Eugene L. Strever
GUILDERLAND — Eugene L. Strever was a man who made deep and long-lasting commitments. He was married for 64 years; he worked at General Electric for 44 years; and he was a long-time member of several community organizations.
“He was a very good father. He was always there for you,” said his daughter, Betty Strever.
Mr. Strever died on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady.
Born Jan. 15, 1922 in Johnstown, N.Y., he was the son of the late Leon and Ida Mae Rivenburg Strever.
He served in the United States Army during World War II and was honorably discharged in 1945.
Although Mr. Strever didn’t talk much about his war years, his daughter knew he had served on a medical ship. Once, when he was asked if he’d like to go on a cruise, he said, “I spent enough time on a boat,” she recalled.
Mr. Strever married his wife, Marion, on Jan. 15, 1942. “He always said he got married on his birthday so he’d never forget it,” said his daughter.
She went on to say that her parents were “like two peas in a pod.” Ms. Strever said of her mother, “She was always with him.”
She gave the example of their work with the Fort Hunter Volunteer Fire Company, of which Mr. Strever was a charter member. “She was in the auxiliary…When I was small,” said Ms. Strever, “they’d work on the turkey raffle. They’d go to meetings. They did everything together.”
Mr. Strever was known for the clambakes he put on to raise money for the fire company. He was also a member of the Fisher United Methodist Church in Rotterdam, and the Rotterdam Elks, and the GE Quarter Century Club.
Mr. Strever worked as an assembler at General Electric in Schenectady for 44 years, retiring in 1982. “He was in the big-motor department,” said his daughter.
At the same time he worked for GE, Mr. Strever ran his own trucking and snowplowing business, Strever’s Trucking. He would do trucking and plowing on shifts when he wasn’t working at GE, and on the weekends, Ms. Strever said; his wife worked in the business with him.
The couple first raised their family — two girls and two boys — in a farmhouse on West Lydius Street in Guilderland. Mr. Strever then built a modern ranch-style house on the same property.
“He liked to garden,” said his daughter. Mrs. Strever would can the produce her husband raised. “He would grind the peppers to make the chili and cut off the corn on the cob so it could be canned,” Ms. Strever said, describing the way her parents worked together.
Ms. Strever raised her daughter, Tammy, in the ranch-style West Lydius Street house and Tammy, in turn, raised her sons there.
“They were his joy,” Ms. Strever said of how her father loved his great-grandchildren. “They played games and watched TV together,” she said.
Ms. Strever concluded of her father, “He cared for you. He would do anything for you.”
Eugene L. Strever is survived by his four children, Shirley Van Alstine and her husband, Bill, of Georgia, Eugene Strever Jr. of Rotterdam, Donald Strever of Rotterdam Junction, and Betty Strever and her companion, James Passenger, of Guilderland; four grandchildren, Shelley Onorati and her husband, Mark, Sharyn Eckert and her husband, Michael, Tammy Strever, and Richard Van Alstine and his wife, Kim, and eight great-grandchildren, Anthony Strever, Austin Onorati, Alex Onorati, Derek Strever, Aurora VanAlstine, J.P. Whiting, Crystal Whiting, and Dakota Rose Eckert.
In addition to his parents, his wife of 64 years, Marion Strever, died before him. His grandson Thomas Jubrey died on Aug. 31, 1970 and his great-grandson Dylan Strever died on Dec. 4, 2000.
The family thanks the staff at Ellis Hospital A-5 and also the staff of the Community Hospice for their care and compassion.
No service was held; burial will be in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Guilderland. Arrangements are by the DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Fort Hunter Volunteer Fire Department, 3525 Carman Rd., Schenectady NY 12303.
— Melissa Hale-Spencer