Strobl, longtime preparedness advocate, dies

A memorial service for Bob Strobl, a Grand Junction Fire Department veteran, early champion of local emergency preparedness and an eyewitness to a rare slice of history, will be Thursday.

Strobl died Saturday. He was 69.

Three days after the service, “Taking Chance,” the story of returning the remains of a U.S. Marine killed in action in Iraq to his home in Dubois, Wyo., will air on HBO.  The story was taken from the journal of Strobl’s son, Mike, the military escort.

Bob Strobl, a Clifton native, also served in the Marine Corps and was part of an amphibious task force protecting Guantanamo Bay during the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in 1961.

Strobl joined the Grand Junction Fire Department in 1968 and retired from the department 22 years later.

Firefighters affectionately referred to him as “Mother,” fire department spokesman Mike Page said. “He was always adopting the new guys and mothering them into the department. He was my mentor when I came on.”

His image was burnished by the fact that he baked rolls and bread every day, Page said.

Strobl also wrote a history of the Grand Junction Fire Department.

After retiring from the fire department as a battalion chief, Strobl worked for School District 51, dealing with hazardous materials, and then became Mesa County’s first emergency manager.

Strobl worked to get other layers of government involved in emergency planning and took
Grand Junction Mayor Bill McCurry, with whom he had served in the fire department, to an emergency-training conference in 1991, McCurry said.

Strobl also helped establish a fire cadet program for young people ages 14 to 21, said Ed Billings, with whom Strobl worked at the fire department.

“He was a great guy,” Billings said.

Bob Strobl and his wife, Carol, had two sons, Mike and Mark.

A memorial will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Callahan-Edfast Mortuary. Private interment will be at the Western Slope Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to Toys for Tots in care of Greg Merschel, Keller Williams Grand Junction Realty, 715 Horizon  Drive, Suite 225, Grand Junction 81506.


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