James Richard Stroup, 88, of Marion, passed away at 2:31 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 at Colonial Oaks Health Care Center in Marion.
Richard was born on Thursday, Dec. 21, 1933, in Jackson Township, Wells County, Indiana. He was a 1951 graduate of Jackson Center High School. Following graduation, Richard both farmed and also found employment in the General Motors plant in Marion. It was there that he discovered a great appreciation for the higher mathematics and mechanical skills involved in calculating and cutting tools for the production of automobiles. Richard found the complexity of this task both challenging and rewarding, and he worked for over 32 years as a journeyman tool-maker, retiring in 1993.
The same precise and agile mind that Richard employed in the conduct of his trade was also exercised in the pursuit of the great intellectual pastime of his life, rubber and contract bridge. After many years of casual but very competitive play with family and friends, his retirement provided the leisure he required to study and pursue the game seriously. He played regularly in clubs and tournaments throughout central Indiana for many years, and he achieved Life Master status during tournament play in 2005 and Bronze Life Master in 2007. With Onda as his constant partner, he took great pleasure and made many friends by giving lessons to people in the Marion area, providing instruction in both the basics and the more advanced subtleties of this game.
Richard was blessed with great athletic talent, and sports played a prominent role throughout his life. After excelling in basketball in high school, he transitioned to fast-pitch soft ball. Pitching primarily for the Marion Bobcats, Richard was widely recognized for many years as one of the finest pitchers in the state. That man could really throw a softball, as can be attested to by his sons, who were often called to “warm me up” before games, standing in front of the barn door trying to anticipate the trajectory of his knuckleballs and sliders.
Richard was also an excellent golfer throughout his life, enjoying matches with many friends from work but most especially with his son-in-law Greg Shafer. One of his crowning accomplishments in golf was recording not one but two holes-in-one during a single summer while in his late 70s, an achievement that always amused him because, as he observed, he was an “old man” and not nearly as good a golfer as he had been when he was young and didn't get holes-in-one.
Finally, it is worth noting that Richard's athleticism also extended to square dancing, and he and his beloved wife, Onda, spent many evenings dancing happily together with friends.
Richard was preceded in death by his father, James Henry Stroup, his mother, Cora Mae Stroup, née Glancy, and also by his brother, Rolland, and his sisters, Geraldine Miller and Jackie Huffman.
Richard will be sadly missed by many, including above all Onda Stroup, but also by: his brother, Jon Robert Stroup and his sister and brother-in-law, Mary Lou and Jack Witham; by his sons, Stephen, Gary, and Larry (Melissa); by his daughter, Jennifer Hennessy; and by his former daughter-in-law, Donna Stroup. Also by Onda's daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Greg Shafer and their two children, Ondra and Tessa, and Onda's son and daughter-in-law, Cary and Teresa Berglan and their two children, Tia and Sam.
A service to celebrate Richard's life will take place at his grave site in the Hartford City Cemetery, Hartford City, on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. with Pastor Gary Bingham officiating.
Preferred memorials: Grant County Cancer Society 305 S. Norton Ave. Marion, IN. 46952
Arrangements are being handled by Walker & Glancy Funeral Home in Montpelier.
Online condolences may be made at www.glancyfuneralhomes.com