to Opera Omaha and appeared in “La Traviata” as a ‘super’ in 1987. As he and Mary Ann traveled the world, one of their favorite evenings would be a night at the opera. Members of the Opera Omaha Council since 1987, they enjoyed one of his last social outings at the Opera Outdoors at Midtown in August. And he was just as happy when they attended the “Grand Ole Opry” in Nashville during a Judicial Conference years ago.
Jerry was loved by many and respected by all who knew him. Shortly before he went to Hospice House a client came to see him to tell him he was “the best lawyer in the world and the most honest person he had ever known.” We know that, having lived such a life, he will “rest in peace.”
Never expecting to live so long, Jerry died at the venerable age of 87 years. He was preceded in death by his parents, Alexander and Marie (Hahler) Strasheim; his sister, Lorraine Strasheim; his wife, Bernadette Ryder Strasheim; his father-in-law, Frederick William Sieman; and his mother-in-law, Mary Nelson Neville Sieman whom he admired and adored.
He is survived by his beloved and devoted wife, Mary Ann (Sieman) Strasheim; his five children: daughters, Sharon Frey (Mark) and Elise Aust of Omaha and sons, Alexander Ryder Strasheim of New York City, John Frederick Hanson of Omaha, and Frederick Ryder Strasheim (Maureen) of St. Louis; his 12 grandchildren: Natalie Rose Hudson (Matt), Julie Marie Aust, Brianne Marie Hanson, Brian Alexander Frey, James Gerald Aust, John David Hanson, Keith Frederick Frey, Adam Frederick Hanson, Sophia Pudlowski Strasheim, Sarah AnnMarie Hanson, Henry Pudlowski Strasheim, and Katherine Pudlowski Strasheim; one great-grandchild, Angelina Yuliette Aust Serrano; and one brother, Rollie Strasheim of Lincoln. He is also survived by countless friends, neighbors, colleagues and clients. He will be greatly missed by all.
The family will receive friends on Sunday, Dec. 9th from 3:30pm to 5:30pm at the West Center Chapel. GRAVESIDE SERVICE: Monday, Dec. 10th, 9am at Omaha National Cemetery with military honors by Benson VFW Post 2503. MEMORIAL SERVICE: Monday, Dec. 10th at 11am, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, 118 No. 18th St. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Salvation Army; Open Door Mission; Hospice House; and Opera Omaha.