Katherine Margaret Bronn Strobel

Published 5:20 pm Friday, March 3, 2023

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July 22, 1930 – Feb. 14, 2023

Katherine Margaret Bronn Strobel, died peacefully at home in Bell Buckle, Tennessee. She was born and raised in Natchez, Mississippi, the eldest child of Leroy William Bronn and Nannie Mae Kelly Bronn and sister to Ann Bronn Rayne. She is survived by daughters, Amy Strobel, Jane Strobel, and Mary Ann Strobel; grandchildren Benjamin Strobel, Samuel Bartlett, Helen Bartlett, and Jason Bartlett and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, nephews, and cousins.

Katherine Strobel graduated from Delta State College and she earned a Ph.D. in Dance and Related Arts at Texas Woman’s University. As a Ph.D. candidate, she thoroughly enjoyed interviewing and filming the traditional dancers and musicians of the Cumberland Plateau and created an important archive of their art form. She taught dance at Louisiana State University and Middle Tennessee State University for almost thirty years and was elected Professor Emerita at MTSU after her retirement in 1996.

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In 1975, she and her late husband, Eugene Strobel, and the family moved to Bell Buckle, Tennessee where they renovated the town’s former railroad hotel, built in the 1880s, for their home. Katherine and Eugene Strobel, former mayor of Bell Buckle, were instrumental in the revitalization and growth of Bell Buckle in the 1970s and early 80s. She worked tirelessly alongside her husband when he was mayor and was humorously referred to as, “First Lady”.

In her almost fifty years in Bell Buckle she was active on many town boards and committees, including the Planning Commission, Park Board, and Arts Council. Katherine, her husband, and other townspeople created the first, “Country Fair”. Her hard work and commitment were pivotal in preserving and shaping the uniqueness of Bell Buckle.

Katherine regularly volunteered at the Good Samaritan Association of Bedford County, taught free children’s and adult dance classes, held membership in the Shelbyville Garden Club, the Dames Club of MTSU, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Murfreesboro. As avid gardeners, she and her husband created beautiful areas of bloom and color in their yard for every season. They donated and planted many trees and shrubs in downtown Bell Buckle as well. Katherine loved traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family, friends, pets, and especially her grandchildren.

The family will host a memorial event for her in the spring. If interested, donations may be made to Room in the Inn, PO Box 25309, Nashville TN 37202, www.roomintheinn.org; MTSU ARTS Discretionary Fund, MTSU Box 97, Murfreesboro TN 37132, www.mtsu.edu/mtsuarts; Good Samaritan Association of Bedford County, PO Box 1308 Shelbyville TN 37162 or a charity of your choice.