The Honorable Ralph Paul Stroman, a judge in the Court of the Master in Equity in Horry County, died on Wednesday at his home in Pawleys Island. He was 78.
Judge Stroman privately battled heart issues, choosing to “roll the dice” rather than leave the courtroom for an extended recovery. He died peacefully in his sleep with his faithful dog, Cody, by his side.
Ralph, known as “Butch” to his oldest friends and family, was born in Georgetown to the late Michael Paul Stroman, a railroad foreman, and Hazel Hoffman Stroman, a school teacher. He was a 1964 graduate of the University of South Carolina, earning his juris doctor degree in 1967.
His esteemed law practice in Conway operated for 40 years until he retired in 2007. Within months, he was appointed to the Courts in Georgetown and Horry counties and served as a judge in Conway until his death.
He leaves behind many respected colleagues, including Mrs. Susan Stone of Conway, whom he said was the “toughest human being he ever had the privilege to work with.”
Ralph is survived by his daughter, Laura Stroman Lee; his son-in-law, Michael Sean Lee; and his grandchildren, Thomas, Anna and Larson, who brought him great joy.
He is also survived by Phyllis Holstein, his first wife who supported him throughout his law school and early professional life.
He was predeceased by his sister, Kathryn "Lynne" Poole of Irmo, and his wife of 32 years, “Libby” Hendrick Stroman of Conway, whom many will remember for her expertise in his office, her fine entertaining and their decades of travel together and with friends.
Ralph also leaves behind his many lifelong friends, his devoted legal secretary of more than 55 years, Sylvia Richardson of Conway, and his beloved housekeeper, Delories Pait of Georgetown.
In lieu of flowers, his daughter has suggested donations in his honor be sent to Brookgreen Gardens in Murrells Inlet where Ralph, a talented sculptor, was a unique “Lifetime Member,” supporter and frequent visitor. In 2007, his grandchildren placed a bench in his honor near the Campbell Center for American Sculpture.
At his request, there will be no funeral service or memorial. A private gathering of friends to swap tales and finish off his last bottle of tequila will be arranged post-COVID.
Condolences may be made at www.burroughsfh.com
Burroughs Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Murrells Inlet is assisting the family with arrangements.