of Conway, AR
October 27, 1942 - May 19, 2022
Stephen Luther Strange Sr., aged 79, passed away May 19th, 2022 surrounded by his family, at Baptist Health Medical Center, Conway, after complications from previous illnesses. Steve was born in San Francisco, CA on October 27th, 1942 to Dr. Vance M. Strange of Stamps, AR and Monda E. (Dunn) Strange of San Francisco. He graduated from Kemper Military Academy in Boonville, MO in 1960. He received his Bachelor's degree in 1964 from Hendrix College in Conway, AR and then served in the Army Reserves at Fort Ord in California.Steve married Claudia Diane (Ashby) Strange in 1968, at the Mission Inn, in Riverside, CA. They began their family in Riverside until work took them back to his beloved San Francisco in 1970.In 1984, after purchasing American Management Corporation, Steve and Claudia moved their family to Conway, where he worked diligently for 38 years as President and Chief Executive Officer. Throughout his career in the insurance industry, he was honored for his skills as a business owner and a philanthropist. Some of which were Arkansas Business Executive of the year in 2001, Arkansas Insurance Hall of Fame inductee in 2015 and Conway Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award recipient in 2015. He was also instrumental in helping the University of Central Arkansas start a program in insurance where there is a scholarship in his name.Steve was preceded in death by his mother, father, stepmother, Lydia Strange and brother, Bruce Strange and special family friends, Frank "Paco", Gini Rowland and Bill Otto. He is survived by his magnolia blossom and love of his life of 54 years, Claudia; his brother, Vance II, of Conway; his sister, Deborah Ward, of Tucson, AZ; his three sons, Steve Jr., Douglas (wife Shelly) and Vance III; his seven grandchildren, Hannah, Ashby, Harleigh, Vance IV, Trip, Elle and Troy; beloved nieces and nephews and lifelong friends, Don Disterheft of Conway, Steve and Judi Rubin of Moraga, CA, Craig James and Lynn Becker of Phoenix, AZ, Bob and Ellen Oddone of Pauma Valley, CA, Glen and Jan Hildebrand of Conway, AR, Jimbo and Terri Hendrickson of Conway, AR, Pat Otto and David Urrea of San Francisco, CA, as well as countless others.He was known to most as "Big Steve". He brought light and laughter wherever he went. He was a devoted father and grandfather, and a mentor to many. A gifted storyteller, quick with a joke, and full of wisdom, Steve will always be remembered for his advice, charisma and charm. He never knew a stranger, welcomed all, and had a knack for making family out of friends. A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, May 27, 2022 at The Greene Chapel at Hendrix College at 10:00am.Donations in his name can be made to Arkansas Children's Hospital or PARK Foundation.- Tonite We Ride
Prayers for Family and Friends, may God be with each of you in your time of Sorrow.
Big Steve's big smile and big hello were sure to brighten your day! My thoughts and prayers go out to the Strange family.
Claudia, it was with great sadness for you and your family that I learned today, of Steve’s passing. My sincerest condolences for you and your family. He certainly was bigger than life and will be missed by many.
What a privilege to have known Steve. Anyone that has will never forget him. He made me feel like I was special as I saw him do to many others. This was such a gift of his. Seeing the Tonite We Ride sign in Lazy H always makes me smile as did Steve. Thank you for being my friend.
To say he will be missed is such a huge understatement. A once in a lifetime person is the best way to describe him. There will never be another, and we consider it a blessing to have had him in our lives."Tonite We Ride"
I’m not sure if it was his laugh or his voice that I heard first but when I heard it I knew we were going to have way to much fun together. There aren’t many people in this world as raspy or as loud as me and I was like”yes!, a new partner in crime” 😊! I am pretty sure more than once people would stop and stare as we went back and forth cracking each other up and telling stories. He always made me feel cared about and my day was always better after I saw him. Thank y’all for sharing him with me and so many others. Y’all will be in my thoughts and prayers as y’all begin adjusting to a new normal.
I am so sorry for your loss. I know he will be greatly missed by his family and all that loved and cared for him. You are all in my thoughts.
