The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX


April 23, 2014

Katherine Strain

Katherine Ann (Bischoff) Strain went home to our Lord on Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014. 

She was born Dec. 2, 1921, in Chico, Calif., to August John and Ann (Austin) Bischoff. After Katherine’s father died in 1921, her mother, Annie, moved Katherine and her brother, August John III (AJ), to Rockwall to live with her parents, Judge Isham John and Kate Austin.

 The Austins had settled in Rockwall County in 1871. Judge Austin’s father, Captain Milton Stanhope Austin, fought in the Battle of Gettysburg and moved to Rockwall after the Civil War. Captain Austin served in the 18th Texas Legislature 1885-1886.

Katherine graduated from Rockwall High School in 1940 and attended North Texas State University.

She married Robert Ellis Strain on Aug. 6, 1942, and they resided in Royse City until his death in 2000. Katherine worked for World Book Encyclopedia from 1956 to 1981. There she excelled, being named the top district manager in the world in 1969. 

Katherine was a member of the Red Hat Society, Captain Milton Stanhope Austin United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the American Revolution, Rockwall County Historical Club and the Rockwall Newcomers Club.

She was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church of Royse City.

In addition to her parents, Katherine was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Strain; a daughter, Anne Strain Priess; and a brother, AJ Bischoff. 

She is survived by a daughter, Kaye Smith and husband Kenn of Dallas; grandchildren Lisa Heath and husband Todd of Evergreen, Colo., Marc Smith of Dallas, and Ashley Horn and husband Ramsey of Henderson, Nev.; sister-in-law Leona Crowell Strain of Houston; four great-grandchildren; and many cousins and other relatives. Katherine lived her last three and a half years at Emeritus at Summer Ridge Senior Living in Rockwall. She enjoyed dressing up and riding her scooter to all the activities at Summer Ridge.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at First United Methodist Church, 305 N. Josephine Street, in Royse City with Rev. Tim Marks and Pastor Ann Willet officiating. 

The family will receive friends at Rest Haven Funeral Home–Royse City Chapel, 141 W. Main St,  in Royse City, from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday.

Online condolences may be made at

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