Sharon Strainer passed into the loving arms of Jesus Christ and a promised paradise due to complications of several chronic illnesses. She was steadfast till the end and never understood what all the fuss was about.
Sharon was welcomed into this world on February 1, 1937 by her parents Frank and Vera Penland and her sister Marlene. She was born and raised in Helena and was a precocious child who had a lot of ambition and energy. She was married to Robert “Bob” Strainer on August 16, 1953.
Once Sharon became your friend, she accepted you unconditionally. She was a positive person (to say the least) and looked at the glass half full not half empty. She wasn’t afraid of hard work and along side Bob helped build 5 houses in the surrounding Helena area between 1961 and 1980. She did this all while working various full time jobs. A sawmill, the State of Montana Highway Patrol dispatch and eventually retiring from the Federal Internal Revenue Service in 1988 just to name a few. With all this on her plate she still had time to be the sweetest wife and mother to her three children, Cynthia, Rhonda, and Tony. She once said that no matter how old your children are, if they are hurting, all you want is to make it all better and take away their hurt. She was gracious and generous to a fault. A true giver of the heart.
In her younger years she enjoyed movies at the Marlow theatre, playing piano, sewing, arts and crafts, and visiting with friends. In her early twenties, Sharon accepted Jesus Christ as her savior. It was this deep faith that kept her strong through some of the valleys she endured throughout her life. She was a member of Helena First Assembly of God Church for 25+ years where she gave freely of her time to participate in service team functions and to genuinely get to know her church family.
Later, she and her family enjoyed camping, snowmobiling, and their son Tony’s football and baseball games, wrestling, power lifting competitions, and rodeo. After retirement, every Spring, her and Bob traveled in their 5th wheel to enjoy the sun in Las Vegas, Nevada. A trip they both fondly looked forward to. In 1992 they also started building mini storage sheds. An early riser, you could find her out painting these buildings before the sun came up. She enjoyed this task (who really loves to paint?) but after heart surgery in 2004 she reluctantly had to give it up. Bob is still hard at work building these mini storage sheds.
While our hearts are heavy with sorrow, Sharon would be the first one to tell us that she wouldn’t want us to be sad. As she told us many times, God never promised there would not be suffering in this world but through Christ’s love, grace, and mercy he will provide the strength to endure and carry on. Our loving sweet memories of her will remain forever within our hearts and sustain us in the days and years ahead, until we meet again.
Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, Frank Penland and Vera Penland-Toeckes, sister, Marlene Chamberlain, stepfather, Alex Toeckes, daughter, Cynthia Buchi and grandson, Bobby Buchi. She is survived by her husband of 65+ years, Bob Strainer, daughter, Rhonda (Bruce) Robertson, son, Tony (Winnie) Strainer of Helena, and son-in-law, Paul Buchi of Utah. Her grandchildren are Liesl (Corey) Richins, Andrew (Sidra) Buchi of Utah, Spencer (Bethany) Buchi of Wyoming and Logan Strainer of Missoula; great-grandchildren, Jesse (Dani) Richins, Gabe Richins, Zack Richins, Zion Buchi, Zada Buchi, and one great-great grandchild (soon-to-be born) Callie Jo Richins all of Utah.
We certainly were blessed with the kindest, most devoted, compassionate, generous, Wife, Mother, Grandmother (Nan, Nanny), Daughter, Sister and friend anyone could ever hope for. Please join us for the celebration of Sharon’s life, which she requested to be a joyous occasion, at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 at Helena First Assembly of God Church, 2210 Dodge Ave in Helena. A reception will immediately follow the service in the Fellowship Hall at the church. Cremation has taken place. A private interment will take place at a later date.
We would like to give special thanks to Sharon’s caregivers at Beehive Homes of Helena, House 9 and St. Peter’s Health Hospice. Your compassionate care and kindness will be forever appreciated.
“Mom really enjoyed bright colors, so in her honor wear your brightest attire. She’ll be smiling down when she sees all the color, sitting in God’s hands, with Cindy, Marlene, and her mother.'