On August 30, 2020, the IAM lost one of their soldiers when retired Grand Lodge Representative and Educator Dennis W. Strahan passed away after a valiant fight with cancer at the age of 76.
“It is the work of our union brothers and sisters like Dennis Strahan who personify the ideals and value of the Machinist Union,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Strahan was a foot solider for labor, dedicated to serving the membership in any way possible. His life’s work can be seen in the success of the thousands of IAM members who crossed his path, and his legacy lives on through their continual fight for workers. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to those who called him friend.”
Serving more than 25 years in the IAM, Strahan was a true unionist with a career that began at Beech Aircraft in 1969, where he joined the Machinist Union and became part of Local 2328 in his hometown of Salina, KS. In his 11 years at Beech, Strahan held many union positions from shop steward to plant chairman, even serving on the negotiating committee in 1978 where he helped to secure a 36 percent raise for machinists.
Elected a few years later as Business Representative with District 70, he fought tirelessly for members through grievances and arbitration cases until he was recruited to serve as an Education Representative at William W. Wipinsinger Education and Technology Center. He had a passion for sharing his work and union experiences with the hundreds of machinist members who excitedly took his class. In 2005, he accepted the position of Grand Lodge Representative in which he would finish his career with the union, retiring in 2006.
Strahan was a storyteller and the life of the party, regularly sharing funny stories of his Kansas upbringing. Those closest to him say he was a true friend, willing to lend a helping hand or an understanding ear whenever it was needed. An avid golfer and a huge Kansas sports fan, friends and family remember fondly how he was always the first to start any celebration. A loving and dedicated father, caregiver, protector, friend and confident to all.
In addition to his union family who mourn his passing, he is survived by his immediate family which includes his brother Dennis, his sister Deborah, two daughters Nicole and Dawn, his five grandchildren and three great grandchildren, as well as a host of friends who will attend a private service to celebrate his life. Donations to the Guide Dogs of America to honor Strahan’s memory can be made at www.guidedogsofamerica.org.