Love and prayers to the family. So sorry I can’t attend the service tomorrow Big Steve was loved by everyone. He touched my life in a very special way and was one of my dearest friends. He supported me thru so much thru all the years. We had many great times that I will cherish forever. Tonight He Rides! Heaven is greeting one of the Great Ones! It’s not Goodbye. It’s Till we meet Again. 🙏Dee Lincoln
To the Strange Family we send our love and prayers Big Steve will be missed. I worked for AMC and Steve for 28years and one of the caring moments I can remember was when a tornado was in our area and phone lines was down and Steve was calling to check on us to make sure we were alright. He finally got in touch with me to make sure my Family was ok. He took care of his AMC Family and cared for all. Myself, two daughters have worked for Steve over the years. I would love to tell him how much we are appreciative of everything he has done for my family. I still have a daughter and granddaughter still working for the Strange Family. My God Bless
We are so blessed to be able to say this wonderful, genuinely kind man was our friend. He will be missed by all. Hugs to the family.
Big Steve made all of the employees at AMC a part of his family. He was a great leader for us all.
Our thoughts & prayers for you all. He was admired and loved by many. He was an example to other by being a very kind and caring man.
He was one of the good guys. Generous, never met a stranger, and all around good fellow.
I'm so sorry for your loss. I will remember Big Steve fondly for his larger than life personality and ability to make each person feel like they matter. He was never without a story to relate to the moment and knew how to throw a party.
Our sincere condolences to the family. He was a great man and will be sorely missed. We will always cherish the sign he gave us. Rusty and Angel Page
Dear Claudia and Strange family,Grieving gives us the time to heal and comfort each otherby sharing our fond memories. In time the sorrow will lessen, but our treasured thoughts will forever remain. Our deepest condolences and wishes for you to find peace and comfort at this most difficult times.The Fidanian family
The impact brother Steve made to me, my family, and agency is absolutely invaluable! His intellect, character, keen sense of humor, AND loyalty are very difficult to find in today's world. He will ALWAYS ride in heaven and in our hearts and unforgettable memories. Godspeed!!!
TONIGHT WE RIDE!!! Now, you ride forever our dear brother! God bless your soul with an eternity of happiness! You will truly be missed and NEVER forgotten. They don't make men like you, so the world lost someone special. There are not enough words to describe the love and respect we have for you! We will meet again one day! Love you!
We are so sorry for your loss. When I think of Steve I think of Christmas in August , Arkansas Style. Our neighborhood gatherings with all the kids riding bikes, big wheels. Our Christmas party at the Olympic Club. So many memories that we will always cherish. Our love to all of your family.
You will be missed! So many good memories with Steve! Our prayers are with your family!
I’m so sorry to hear of Big Steve’s passing. He was such a special friend to our family. My parents considered him their second son. Sending prayers for peace and comfort to Claudia and the boys.
You should consider yourself lucky, to have known such a wonderful person like Big Steve. This man brought light and hope to each and every person that he came in contact with. This world was a better place with someone like Big Steve in it. He will be missed by many.
I count the big guy as one of the men in my life that made a true and lasting impact. Because he gave a young 20 something a chance he probably hadn’t yet earned my wife and I moved to Conway, raised a family, became involved in our community and have had a pretty outstanding life. It’s truly hard to imagine where life would have taken me without his mentorship, friendship and his willingness to make my family part of his. I’ll miss him terribly, but his spirit, joy for life and love for this town and the people in it will live on in me and so many others just like myself whose lives he touched. He was fond of saying “Tonight We Ride” and I was along for many of those nights. It might take some time but someday we’ll ride together again. Farewell my friend, I loved ya and I’ll miss ya!
Tonight We Ride! RIP, Big Steve!!
Our deepest condolences to Claudia and family. We just found out about Steve's passing and our hearts are very sad! We met Steve in 1972, he was our neighbor and became a dear friend! Our families had such a great time for many years. Steve was a warm, loving, funny and caring human being! He will be missed❤️ Steve Rest In Peace. Claudia and family you will be in my prayers🙏 Stevie, Doug and Vance our hearts are with you in your sadness❤️🙏
It’s never goodbye. So long my friend, until we meet again.
Lots of love and fond memories of Big Steve! All my love and thoughts are with the Strange family and all the people that love him. I know that he made an enormous impact on many lives and he will be missed dearly.“Tonight, we ride!”
Claudia, Steve, Doug & Vance …. So very sorry for your loss. Sending love and prayers. He was a great man with a huge heart ♥️ I will always cherish his hugs 🤗 and encouraging words. He always had a smile on his face no matter the circumstances.
“Big Steve” talked Dr. Win Thompson into creating a major in Insurance & Risk Management at UCA that led the best 18 years of mine and Shirley’s lives. And at every turn there was Steve Strange. I can’t begin to name all the things he did to encourage and support me during my tenure at UCA. But most of all he was my friend. Condolences to Steve’s family. You can open the bottle!
