It is not always possible to pay respects in person, so we hope that this small token will help.
Offer a gift of comfort and beauty to a family suffering from loss.
A gift to your family, sparing them hard decisions at an emotional time.
One of Oklahoma’s first funeral homes, Strode Funeral Home, has been serving families in Stillwater and the surrounding area since 1889.
The funeral home has had various owners since its inception by Mr. Stevenson in 1889 and at that time functioned both as a funeral parlor and furniture store before being sold to Henry Hand. In 1902, C.E. Hull and J.A. McTaggert purchased the store. Jake Katz, founder of Katz Department Store, was a partner for a short time around 1906. In 1914, it was bought and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Ed Strode until 1917 when Mr. Strode was killed in Payne County’s first automobile fatality. Mrs. Ruth Strode then operated the business by herself.
In 1928, the funeral home was moved from its location in the 700 block of South Main to its present location at 610 S. Duncan where the Episcopal Church was located. The church was moved and a new funeral home was built. The rectory from the church also became part of the funeral home. Mr. W. F. Bernhardt, Sr. came to Stillwater in 1930 to work for Ruth Strode after having graduated in 1928 from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science in Texas. The Bernhardts’ acquired an interest in 1935 and became sole owners in 1943.
The concept of “Our Family Serving Your Family” always had a special meaning to the Bernhardt family. Bill Bernhardt, Jr. began working with his father in 1954 after completing his degrees at Oklahoma State University and Dallas Institute of Funeral Service. In 1959, Bill Bernhardt, Jr. acquired the funeral home from his father.
Bill Bernhardt, Jr. owned the funeral home until December 2005. Rather than sell to a corporation or individual outside the Stillwater area, he sold the funeral home to three long time employees who continue to carry on the tradition of "Our Family Serving Your Family.” Mike Chace, Gail Hunt, and Louie Brower all have ties to the Stillwater area and collectively have over 76 years of service to Strode Funeral Home. Strode Funeral Home proudly remains locally owned by those who serve you and your family.