Paul Strain

Paul Strain

August 22, 1960 - August 26, 2020
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Paul was born on August 22, 1960, in Valentine, NE, to Michael B. "Mick", and Sybil (Ingvalson) Strain. He spent his earliest days in White River, after which the family moved to Vermillion for a handful of years, then ventured to Pierre where many lifelong relationships were established among neighborhood friends and classmates at Lincoln Elementary School. In December 1970, the family moved to Vancouver, WA for four years, returning back to White River in November 1974. The return to White River enabled him to reconnect with all his cousins of the Strain family and memories were made at the Strain Ranch, Strain Seed house, and Thoroughbred Lodge. Paul was an athlete and played on the White River football team during its undefeated 1977 and 1978 seasons. He graduated from high school in 1978 and went on to attend Black Hills State College for a brief period of time. Paul followed his college experience with employment at the Homestake Mine in Lead, where he worked for several years supporting his wife, Pamela (Vik) and son, Elliott.
Always a free spirit, Paul was an adventurous soul, though sometimes his endeavors and predilection for activities slightly off the path more commonly traveled, yielded the occasional raising of eyebrows by his parents and grandparents. But he was entertaining, humorous, and had a flare for witticisms and would do anything to help other people – a true friend. Over time, Paul served in a myriad of different occupations throughout the country, ranging from Belle Fourche to Virginia Beach to Azle, TX, with occasional undersea action in Central America. He eventually returned back to South Dakota in 2014, and began working for Michael Ballard at the Full Throttle Saloon in Sturgis and later at the Deadwood Distillery in Deadwood, where he entertained thousands of people with S’loonshine tastings and stories of his adventures around the world over the years. He had a unique knack and ability to talk to anybody at any level.
Paul also loved boating and camping. He cruised the lakes and bays in Texas, Virginia Beach, and South Dakota, and spent much of his time at Sheridan Lake and other locales in the Black Hills, enjoying the outdoors. He was also an avid motorcycle enthusiast, and took great pride in his Victory motorcycle.
Paul Louis Strain died on Wednesday, August 26, 2020, in Boulder Canyon south of Sturgis. He was involved in a motorcycle accident which took his life.
Paul is survived by his son, Elliott (Karli); and his sibilings, Douglas (Joyce) Strain, Michael (Robin) Strain, Patricia (Wade) Driver, Peggy (Cliff) Starkjohann, and Marc (Eldon) Marshall. He was beloved by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father, Michael B. "Mick" Strain; mother, Sybil Barnes; and a sister, Catherine Grace
Memorial services will be 6:00 the Deadwood distillery in Deadwood on September 17, and at the Catholic hall in White River at 3 o’clock on September 19.
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Memorial Program

We have provided a digital copy (PDF) of the Memorial Program that we supply at the time of the service. To Download this file please click the filename below. Paul Strain - Memorial Program

Service Details

  • Memorial Service

    September 17, 2020 | 6:00pm
    September 17, 2020 6:00pm
    Deadwood Distillery
    645 Main Street
    Deadwood, SD 57732
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    2nd Service 3:00 pm on September 19, 2020 Catholic Hall in White River, SD
    Pastor Mark Phillips
  • Interment

    September 19, 2020 | 3:30pm
    September 19, 2020 3:30pm
    White River Cemetery
    Address Not Available


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Jeff and Christina Christians and Mathias and Magd sent flowers to the family of Paul Strain.
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Jim and Donna Bares

Posted at 08:19pm
Mike, Robin and Family,
We extend our deepest sympathy for your loss.
Jim and Donna Bares

Jacki Schoenrock

Posted at 10:33am
When I knew Paul in the way back when, his passion for life both exhilarated and exhausted me! Fearless in pursuit of fun, he could be charming and annoying at the same time, and so, so persuasive!! Just try to keep up! I only knew him for a short time, but those were years I'll never forget.... I sometimes wondered through the years since then what kind of shenanigans Paul would be up to now. Anyway, I am glad to have known him, and so sorry that his friends and family lost him too soon.
I hope you had a great, life, Paul - you were a force of nature.
"All these places had their moments, with lovers and friends I still can recall ...... In my life I've loved them all"

My sincerest condolences to Elliott, Doug, Mike, Peggy, Patty and Paul's extended family and friends.
Jacki (Byers) Schoenrock


Posted at 03:11am
I met paul in july 2017 at the deadwood distilling co. I had the privilege to work w him and we became fast friends. He came into my life at a time when I was ( and still) going thru alot. he always made me laugh but dont get me wrong we have had our ugly moments and there was times in this short time knowing him that he was my only friend. I hope he knows how much I cared for him. He was my bestest pal. And I'm going to miss him dearly. And I believe in signs and Paul let me know he was okay the other night I was letting my YouTube play on the TV and mainly first couple hours it was Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and out of nowhere The Beatles came on I don't have the Beatles in any of my playlist I don't play the Beatles not to hate on the Beatles but I'm not a big fan therefore there was no reason whatsoever for the Beatles come up in the rotation and I knew that was Paul and he was letting me know who was okay Paul has an amazing 45 collection of The Beatles in a vintage 45 case I think that says the Beatles and the other thing that has been happening is for a few days now I keep hearing this weird noise and it's in the house it's in my apartment and I hear it at least twice a day just recently it has not been doing this since just recently I figured it out last night I have a jar moonshine in my freezer that somebody gave me during rally and it's the jar the lid pinging that is the only way I can describe it and so I had to laugh last night and I said I hear you pollywog you're joking with me I know that I haven't known him a lifetime 2 years is not very long I have lost friends that I've known for 20 some years but apparently they didn't make an impact in my life like Paul and I am so sorry think he's gone heart goes out to all the family and I'm going to miss him so much


Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 10:34pm
Hey Paul thank you for your friendship. Pam and Elliot I am so sorry for your loss.Your Friend Perry Hartman
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Jeff and Christina Christians and Mathias and Magd

Posted at 11:39am
We are deeply saddened by the news of Paul's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
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Jeff and Christina Christians and Mathias and Magd purchased flowers for the family of Paul Strain. Send Flowers


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