Big Steve had a personality bigger than life and a heart to match. Incredible man that will truly be missed by so many!—Tonight We Ride
Steve Possessed an effervescent personality and left a memory everywhere he went. Everyone loved him. Tonight we ride!!
I am so sorry for y’all’s loss. Big Steve was one of a kind. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone.
I miss my friend Steve and will never forget him. We had many good years of friendship, and I wish we could have had many more. Carmen and I extend our condolences to Claudia and all his family.
God speed Steve.
This space isn’t large enough to pay proper homage to the legend of Big Steve. Generous, kind, and probably the funnest person Conway has seen. My condolences to all who knew him. There will never be another like him. Tonight We Ride!
Vance I was saddened to learn of Steve's passing. He was truly an Insurance Legend.Hope you are doing well.
Boy did this man enjoy life. Always the life of the party and the last to leave. Any stranger to meet him would have story’s to tel over and over again. Just not to your kids . Respected him well as a true and very serious businessman and the knowledge he shared. He will be missed by all. Heaven get ready to ride! Prayers to the entire family.
So sorry to learn of his passing. He was a figurehead in both community and the insurance industry. Prayers for the family.
We will miss you so very much Thank you very much Steve for caring for us and making us laugh
Entertaining, Energetic, Engaging. Giving , Gracious, Gregarious. Lifted the spirits of all those around him. He will be missed by all, but those above are now enjoying his company! May he be having a martini with my Dad right now. xxoo
Heartbroken on this news. The lights of Conway are already dimmer. I ran into Big Steve with Little Steve over Christmas break and am treasuring those last laughs he left me with. A giant of a man. My sincere condolences to Claudia, his sons, and all who loved him.
Sorry for your loss.He was a great person.I Will miss him.
I’m sorry to hear about Steve. What a nice man! Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers!❤️
Rest In Peace Big Steve. It was an honor to be on your team for 13 years. Praying for your family.
So sorry to hear of Steve's passing. I've known Steve since the mid to late 1980's while he was in in Redwood City , prior to opening AMC in Morrilton.... While I haven't had the pleasure to visit with him for many years, I do remember him very well! Always a smile! He'll be missed! My condolences to his family.
He was a precious friend and a kind mentor. Amazing person all around. I remember when he first introduced me to his lunch bunch at Mike’s Place… “The Romeos.” Always welcoming and always kind with a ready laugh. He will be tremendously missed, not just by me, but by the entire community. An extremely generous and giving soul. I can’t believe he’s gone. My love and prayers to him and his family. May he Rest In Peace.
Big Steve always had a joke and a smile! Lost a great one - Tonight We Ride!
One of a kind. Fond memories of our aviation association. RIP my friend. My Perpetual Light shine on Thee. Condolences to the family.
I first met Big Steve when he bought the AMCheadquarters in Conway from my dad and hired our family company to remodel it into his offices. He was larger than life and my family considers him and his family as part of ours. When I worked at Conway Country Club, I enjoyed seeing Steve and his family at the club and he was always the life of the party. His Christmas parties at the club were legend and so much fun. I don’t ever think I saw him when he wasn’t smiling. He’s going to be immensely missed in Conway and by all whose lives he touched. My sincere condolences and sympathy to his family. Tonight we ride!
One of the best guys I’ve ever known
Dear Claudia and family,My heart is so sad to hear of the passing of our beloved Steve. What a "everything" person to so many. He never demanded anything but friendship from all. He was a very dear friend and college roommate to Kenny and will always hold a very special place in our family's heart. I know Kenny was waiting on him when he entered the gates of heaven. May God bless each of you.Love, Robin Johnson and family
There will never be another like him! He did so much for so many!! Tonite we ride!!
I am so sorry for the loss of your loved one. Sending prayers for all.
Heck of guy!! Loved this family and sorry I couldn’t be there. Jason LIeblong
Prayers for the family. Big Steve was one of a kind and will be missed.
My deepest condolences to you all. Steve was one of the few people in this world who truly lived. To have known him was a blessing. And he will forever leave a positive mark in my life. Love you all!
My condolences to the AMC family! Wish I could have met him. Heard lots of fun stories.
Steve was a great man, always had a smile on his face and generally could put one on yours after few moments. He will missed by the community because of the light he brought to it. My prayers are with his family and friends,Tonite we ride!!!
We will miss you! Prayers for comfort to your family!
So sorry for your loss. Prayers for the family and friends.
Steve, your AMC family loves you and misses you forever. TONIGHT WE RIDE!