In memory of

Terry Straus

April 1, 1960 - November 15, 2023
From: Early, IA
Terry Straus

Terry Straus

Born: April 1, 1960
Died: November 15, 2023
Age: 63
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   Terry Straus, age 63 of Early, IA, passed away on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at Loring Hospital in Sac City, IA. A Celebration of Life will be from 3:00-6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 21, 2023 at First Lutheran Church in Early, IA.

Written by Terry Lynn Straus 1960-2023
   I was born in Storm Lake, IA, on April 1, 1960.  Besides my mom and dad, I had a younger brother and sister. My parents told me to set a good example for my brother and sister…even though they were ten times naughtier than I was! Our family moved around a bit because my dad farmed with different people until he retired. When retirement got boring, he drove a truck for a feed company. My mom worked for several different businesses over the years – a locker, the production credit association, and a local bank.
   When I was in 4th or 5th grade we moved to a farm near Early, IA, and that’s where I went to middle school and high school.  I liked playing football, and I ran track and played golf for two years. I also participated in music and band, including band competitions. I snuck booze to my brother and sister who were attending a local bible camp and was never caught! Another time I “borrowed” a Hereford calf and used a tractor loader and a chain to put the calf on the roof of our rival school but I got caught that time!
   After high school, I joined the US Navy. I worked in submarines and traveled all over Europe and to 40 different states. I took early retirement after 15.5 years. My retirement package allowed me to receive $1000 a month for the rest of my life! I came back home and worked for a company that made counters and bar tops. I bought my first house in Sac City and met my wife soon after that while filling in for a friend’s mixed bowling league. I was 34, but still looked like a high schooler weighing all of 125 pounds! My wife worked as a 911 dispatcher for the county sheriff.  We had our son Devin. When he was a baby, we love to watch Godzilla movies together. I worked at the minimum-security prison in Rockwell City from 1996-2010.
   My wife already had three sons. One of them and his wife were serving in the Navy out in California and expecting to be deployed. In 2010, we moved out there to help them, though they never actually had to deploy. We stayed out there until 2017. During those years, my wife and I split up, and I worked surveillance for two different Casinos.
   My ex-wife moved back first, and then I followed. I couldn’t get a decent job though, and eventually I moved up to the Silverdale sub base near Seattle where my son was stationed. I stayed with them for 6-8 months. Then my little brother who lived with and took care of my mom, passed away. My son and his wife wanted to come back to stay with my mom and take care of her. We all moved back and we’ve been living in Early ever since. I’ve been retired since 2017, living off my retirement from the Navy and my retirement from Corrections.
   Back when I was living at my son’s place, I started to notice that I got short of breath. Eventually I was diagnosed with myelodysplasia syndrome – a mild form of leukemia. They put me on a potent cancer drug that worked well but the medicine made me dizzy, and I fell one day. The ER ran an EKG which they sent to a cardiologist who wanted to see me ASAP. I learned I had a heart attack a week earlier and they did a triple bypass on me in August of 2022. I came out of surgery okay but I had to be off my medicine for 1.5 months and my levels have been erratic ever since. I’ve been here in the hospital for 3-4 weeks. I’ve developed a lung infection so am fighting that too. The days just blend together; being alone here in the hospital is really difficult. Time hangs heavy.
   I keep fighting out of love for my little granddaughter, my son and his wife, my mom, and my sister and her family. They are always giving me words of encouragement. I want to survive long enough to see that little girl graduate from high school. If she decides to join the military and work on a submarine, I want to be the one to pin the dolphin on her chest, just like I did her dad. 
   Terry passed away on Wednesday, November 15, 2023, at the young age of sixty-three at Loring Hospital in Sac City, IA. He leaves behind his mother, Wilma Straus, sister Tammy (Kevin) Sowers and family, son Devin (Michaela) Straus, and precious granddaughter Lilly.
Celebration of Life
3:00-6:00 p.m., Tuesday
November 21, 2023
First Lutheran Church
Early, Iowa


Wednesday, November 22, 2023 at 8:53 AM
“I am so sorry to hear about Terry. I will keep the family in my prayers!”
- Marty Boisen
Monday, November 20, 2023 at 9:01 AM
“We will miss you, Terry! Our sincere condolences to Devin, Michaela, Lily, and family. Mike, Todd, and Linda”
- Mike Dickman
Friday, November 17, 2023 at 12:11 PM
“I always enjoyed chatting with Terry when we got together. He will be missed.”
- Nancy Sackett
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