Funeral services for Hali Strom, age 18, of Crofton, Nebraska, were held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 7, 2015, at First United Methodist Church, 207 West 11th Street, Yankton, South Dakota. She was buried in Bloomfield City Cemetery in Bloomfield, Nebraska.
Hali died Friday, January 2, 2015, at St. Bernard’s Medical Center in Jonesboro, Arkansas. Hali Jill Strom, daughter of Todd and Jill Strom, was born August 14, 1996, in Pender, NE. Hali lived with her family in Beatrice, Nebraska and Pierce, Nebraska during her pre-school years. Hali moved with her family to Crofton, Nebraska in 2001, where she attended Crofton Elementary School and graduated from Crofton High School in May of 2014. She was baptized at the United Church of Pender, in 1996, and confirmed at Yankton First United Methodist Church in 2010. Hali was currently a freshman elementary education major, music minor and campus ministry team member at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell, South Dakota. She went to be with her Lord on January 2, 2015, in Jonesboro, Arkansas while on a campus ministry trip.
Family was the heart of Hali’s life. She was a beautiful blessing to her parents, brother and sister. Hali easily expressed her love, by touch, word and action. She was proud of her family and based many decisions on honoring them. Any opportunity to spend time with relatives was embraced by her, especially holidays, and even enduring hard work on the family farm as long as it was with siblings, cousins or Dad. She especially enjoyed the overnight stays and sharing with her grandmothers. Welcomes and departures were always a passionate hug and “I love you” by Hali.
Hali lived life as a joyful and loving servant to Christ and others. She purposely attempted to know Christ, stay true to her faith and self and remain pure in actions. She was having the time of her life as a vibrant freshmen DWU student involved in several activities. God blessed Hali with a love of music and a beautiful voice. She honored God by participating in chorus, campus ministry team, the DWU “Messiah” production and the Mitchell community “Scrooge” musical. She was a recipient of the DWU Bishop Leadership Award. Hali’s magnetic personality attracted many friends and she was known campus wide for her smile, laugh and strong visible servant leadership. She was a 2014 DWU freshmen homecoming beanie queen candidate. Hali’s passion was serving God with her fellow campus ministry team members. She was excited and proud to work beside them and looked forward to every meeting or activity that united them in Christ’s work. True Christian friendship blossomed from these shared college experiences.
Hali was an active member of First United Methodist Church serving as a Sunday school teacher, praise team member, volunteer at the Yankton Banquet, Habitat for Humanity volunteer and Kids Against Hunger volunteer. She loved her church family, young and old. She gained inspiration by attending Christian music festivals like Lifelight and brought that energy back to her church family. The church truly was her second home.
Hali’s school activities included chorus, FFA, volleyball, basketball, student council, track, FCCLA and she was a manager for the boys’ basketball team. Hali valued positive interaction, especially humorous times, with teachers, custodians, coaches, friends and sometimes even the principal, during her school days. Hali’s experiences were trying at times and her stubborn faith did not leave one guessing what was on her mind. She disliked the drama of certain social settings in school, people being treated poorly or judged falsely and purposely dodged negativity in her life, trying to encourage a mature acceptance among all people. Hali was always willing to return a smile, encouraging word and if you were up for it, a hug. She had many true friends and prayed that all her peers would eventually follow Christ and take the high road regardless of what life brought forth.
Lifeguarding at the Crofton pool, Sunday School involvement and Bible school enabled Hali to develop strong, caring relationships with many young kids in the Crofton and Yankton communities. She stayed involved in their lives, supported them and even corresponded by letter to several while at college. Her hands were never empty, usually holding little one’s hands whenever she walked. Hali was an officer and member of the Lucky Livewires 4-H club. She enjoyed the members, showing cattle, pigs and camping at the Knox County Fair. She also formed a strong bond with the Crofton American Legion and community members during her school years as she emotionally performed taps at many Veterans’ services. She also developed many friendships with her newspaper and “egg customers” in Crofton and while a member of the Crofton United Church of Christ.
Hali is survived by her parents, Todd and Jill Strom; brother and sister, Elijah and Hannah, all of Crofton, Nebraska; grandmothers, Mary Hanson of Vermillion, South Dakota, and Barb Strom of Bloomfield, Nebraska; uncles, aunts, and cousins: Troy, Pat, Alex, Logan and Chelsea Strom of Norfok, Nebraska; Dan, Jodi and Tanner Pierret of Witchita, Kansas; Kory Pierret of Houston, Texas; Randy and Tanya, Kyla, Kenzie, Jack, Blaine and Chance Ritter of Norfolk, Nebraska; Karen Ritter of Norfolk, Nebraska and Brad Ritter of Golden, Colorado; and several relatives, friends, and followers of Christ.
She was preceded in death by her grandfathers, Norman Strom, Doyle Ritter and step-grandfather Harvey Hanson. Pallbearers are Hali’s father’s college teammates: Tim Mudd, Tom Bies, Richard Faidley, John Osborne, Bob Augustine and Mason Billings.
Memorials will be directed to a faith-based scholarship in Hali’s name at Crofton High School.