Jason Stroups Death – Obituary, Longtime Fox C-6 math teacher dies

By | January 14, 2022

The Fox C-6 School District is mourning the loss of a longtime teacher. Jason Stroups, 52, of Imperial died Jan. 6 due to complications from

COVID-19. He taught math in the district for 30 years, first as a permanent substitute teacher and then in the Central Office helping students earn their GEDs. After that, he taught at Ridgewood Middle School from 1993-1995 and then at Fox High School from 1995-2022.

Stroups also was an adjunct instructor at Jefferson College, Missouri Baptist University and Maryville University for more than 20 years.

“He was fun loving and family oriented,” said his wife, Kim Stroups, 52, who is the librarian at Ridgewood Middle School. “He was dedicated to teaching and putting others before himself. Even after he was admitted to the hospital and he was on oxygen, he had his computer out and was submitting college grades and answering questions about grades and finals.”

Fox Superintendent Paul Fregeau sent a letter to district families Jan. 7 informing them about Stroups’ death. The district will have counselors available throughout the week at Fox High to help students and staff members process Stroups’ death, Fregeau said in his letter.

Fox High School Principal Ryan Sherp said a collection was taken at the school to provide Stroups’ family with financial help. Students and staff members plan to dress in plaid shirts and khaki pants Friday in honor of Stroups.

“He dressed like that every day. He told the kids to wear plaid, so they would always have a graphing mechanism on them,” Sherp said. “One thing that is beautiful about Fox High is when we say we are family, we mean it. We all have been wrapping our arms around each other and the kids.”

Fox-made

Stroups and his wife graduated from Fox High School after attending Seckman Junior High School in Imperial, said Kim’s sister Kathy Crandall, a fourth-grade teacher at Hodge Elementary School, which also is part of the Fox district.

The couple had two children – Jennifer Stroups, 22, and Josh Stroups, 19.

Crandall said her brother-in-law was a caring man.

“Jason wanted to make others happy,” she said. “He always wanted to make things easier and better for everyone around him.”

Sherp said Jason Stroups was a pillar of the high school.

“He was literally one of the greatest human beings I have ever known,” Sherp said. “When you talk about class, kindness, work ethic, being a great father, husband and friend, every bit of that encompassed what kind of guy he was. It is devastating when you lose anybody, but when you lose someone of that caliber and character, it is just awful.”

Stroups’ connection to Fox goes beyond himself and his wife.

His mother, Mary (Thebaue) Stroups, was a cook at Clyde Hamrick Elementary School, and his father, Raymond Stroups, worked for the district’s maintenance department after a career with McDonnell Douglas. Stroups’ oldest sister, Laura Sain, worked briefly as a cook in the district, and Crandall’s husband, Kevin Crandall, also is a math teacher at Fox High.

Jennifer said her father had a gift for connecting with his students and getting them to care about math.

“I have had a lot of people say he inspired them to be math teachers or he was the first teacher to get them to understand math,” she said. “He really connected with kids who didn’t understand because he had to teach himself in a unique way because he didn’t like school growing up.”

More than math

Kim said her husband enjoyed restoring and rebuilding classic cars.

She said her husband wrote and illustrated three children’s books from stories he told their children. He also enjoyed classic movies and music, riding motorcycles, traveling and being a member of the Arnold Rifle Club.

“He was very crafty and worked with his hands,” she said. “He loved nature and hiking. He loved the national parks. Any time we took family trips, it was to a national park.”

COVID-19

Kim said she and her husband were diagnosed with COVID-19 the weekend of Dec. 10. She said Stroups, who did not have underlying medical conditions, developed breathing issues and was admitted into SSM Health St. Clare Hospital in Fenton on Dec. 15.

“The bottom line is the COVID virus attacked his lungs,” said Kim.

She said her family preferred not to say whether her husband had been vaccinated.

While Stroups battled the virus, a prayer vigil and walk in his honor was held Dec. 30 at Fox High.

“It was an amazing turnout, and a variety of family, students, staff and former teachers were there showing support,” Crandall said. “It was uplifting to see how many people’s lives Jason touched.”

For obituary information about Jason Stroups, see Page 16.