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Gene Strate

Gene Strate, 87, of Holden, Missouri, passed away peacefully at his daughter’s home on Monday, June 12, 2023.

Gene was born in rural Holden on April 7, 1936, to Mont and Mary (Davis) Strate.

He graduated from Holden High School in 1954.

Gene lived his entire life in Holden, except for a short time in his teens when his family moved to Harrisonville.

He was united in marriage to Melinda O’Neal on December 23, 1967. Gene brought a daughter and son to this union. The couple were married 54 years before Melinda passed away in October of 2022.

As a teen, Gene delivered Manor Bread in the area. He started his career in the medical field at the Holden Hospital where he was a lab and x-ray technician. He then went to work at the Windsor Hospital as their technician. Gene became the administrator of the hospital and kept that position until the hospital closed.

He switched professions and became a plumber, and together with his dad, he ran Mont and Gene Strate Plumbing until his retirement at age 83. He served the area seven days a week if his customers had a need.

Gene was an antique collector. He especially liked to collect cars, trucks, and tractors. He and Melinda would also visit antique shops to add to their collection of furniture, dishes, and blow torches.

He was a member of the Chilhowee Antique Farm Machinery Collectors Organization (CAFMCO) and always entered his trucks and tractors and hit and miss engines in their shows. Gene was especially proud of his Barnsdall Oil Collection and his Calhoun Pottery.

Gene and Melinda were members of the Holden United Methodist Church. They loved dancing and Blue Grass Music. Gene was a humble, soft-spoken man, who will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Preceding Gene in death were his parents, Mont and Mary; his wife, Melinda; sister, Ruth Gardner; brothers-in-law, Don Gardner, Roy Woodring, Greg Kuntz, and Curt Warren.

He is survived by his daughter, Terry Sisk and husband, Glenn of Holden; grandsons, Josh Sisk, and Jake Sisk, and wife Kolette; great-grandchildren, Caroline and Conor Sisk; son, Steve Strate; sisters, Elinor Woodring and Marilyn Kuntz; sister-in-law, Violet Warren and her children Curtis and Maggie; and several nieces and nephews.

A visitation was held Friday, June 16, 2023, at Campbell-Cast Funeral Home in Holden, Missouri.

A funeral service followed with Clayton Foss officiating. Pallbearers were: Josh Sisk, Jake Sisk, Daniel Strate, Mike Daugherty, Mike Watterson, and Richard Warren. Honorary pallbearers were his Strate’s Drive-In coffee drinking pals: Bob Banes, Joe Shockley, Ernie Smith, Dwight Anstine, George Shull, cousin, Gary Strate and close friends, Doug Warren, and Donald “Bo” Bohannon.

Interment followed at the Holden Cemetery. In honor of Gene’s love of antiques, and in lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to CAFMCO, PO Box 17, Chilhowee, MO 64733. Online condolences may be left to the family at

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