Dale M. Strain, Sr., a past president of the Grand Rapids Bar Association, passed away Saturday, February 10, 2018 in Fort Myers, Fl, where he had been residing since his retirement as president of the Grand Rapids law firm formerly known as Strain, Murphy, and Vander Wal, P.C.
Mr. Strain was born to Arthur Sherman Strain and Bertha Ellen Strain, nee Williamson, on September 29, 1923 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was a lifelong resident of Grand Rapids, graduating from the old South High School in 1941. After graduation from high school, Mr. Strain served some three years in the U.S. Air Force in World War II, flying 30+ missions in the European Theatre as a tail gunner on a B-24 Liberator Bomber, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters and the European Theatre Medal with three Battle Stars, among other decorations.
After the war he attended the University of Michigan, and upon graduation from the U of M Law School where he received his Juris Doctor Degree in 1951, he joined the then firm of Lindsey, Shivel, Phelps, and Vander Wal. He practiced with the same law firm for the next 50 years, though the firm name changed through the years, as Mr. Strain became Senior Partner, and later, President, when the firm became an LLC under the name of Strain, Murphy and Vander Wal at the time of Mr. Strain's retirement. Mr. Strain was honored, along with others, for his 50 years of practice, by the Michigan Bar Association in 2002.
In addition to being a Past President of the Grand Rapids Bar Association, Mr. Strain was a Life Member of York Lodge 410, F and AM, a Life Member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Grand Rapids, a Life Member of the Saladin Shrine, and a Life Member of the Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity, and was, for many years a member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club. Mr. Strain became interested in genealogy, and traced his ancestry back to one Samuel Strain, who fought in the American Revolution, first with the South Carolina Militia, and later with the Continental Army, resulting in Mr. Strain's qualification for acceptance into the Sons of the American Revolution, which was accomplished in 2002.
Mr. Strain is survived by a son, Dale M. Strain Jr. a daughter Sheri A. Strain and her husband Charles G. Brackins, a son Robert S. Strain and his wife Elizabeth Shanahan of Bundaberg Australia, and three grandsons, Dale M. Strain III, Grant Alexander Strain and Riley Cooper Shanahan-Strain. After cremation in Florida, Mr. Strain's remains will be interred, in a private family service, in Restlawn Cemetary in Grand Rapids, next to his wife, Muriel, who predeceased him in 1964. Memorial gifts may be made to the American Heart Association.