Sterling Stroman, compassionate longtime GCASA employee, succumbs to cancer
Calling him “part of the fabric of our team,” the executive director of Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse fondly remembers longtime residential services kitchen manager Sterling Stroman who passed away on Sunday after a six-year battle with cancer.
“It is so sad to hear about the passing of Sterling. He was part of the fabric of our team at GCASA and always brought his kind energy to everything he did,” John Bennett said.
Stroman, a Batavia native who graduated from Oakfield-Alabama Central School, was 55.
His wife, Ella, informed family and friends of his death.
“I would like to let you know that my husband Sterling has passed away … he went very peaceful and did not suffer any more than he did,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “He is in a better place. I also would like to thank everyone for your love and prayers.”
A fun-loving and caring individual who made friends easily, Stroman made the headlines last November when, through arrangements made by HomeCare and Hospice, was able to scratch off a couple big ticket items on his “bucket list.”
First, he and his family were treated to a Buffalo Sabres game, where he was able to meet star Jack Eichel and Hall of Fame goaltender Dominik Hasek, and a couple weeks later, he was able to meet his pro sports hero, John Elway, the Hall of Fame quarterback of his beloved Denver Broncos, when the team faced the Bills in Buffalo.
Closer to home, on May 2, Stroman was honored with a parade – led by the City of Batavia Fire Department – that traveled past his house on North Lyon Street.
Organized by his sister, Michelle, and sister-in-law Robin Gangarossa, the parade of love and support included about 50 cars, filled with friends, GCASA colleagues and family members.
Nicole Davis, director of residential services at GCASA, said Stroman was “committed, dependable and dedicated to those that we serve.”
“Sterling certainly was a staple in residential services,” Davis said. “He was that employee that would positively boast about our staff, services, and residents, and he would always make us laugh with his many quips and life stories. We all count ourselves lucky to have known a man like him, and we miss his presence every day.”
Bennett said Stroman’s memory will live on as part of the nonprofit organization’s expansion to the Atwater House residential facility. Stroman worked at GCASA for more than 20 years.
“It will be fitting to honor his memory in our new residential program as we plan to dedicate the new kitchen and cafeteria in his name,” Bennett said. “Preparing and serving meals were his way to share the love he had for others.”
Friends are invited to call from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at The City Church, 210 E. Main St., Batavia. A 1 p.m. “Celebration of Life” will immediately follow at the church. He will be lain to rest in Grand View Cemetery.
The Rev. Martin Macdonald, City Church pastor, said that Stroman was “one of the kindest and gentlest men I ever met.”
“Sterling would truly help or do anything for anyone at any time,” Macdonald said. “We loved him, and he definitely will be missed.”
Memorials may be made to: GCASA Atwater, 430 E. Main St., Batavia, NY 14020.
To leave a message of condolence please visit www.gilmartinfuneralhome.com or for more information call (585) 343-8260.
Arrangements completed by Gilmartin Funeral Home & Cremation Company Inc.(585) 329-333 W. Main St., Batavia, NY 14020.