Michael Edward Stroup
“He laughed, he loved, he lived, he left.’
Michael Edward Stroup, age 71, transitioned from this life to be with the Lord on August 12, 2023. He was born in Hartford City, Indiana in the winter of 1951 on what he would tell you was the coldest day of the century. Mike was always glad to tell anyone who would listen that a few days after his birth, he was out delivering papers for his brother Paul’s newspaper route and that he still needs to be paid by Paul (with interest) for his help. As the youngest of three sons born to James Elmer Stroup, Sr., and Isabelle Louise Stroup, he always said that after his brothers Jim and Paul, his Mom finally got it right by the time she got to him.
Mike’s parents are deceased as is his oldest brother, James (Jim). Survivors: wife (Karen Bruner Stroup); brother Paul (Lou) and nephews, Kevin and Jeff; Lorabeth Stroup (Jim Stroup) and nephews, Todd and Ryan, and a whole host of great nieces and nephews and most treasured friends all who know most of Mike’s jokes by heart. His Memorial Service is set for Saturday, August 26, 2023 at Fairview Presbyterian Church, 4609 N. Capitol Avenue, Indianapolis, with visitation from 12:30-2:00 pm; service from 2:00-3:00 pm; and reception from 3-4 pm in the church fellowship hall. Mike’s cremated remains will be buried at a later date at the Decatur Cemetery in Decatur, Indiana. Mike asked that any donations made in his memory be directed to the Riley Children’s Foundation for the Safety Store at Riley Hospital for Children or to Fairview Presbyterian Church.
No one could recycle old jokes and stories better than Mike Stroup. “He told the same corny jokes to friends and family for fifty years,” says his long-suffering wife, Karen. “I know every punch line,” she said. “But I really didn’t mind hearing his jokes or stories over and over again. Neither did his friends, some who could mouth the words as Mike was telling the joke because they knew what was coming next.” Mike had so much fun telling his jokes and stories, you couldn’t help but laugh each and every time you heard him. Mike and Karen met when they were both students at Ball State University and were members of the Ball State University Speech Team. Married since 1979, Karen often was known to say, “I had no idea I was signing up to be his straight man for a lifetime.”
Wherever Mike went, he looked for openings to tell his jokes or stories and weave them into almost every conversation. “That reminds me of the time,” and he was off and running. His dry sense of humor was a hallmark and friends would later comment that they didn’t get his joke until long after they had departed from Mike and all of the sudden, “it bounced off the back wall and hit me.”
His wife, Karen, recalls that “I had no idea what he was up to with his recycled humor until I was home for a while after a surgery and would hear Mike on the phone for his appraisal work and hear him telling the same jokes and stories with each phone call throughout the day.” Friends urged him to get “new material” throughout the years, but Mike stuck to the tried-and-true stories of growing up in Hartford City, Indiana, stories of his friend, Budro, from Louisiana, and his friend, “Riley” who didn’t have to worry about paying any property taxes. “The world needs more funny people, people like Mike,” said his good friend, Chris McCloud. “The guy made me laugh for decades.”
Mike wasn’t just another pretty face who just told jokes. He enjoyed contributing his thoughts about politics and issues of the day on popular radio talk shows and especially enjoyed the “Saturday Morning Open Phones” when former Speaker of the House, John Gregg, hosted a Saturday morning call-in show on Radio Station WIBC. Friends who heard Mike on the show often told him how much they enjoyed hearing what he had to say. At first glance, one might think that Mike was quiet and shy but the gloves would come off when it came time to talk politics and truth. A champion debater from his days on the debate team at Ball State University, Mike never lost his zest for a good political tussle and relished the chance to go head-to-head with anyone of opposing views on the air, on Facebook, or face-to-face.
Mike earned his B.S. degree in Speech Communications from Ball State University. He was self-taught in his many career pursuits that included: mortgages, sales, photography, and finally, residential real estate appraisal, which he did for 24 years. He persistently built his own successful home-based residential real estate appraisal business in 2012 and went on – much to his delight – to make money, enough to help pay bills and take Karen and him out to eat at just about every restaurant along West 86th Street in Indianapolis.
He dearly loved his four Scotty dogs: Corky, Tara, Beavie, and Pecan (“our expensive little nut”). But it was Beavie who was “Mike’s boy” who held a special forever place in his heart. Mike reluctantly came to love his “dumb” cat, Fiver Sputnik, who asked only Mike for his share of Mike’s every meal and who sat only on Mike’s lap during Colts games.
Some of Mike’s favorite jokes and stories ended up in books he self-published and gave to only a few and lucky friends, some who actually read his gems.
Mike was a good friend. He had a big heart and generous spirit. With the loss of his oldest brother, Jim, he found his way to his faith in God and he found the peace and comfort he was looking for with his church family at Fairview Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis.
Mike passed away on August 12, 2023. He and his corny jokes will be missed by all in his sphere of influence. At the top of his list of Stroup “classics” from his arsenal of homespun humor: There are 3 kinds of people in this world: those who can count and those who can’t.