The final article in a series about the Strang Funeral Chapel, one of the oldest businesses in Grayslake. The Strang family has roots in Grayslake that go back 113 years.
David Strang said it takes a special type of person to handle his job, running Strang Funeral Chapel for more than 80 years.
“People have trusted me and feel comfortable with me to handle their most difficult period of time,” he said.
Sometimes, it means handling difficult moments for people you know and for a community you’ve grown to love all your life.
Strang Funeral Chapel has cared for the “Cadillac of clientele,” Strang said, including mayors, fire chiefs, police chiefs and senators. Many times, mourning the loss has brought the community together.
He remembered a tragedy in the late 1960s or early 1970s when four village employees were killed.
“We saw the community come together after a tragic situation,” he said.
While Strang said the job can be difficult emotionally, he does not let it show.
“It does no good to break up in front of them,” he said.
Strang not only has been part of Grayslake by providing a service but also as a resident. His life, he said, brings memories of changes and hardships the village has experienced.
In 1937, he recalled rain poured down for two to three days, causing massive flooding through the downtown.
“People would be rowing boats down Center Street,” he said.
A 1948 graduate of Grayslake High School, he also remembered how the community became his classroom when the high school was being constructed.
“I took English class at United Protestant Church basement, took history in the Village Hall and other classes at stores that had large space,” he recalls. “We used to ride buses from station to station to get to class.”
Over the years, his family has given back to the village. David’s father, Harold Strang, served as a volunteer firefighter, even responding to a call the day David was born.
Today, David Strang continues to play an active role, supporting youth baseball teams and the Grayslake Historical Society. To recognize the family’s commitment to Grayslake, David Strang was named grand marshal for the Grayslake Days parade.
As Grayslake embraces the Strang family and its service for more than 100 years, David Strang has hope about how his family will be remembered.
“I hope my family will be remembered," he said, "as honest, genuine and providing a service needed by the public in a manner they want."
For more in the series, read: