Madame Mayor, Dorothy L. Strohbehn
Dorothy L. Strohbehn (nee Beisner), 90, of Council Bluffs, passed away Sunday, January 26, 2020, after battling a very rare form of melanoma.
Dorothy was married to the late Dr. Arthur M. Strohbehn for over 50 years. Dorothy, who was predeceased by her son, Dr. Kim Strohbehn, of Ellicott City, Md., is survived by her sons, Dr. Jody Strohbehn, of Council Bluffs, and Karl Strohbehn, of North Royalton, Ohio; her daughter, Dr. Jill Engelstad, of Council Bluffs; her daughters-in-law, Dr. Barbara Lee, of Council Bluffs, and Rosa Strohbehn, of Ellicott City; seven grandchildren, Xochitl, Maria, Amber, Holly, Jasmine, Austin and Christopher; three grandchildren-in-law, Nick, Alisa and Kim; and four great-grandchildren, Selena, Adaline, Ansel and Meadow.
Dorothy graduated in 1951 from Iowa State University with a degree in dietetics and nutrition; after graduating from Iowa State, she worked for a year in Chicago for the Infant Welfare Society until she married Dr. Arthur Strohbehn in June 1952. After her children were born, Dorothy was a devoted stay-at-home mother and wife who, among other things, served as a den mother for the Cub Scouts for several years, served as President of the PTA of the local elementary school for several years, and, in the late 1960s, served as an editor of the local elementary school newspaper for a couple of years. Most of Dorothy's time and energy was focused on her children while they were growing up.
As her children got older, Dorothy played a critical role in helping her husband establish and build the Strohbehn Veterinary Clinic, which remains a vibrant and thriving business today, almost 65 years later. During this same period, Dorothy also belonged to various book clubs, and became active in the Republican Party and the local political scene. In the late 1960s, the then-Governor of Iowa appointed Dorothy to the Iowa Crime Commission - a post that ignited an interest in public service. Her political activity and desire to serve the public ultimately led her to become a member of the Council Bluffs City Council - a post she held for 12 years, and in 1974, to become the first (and as of now, only) female mayor of Council Bluffs. While mayor and on the City Council, she was devoted to fiscal responsibility, making improvements to the city, and providing a voice for all of her constituents. Among other things, Dorothy was involved in establishing the first animal shelter, trying to preserve historic elementary school buildings, and efficiently deploying scarce city resources by paving dirt roads in a number of ways. Prior to retiring from public service, Dorothy was frequently asked - by constituents and politicians - to run for higher office; although she was gratified by these requests, she always declined because she did not want to be away from her family for extended periods of time.
Throughout her life, Dorothy embraced and celebrated education and knowledge and was devoted to her family. She will be greatly missed. A memorial celebrating Dorothy's life will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2020, at 10 a.m., at Cutler-O'Neill-Meyer-Woodring Bayliss Park Chapel. Interment will be held in Memorial Park Cemetery, with a lunch following at the Walnut Hill Reception Center, 1350 E. Pierce St. Visitation with the family will be from 9 a.m. until time of service, at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, she asked to shed light on (and, where possible, direct research funds to) the rare diseases that claimed her life (https://melanoma.org/ how-to-help/give/), her son's life (https://www. curesarcoma.org/), and her husband's life (the Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation (https://ipffoundation.org/donate/) or to direct donations to another cause close to her heart, education (the SW Iowa Educational Foundation for the Dorothy and Dr. Arthur Strohbehn Memorial).