After graduating from high school in 1956, Henry Robert “Bob” Stange began his career working for Portland Cement in Skokie, Illinois. He soon gained the favor of his supervisors, who then allowed Bob to use the building on weekends to pursue his true passion, innovating parts to make his cars (and others’) faster and safer.
Stange founded Strange Engineering in 1964 with his then-wife Shannon. Bob fully committed himself to making a name for his products and the growth of his fledgling company was a testament to how well he did. Strange Engineering eventually grew to become one of the most influential, and widely-known manufacturing companies in drag racing and the automotive performance realm.
In 2010, Bob Stange was inducted into the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame for his efforts within the hobby. Bob also enjoyed woodworking and cabinetmaking, and he is remembered as a humorous storyteller, an amazing cook, and a gracious host to those who knew him.
Bob passed away peacefully on May 22, 2023, at his home in Zionsville, Indiana. Bob reportedly did not want a fuss over his passing, but his son, Jeff, explained in a Facebook post, “He did not want people to gather in sorrow over him. However, when we asked about a celebration of life event and I explained to him that it would be more of a party, he seemed to like that idea.”
Bob is survived by his two sons, Michael (wife Kathy, children Tyler, Samantha, and Jackson) and Jeffrey (wife Crystal, children Lexi, Austin, and Wyatt), and his loving baby sister Joy (Stange) Jefferson (husband Michael. Details about the upcoming celebration of life for Bob Stange are forthcoming. The family plans to provide the details as they are decided.
Our condolences to the entire Stange family and to those who knew Bob as a friend. The loss of someone close is one of life’s hardest moments, but living a life worth celebrating affords us so many fond memories and moments that will live on forever. Bob Stange lived by this motto and his presence will be felt for generations to come.