Galen R Struve at the age of 75, passed away Friday, December 16, 2022 unexpectedly at his home in Blue Springs, MO.
Galen was born on May 4, 1947. He had fond memories growing up on the family farm in Manning, IA. Later the family moved to Blairsburg, IA, Rochelle, IL and then to Manilla, IA where he met and later married his high school sweetheart, Elaine. After graduation, he pursued his artistic talent and graduated early from the Omaha Art Institute. Upon graduation, he became an Art Instructor for the Institute. An art director position for a livestock publishing company led him to the Kansas City area.
Throughout his life, Galen had three careers never losing touch with the other; teaching, illustration and coaching softball. The second part of his career began in the livestock industry where he served as art director for two Kansas City based livestock publications. Later as a freelance artist, his work was featured on the covers of several national and regional cattle magazines, promotions for various beef breed associations, the American Royal and in ad campaigns for several well-known purebred beef producers. His livestock background as a youth no doubt exposed him to the anatomy of animals which he mastered by turning his drawings into photo like pictures. For over 25 years, Galen was a free-lance illustrator and designer. Some of the illustrations are or have been in the Steamboat Arabia, H Roe Bartle Hall, the American Royal, Longview Farms, Westminster College and the Jerry Litton Visitor Center to name a few plus countless proprietary logos including the City of Blue Springs.
Athletics was always part of his life. Personal competitive sports included basketball, baseball, fast-pitch softball and semi-pro football; but competitive women’s softball became his life. Galen was a recognized fast- pitch clinician and pitching instructor utilizing his illustrations as a tool in teaching correct pitching form to pitchers in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Galen coached several competitive summer girls’ softball teams before advancing to the women’s collegiate level. Galen began his college head coaching career at William Jewell College in 1992 winning back-to-back Heart of America Conference championships. He was named HAAC Coach of the Year in 1993. In 1996, he became the head coach at the University of Missouri-Kansas City rewriting the UMKC’s record book in almost every category. While at Avila University in 2001-2002, he founded the Dennis Gault Memorial Tournament. Rockhurst University started their softball program in 2005 with Galen as the head coach. The Hawks won 213 games and earned three berths in the Great Lakes Valley Conference Tournament. Galen retired in 2017, ending his coaching career with a Conference Championship.
Galen is preceded in death by his parents Ralph and Velma Struve. He is survived by his wife Elaine Struve; daughter, Dana Struve; granddaughters, Shayla (Tucker) Fletchall and Emily Hill; great granddaughter, Lainey Fletchall; and his two sisters, Glenda (CW) Baker and Janene (Patrick) Barry as well as loving in-laws, nieces, nephews, beloved friends and former softball players.
His pride and joy was truly his family. His passion and love of softball transformed into soccer for his granddaughters. He spent hours watching the girls play but could never understand the “offside” rule! Galen was an incredible Dad to Dana, and Papa to his precious granddaughters and great granddaughter. They were shown unconditional love and were treasured by him. All of the family will miss his incredible smile that would always light up a room.
A private family service will be held in December. The family plans to hold a Celebration of Life in the Spring for friends and family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in Galen’s name to a Women’s Sport Program of your choice. Galen loved sports and especially women’s athletics whether it be local or professional. It would be a great honor to him to continue to support those activities. Arrangements has been entrusted to Meyers Funeral Chapel in Blue Springs. Memories of Galen and words of comfort for his family may be shared at meyersfuneralchapel.com