|Gene and Louise Strahan|
There are those who travel down the road of life tooting their own horns, making sure that others notice them. They are quick to boast of their exploits, where they have been, what they have done, and who they rubbed shoulders with while doing it. I suppose they don’t realize how annoying they are to those of us who get stuck at their table during social events.
Then there are those who, from all appearances, are rather ordinary people, living rather ordinary lives. You never hear them tooting their horns or touting their accomplishments. Yet, when you take a closer look, you discover that they are, indeed, extraordinary people who happen to prefer traveling down the road of life, quietly doing business very well. They are the kind of people with whom you would be happy and honored to share a table. Anywhere. Any time.
Such people are Gene and Louise Strahan, and I was honored to visit their home and interview them several years ago while writing an article for a Christian magazine.
You've probably never heard of Gene and Louise, but if you’re a fan of professional football, you have heard of their son, hall-of-famer, Michael Strahan.
Michael Strahan played defensive end for the New York Giants for many years and will join “Good Morning America” full-time on September 6th.
|Gene Strahan with his four sons.|
While Gene and Louise may have a famous son, that is not what makes them extraordinary. To them, Michael is simply one of their six talented children—all equally special in their eyes. What makes Gene and Louise Strahan stand out from the crowd can be summed up in two words: faithfulness and dedication.
Since their marriage in 1957, Gene and Louise have always been a team. A military man, Gene has been all over the world, but spent a lot of his enlisted time in Mannheim, Germany.
After his retirement in 1985, the Strahans remained in Germany while Gene worked under the umbrella of Chicago’s City College as the coordinator of the drivers training department in Germany, training military personnel in the driving of military vehicles—everything from jeeps to tanks.
In 1989, Gene and Louise formed their own transportation company, working together as a driving team. For the next 10 years, they carried much-needed humanitarian aid to eastern European countries. Rightfully so, they were called “angels” by many of those who were on the receiving end of their road trips.
The year 1992 proved to be a monumental year for the Strahan family. Michael was drafted by the New York Giants, but something much greater occurred, as they see it. Gene had been attending a “prayer and share” service at the Spinelli Military Base Chapel, hosted by the Pentecostal Church of Calvary. Three months later, on November 25, 1992, he was Spirit-filled and baptized. Eventually, Louise followed in her husband’s footsteps.
In 1999, while still in Germany, the Strahans received an impressive award, in recognition for their 10 years of “outstanding sacrifice in providing humanitarian aid to Eastern Europe.” This beautiful plaque now sits in a prominent place in the Strahan’s home.
In 2000, the Strahans said good-bye to Germany and moved to Houston, where today they are faithful members at the Church of Champions.
It isn’t every day that you meet extraordinary people like Gene and Louise Strahan. But whenever you do, you just know that you will never forget them, because they are people who will always make a difference wherever they go.