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Henry "Bob" Robert Stange
April 9, 1939 ~ May 22, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old
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Henry Robert “Bob” Stange, beloved father, brother, uncle and papa, passed away peacefully in his home the morning of May 22, 2023 at the age of 84 in Zionsville, Indiana.
Bob was the oldest of two children born to Henry and Virginia Stange on April 9, 1939 in a suburb of Evanston, Illinois. Growing up, Bob was known for his sense of humor and adventurous spirit. As he grew, he developed an eye for innovation, a love of racing, and many friendships to share his life.
Bob had two sons, Michael and Jeffrey. His pride and joy were held in his boys, as well as in his impressive accomplishments in the work field. After graduating from Evanston Township High School in 1956, he worked for Portland Cement in Skokie Il. It was here that he impressed his supervisors so much, they allowed him to use the building on weekends to pursue his true-life passion: race cars, and innovation in the parts that made them. On the weekends at Portland Cement, race car enthusiasts from the area would come to have their parts fixed or modified by Bob Stange. It was at this time, Bob and his then wife Sharron (Rosenberg) decided to take a leap of faith. With the help of Sharron and her family, Bob was able to quit his job at Portland dedicating himself fully to building what would be known as Strange Engineering. His friends recall him sitting on the floor of his newly created company, creating and modifying parts through all hours of the night. He was a true lover of his craft, and he strived to ensure that every racer who chose to run his parts would not only be faster than their opponent, but also that they would be safe trusting their lives to his products. Strange Engineering would grow to become one of the most influential and well known manufacturing companies in the sport of drag racing. Strange Engineering has been named Manufacturer of the Year several times, and Bob was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2010.
Despite a life of fast paced, long days and often times even longer nights building his company, Bob was a true lover of life. He was a humorous storyteller, an amazing cook and an epic host. All these things are evident through the memories his friends and family have of him. His 4th of July parties at his lake home in Michigan will be remembered as legendary. His adoring grandchildren will miss his late night grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade waffles for breakfast. His friends will remember his mischievous smile and the true happiness he took from seeing everyone enjoy themselves at his hosted events and weekends. Bob was quite a talented woodworker and cabinet maker and he has left his own created pieces behind to remind us all of what a multitalented man he truly was. His friends in the racing community will miss him holding court on the back of the company hospitality bus at the racetrack. Bob was truly one of a kind, he will never be forgotten, but forever remembered and missed by all who were fortunate enough to know him.
Bob is survived by his two sons, Michael (wife Kathy, children Tyler, Samantha, and Jackson) and Jeffrey (wife Crystal, children Lexi, Austin and Wyatt), his loving baby sister Joy (Stange) Jefferson (husband Michael, Bob's treasured nieces and nephews, Scott Jefferson (Chantelle), Julie (Jefferson) Miller, Jill Jefferson and Greg Jefferson. His fiancé Linda Creasy. And it would be remiss of us not to include his “honorary niece” Leigh Buttera, whom Bob has loved and looked after from the day that she was born until his last weeks, where she spent countless days and nights at his bedside, loving on him and keeping him in good spirits.
There will be a Celebration of Life event in Bob's honor, with details made public once the family has had time to decide on the date and time, later in the year. Details will be made public once that has been planned.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to God Speed Ministry via the website below.