Cover photo for Richard Strate's Obituary
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Richard Strate

d. December 19, 2023

Stillwater, MN

Richard Strate

Richard "Dick" Strate, M.D.

Age 89 of Stillwater, formerly of St. Paul and Marine on St. Croix, died on December 19, 2023.
He is survived by his wife Sharon; daughter Kathryn Smith (Litt Clark); son Larry; grandsons Tyler (Sinziana), Brook, Connor (Allison), and Mason; granddaughters Emily, Natalie, Paige, and Kelsey; great-grandson Blake.
He was preceded in death by daughter Elizabeth "Lisa"; brother David; and son-in-law Christopher Smith.

Dick graduated from the U of MN Medical School in 1964. After a year of internship at St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center (now Regions Hosp.) he was drafted and spent two years in the army, including nine months in Vietnam at a base camp on the edge of fighting. He was relieved from active duty on Christmas Day, 1967.
After returning, he completed a surgical residency at St. Paul Ramsey and became a staff member there for most of his surgical career. He was one of the founding physicians of the Burn Unit, the first in the Upper Midwest.

In the mid to late 1970's he was at the forefront with the entry of computers for use in medicine at the hospital. While Director of the Burn Unit he wrote a program for calibrating individual antibiotic dosing in burn patients to calculate how to maintain an adequate serum level at all times, as infections were a big problem. After that, the mortality rate in severe burns due to sepsis dropped significantly. Computer programs didn't exist. The Web wasn't invented until 1989 and the internet wasn't available to the public until 1993. 

After the Grenadian Intervention in 1983, Dick was recruited by the U.S. State Department and Project Hope to participate in the first phase of Amercan medical assistance to the island. Physicians and medical personnel were needed. The hospital and several clinics on the island had been primarily staffed by Cuban physicians and they left when the Cuban soldiers left. As there were no working telephones - he would get summoned at night by the arrival of an ambulance to fetch him. As for electricity, the hospital was lucky to have a working generator.

Shortly after we built our dream home near Marine on St. Croix he went on staff at the Osceola Hospital in Wisconsin. He was on-call 24/7 - but the calls at night were few and usually involved going in for a C-Section rather than trauma. He had a small farm tractor with a snowblower attachment, a bush wacker for clearing trails, and a front-end loader for moving all sorts of things. He also had a workshop envied by many in the trades. He was the ultimate handyman.

He enjoyed sailing and many winter vacations were spent bareboat sailing with friends in the West Indies, anywhere from the British Virgin Islands to Grenada and once the islands of French Polynesia (Tahiti).

He loved reading but had to go to audiobooks and articles as a result of macular degeneration. He still attempted to read newspapers on his iPad by blowing up the print. His interest in medicine never dwindled. Within a week of his death he was still receiving a case study from the New England Journal of Medicine on his iPad.

He especially loved his time on Lake Koronis with family and with many friends through the years. It's where he spent summers while growing up and again after his retirement.

A Celebration of Life will be held on April 21, 2024 at 7 Vines Vineyard (101 MN-96, Dellwood MN 55110) from 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM.

Memorials preferred to Regions Foundation - Burn Center, 640 Jackson St Stop 11202C, St. Paul, MN 55101 or made online at and select Burn Center
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Strate, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, April 21, 2024

1:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

7 Vines Vineyard and Winery

101 MN-96, Dellwood, MN 55110

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