Steven J. Stratton died at his home in Waupaca, Wisconsin on January 3. He was 62.
Steve was born and raised in Elgin, Illinois, the youngest of three children. He graduated from Elgin High School and attended Western Illinois University and the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. Steve pursued careers as a social worker and a building maintenance supervisor. Earlier, he worked as a baker on St. Croix and as a ranch hand in Montana. He painted houses, collected garbage, and drove a school bus. But music was his passion. This lifelong affair began at age 14 when he bought his first guitar for $34. Steve formed a garage band, played trombone in junior high, and sang in the cappella choir in high school. After retiring in 2012, he devoted his efforts to converting the family summer cottage into his year-round home and to his ongoing work as a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. In early 2014, he released his first album, entitled “Endlessly.” He was at work writing new songs at the time of his death.
He is survived by his mother, Mary Robertson Stratton; his sister, Sharon Stratton; his sister, Sandra Stratton; his sister-in-law, Martha Carroll; four stepchildren, and four step-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father, Roscoe S. Stratton, and his brother-in-law, Richard Thomas.
Donations in Steve’s memory may be made to the Stratton Lake Property Owners Association c/o Paul Nulton, 2332 W. Wintergreen Dr., Appleton, WI 54914. They will be used for conservation of the lake, which was Steve’s wish. A memorial gathering for Steve will be held at a later date. That information will be available from Holly Funeral Home in Waupaca.