E. Ralph: 1920 - 1997
Ida: 1912 - 2002
E. Ralph and Ida Strausz were fruit growers for 65 years, raising apples, pears and cherries and processing them through the Cowiche Growers, Inc. under the label Hy-Land-Kids. This cooperative was originally organized by nine men, one of whom was Arthur E. Strausz, father of E. Ralph, and the original warehouse was built by his grandfather Jacob Strausz. Not only did E. Ralph Strausz eventually become President of the Cowiche Growers, Inc., he was employed there as a young college student in the early 1930s making boxes. The job helped Mr. Strausz finance his college education.
Mr. Strausz was also active in the Cowiche community. He was Chairman of the Highland School District board of directors. He served his church, Highland United Methodist Church in Tieton, in various capacities. Mr. Strausz loved fishing and being in the Cascade Mountains; he loved sports and had Husky football tickets for a number of years; he was an avid bowler.
Mrs. Strausz was an avid rose grower and had a wonderful green thumb. She was a member of the Antique Club and loved collecting glassware and porcelain. She was a very good cook and her apple pies were the best! For about 35 years, Mrs. Strausz was the organist at Highland United Methodist Church, and her love of music was her lifeblood. She learned how to play the family’s pump organ by ear at age three and enjoyed playing throughout her life.
Mr. and Mrs. Strausz raised two children, Judy Strausz-Clement of Santa Fe, New Mexico and Ken Strausz of Edmonds, Washington. They also had 4 grandchildren, Todd Strausz of Edmonds, Stephanie Strausz of Edmonds, Karen Clark of Seattle and Christopher Strausz-Clark of Seattle.
Both E. Ralph and Ida graduated from Cowiche High School in 1929. Ida attended Ellensburg Normal School and Ralph graduated from the University of Washington in 1936 with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting. They lived most of their lives in Cowiche until moving to a retirement community in Redmond, Washington in 1995.
The scholarship fund honoring E. Ralph & Ida Strausz was created by their children in 2003. Each year a Highland High School graduating senior is awarded a $500 scholarship.