After 36 years at the helm of Strang Heating and Electric, Dick Marshall passed away on Tuesday, July 5, two days after his 66th birthday. Dick’s passing left many in the community wondering what would be the fate of the 120-year-old mainstay of Richland Center.
“The plans are to keep going, with the help of everyone,” shared Barbara Marshall, Dick’s wife. “You never know what the future holds.”
Strang put its roots down in the greater Richland Center community in a completely different fashion that we may be used to today as Barb explained recently.
“I came across some old advertisements from when the store first opened,” Barb shared. “My grandfather opened a bike shop around 1904 and it lived many different lives over the course of the years. It’s kind of funny looking back now. Some advertisements from the teens and 20’s even noted specializing in replacing baby buggy tires, it was very different than today.” She also noted that through the years cars and farm equipment were also sold under the Strang name before graduating into heating, appliances HVAC, electrical work and now telecom.
The business remained a family affair up until today, with Dick and Barb taking over the company in 1986 and Barb continuing on the legacy.
“Growing up, it was a good way to grow up (along side the family business),” Barb recalled. “I would go on service calls with dad as a kid, I remember bending metal so when Dick and I got married, going into the family business was certainly in the works.”
Barb shared that one of the great joys that Dick had working with Strang’s was being in touch with his community.
“It was really wonderful for him to be serving his community in this capacity, and to be able to give back,” Barb emotionally explained. “A lot of people came up at his service to share stories about how he helped them and that is what we want to keep going.”