One of Oklahoma’s first funeral homes, Strode 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 when at that time it 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 business. Jake Katz, founder of Katz Department Store, was a partner for a short time around 1906.
In 1914, the funeral home was acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Ed Strode. In 1917 Mr. Strode died, becoming 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. "Bill" 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.
Bill Bernhardt, Jr. began working with his father in 1954 after completing his degrees at Oklahoma State University and the 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 2005, when, rather than selling to out-of-state corporate interests he transferred ownership to longtime employees who continue to carry on the tradition of "Our Family Serving Your Family.” Bill continues his association with the funeral home to this day, and is available to help any of his many friends in Stillwater whenever requested.
Strode Funeral Home proudly remains 100% locally owned and operated by those who serve you and your family.
With Strode, it truly is "Our Family Serving Your Family".